Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

March 2011 Archives

Minnesota's Wally the Beer Man Found Not Guilty

A baseball game just isn't the same without a cold beer.

Or, in the case of Minnesota Twins fans, Wally the Beer Man screaming, "Cold Beer Here!"

The 76-year-old beer hawker, a fan favorite, has been freed. A jury last week found him not guilty of selling alcohol to a 19-year-old decoy.

Barry Bonds Girlfriend Spares No Detail: Testicle Shrinkage

Men, pay attention. Barry Bonds' ex-mistress, Kimberly Bell, this week provided a jury with the real reason steroid use isn't the best idea in the world.

Testicle shrinkage.

Bell's testimony during Barry Bonds' trial was a tawdry affair, with commentary on the former slugger's sexual prowess, infidelity, and violent threats.

Notre Dame Fined $77,500 in Declan Sullivan Death

Declan Sullivan was filming a Notre Dame football practice from the lift in high winds that eventually toppled the structure. Sullivan, 20, died in the accident. Winds were reported at the time in the neighborhood of 51 miles per hour, and practice had been moved indoors the day before due to the heavy winds.

Indiana's Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OHSA) has concluded its investigation into the death of Declan Sullivan, a Notre Dame student videographer who was filming a football practice when the hydraulic lift he was standing on collapsed.

OHSA has announced that Notre Dame will be fined $77,500 for workplace safety violations. The Fighting Irish were hit with a total of six violations, including "knowingly exposing its employees to unsafe conditions," the OSHA statement read.

Will the NFL Players' Lawsuit Bring Back Football?

Professional football fans are freaking out. The NFL Player's Association and team owners failed to come to an agreement, and to add fuel to the fire, the players decertified the union, leading to a full-on NFL lockout.

Now that there's an antitrust suit challenging the lockout, there's a lot of speculation about what will happen next. But there's no question about what fans really want to know:

Come next fall, will NFL football be a relic of the past?

Selecting a Barry Bonds Jury Won't be Easy

It's not going to be a simple matter to seat a jury in the Barry Bonds case. San Francisco Judge Susan Illston is facing that problem as she prepares to attempt to seat 16 jurors from San Francisco to decide the fate of all time home run king and former Giant Barry Bonds, The New York Times reports.

Bonds has been charged with knowingly lying to a federal grand jury in 2003 about his suspected use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs. He is not charged with using the drugs, only for lying about using them.

NBA Referee William Spooner Sues AP Over Twitter Post

Twitter is back in the news after an NBA referee filed a federal lawsuit against the Associated Press as well as a sportswriter the AP employs, Jon Krawczynski, over a Twitter post. The message suggested that veteran NBA referee William Spooner intentionally made a bad call to make up for an earlier bad call. Spooner is suing for defamation, the Associated Press reports.

Jon Krawczynski's Twitter post said the following: "Ref Bill Spooner told Rambis he'd 'get it back' after a bad call. Then he made an even worse call on Rockets. That's NBA officiating folks." Krawczynski posted the update while he was seated courtside at the Jan. 24 Rockets-Timberwolves game.

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning are Named Plaintiffs in NFL Lawsuit

Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees are known for being top-notch competitors on the gridiron, but what about in the courtroom?

The All-pro NFL quarterbacks are listed along with Vincent Jackson, Mike Vrabel, and Von Milleras as plaintiffs in a class-action antitrust lawsuit filed against the NFL. They allege that the league and teams "have jointly agreed and conspired to deny plaintiffs the ability to provide and/or market their services," Reuters reports.

The case was filed in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and the rest of the plaintiffs are requesting an injunction to keep the NFL and team owners from locking out players.

ESPN Writer Howard Bryant Charged with Domestic Assault

ESPN writer Howard Bryant was arrested was arrested for assaulting his estranged wife and striking a police officer, the Huffington Post reports.

His lawyer has promptly played the race card.

"If Howard Bryant was Caucasian and was on the streets having exactly the same conversation with his wife -- nobody would have even noticed," Buzz Eisenberg, Howard Bryant's lawyer told the Boston Herald.

NFL Players Score A Victory, But Lockout is Still Looming

The NFL will not receive TV broadcast fees if games are not played next season. A District Court judge has overruled the earlier decision that had ruled in favor of the NFL.

Turns out, the union was correct in its argument that the NFL intentionally sacrificed long-term profits, which they have an obligation to both maximize and share with the NFL players union, U.S. District Judge David Doty ruled, the Los Angeles Times reports. The NFL made its decision in order to ensure a guaranteed revenue stream even if there is a lockout.

Jim Tressel Suspended: Ohio State Football Scandal Hits Coach

Is Jim Tressel leaving Ohio State?

It's not apparent what will happen yet, but Ohio State has fined football coach Jim Tressel $250,000 and recommended he be suspended for the first two games of the 2011 season, Yahoo! Sports reports. The university said Tressel failed to notify the school of NCAA violations involving Ohio State football players and a financial arrangement with a local tattoo parlor, the school announced Tuesday.

Now, this is just the school's recommendation for the Ohio State football coach. Jim Tressel could still face much harsher punishment from the NCAA. The NCAA could require Ohio State football to vacate all 12 of its 2010 wins for using players he knew to be ineligible.

Former No. 1 Pick JaMarcus Russell's Mansion to be Foreclosed

Oh, how the mighty have fallen

Once upon a time, JaMarcus Russell was the No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in 2007. Today his Oakland mansion is facing foreclosure, reports Fox Sports.

JaMarcus Russell is the size of a lineman. He's 6ft 6in, 300 pounds and has the speed of a running back. He can launch a football nearly the length of a football field. Why can't he pay for his home? After all, he had a guaranteed contract worth $32 million with the Oakland Raiders. The home cost $2 million.

Brandon Davies, Girlfriend Have Sex: BYU Honor Code Violation

The sports world is collectively scratching its head today, as reports that premarital sex and Brandon Davies' girlfriend led to his BYU honor code violation and suspension. A college basketball player suspended for having sex with his girlfriend? At the Mormon school, it's a BYU honor code violation and grounds for dismissal from the university.

If Brandon Davies played for most any other college basketball team in the country, this would likely never even be reported. But the Salt Lake Tribune reports that is why the star forward, on the No. 3 Cougars team, was suspended mere weeks before the NCAA Tournament.

The suspension could cost the team its hopes for a deep run in the tournament and millions in revenue, but BYU stood behind its honor code and suspended Brandon Davies for the remainder of the season.

BYU Player Suspended: What did Brandon Davies Do?

Brigham Young University's  No. 3 ranked basketball team suffered a major setback after forward Brandon Davies' honor code violation got him dismissed from the team for the remainder of the season. There is no indication that Davies was arrested, and BYU officials confirmed Wednesday that Davies wasn't involved in a criminal incident, ESPN reports.

So what did Brandon Davies do? School officials aren't saying, but it is worth noting that BYU has one of the strictest, if not the strictest honor codes in the country. "The code forbids premarital sex, the use of alcohol and illegal drugs, and cheating on schoolwork." Students are expected to live a chaste and virtuous life, attend church regularly, as well as abstaining from tobacco, tea, coffee and substance abuse. Thus, Brandon Davies' honor code violation remains a mystery.

Soccer Player Kicks Owl: Video Shows Injured Bird

Before the Daily Mail posted the suddenly famous owl kick video, they added “Warning: Contains animal cruelty.” It sort of reminded me of a warning from a package of cigarettes. “Warning: Cigarettes cause cancer.” For some reason, that struck me. The other thing of course that was striking was the video itself, of Pereira player Luis Moreno kicking an owl nearly ten feet across the field during a match in Colombia.

The owl was a good luck charm for the fans of Pereira’s opponents, the home team, Junior Barranquilla. The owl came onto the field and was hit with the ball. That’s when Moreno ran over and kicked the owl off the field. The crowd started screaming at Moreno and chanting: “murderer, murderer, murderer.”