Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

March 2012 Archives

Carl Pavano Extortion Plot: Man Targeted Twins Pitcher, Cops Say

Minnesota Twins pitcher Carl Pavano may have been the target of extortion.

Christian Bedard, 36, a high school classmate of Pavano, claims to have carried on a three-year homosexual relationship with the Twins pitcher during high school, The Associated Press reports.

Bedard allegedly attempted to extort Pavano's sister, Michelle DeGennaro, in order to keep the alleged relationship secret, DeGennaro said.

A "Tebow-mania" lawsuit is headed for the courts. Nike Inc. claims rival Reebok International Ltd. wrongfully used Tim Tebow's name on newly minted New York Jets apparel, in violation of Nike's licensing deal.

Nike filed its Tebow-mania lawsuit in New York federal court, after Reebok began marketing a green New York Jets T-shirt emblazoned with Tebow's name and jersey number, Reuters reports. Tebow, formerly the Denver Broncos' quarterback, signed with the Jets on March 21.

That's 20 days after Reebok's licensing deal with the NFL Players Association expired, Nike claims in its lawsuit.

The NFL on Wednesday hit the New Orleans Saints and head coach Sean Payton with severe penalties in the wake of a bounty scandal. Speculation continues about possible legal action.

The Saints bounty program involved the "targeting of players for injury and cash rewards over a three-year period, the involvement of the coaching staff, and three years of denials," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in announcing the harshest penalties in league history. They include a fine against the franchise, and suspensions without pay.

As for possible legal consequences, this blog has discussed potential assault and battery charges against players who took part in the bounty program. But do the NFL's penalties also suggest elements of a possible conspiracy?

Former NBA star Antoine Walker, who won the 2006 NBA Championship with the Miami Heat, has been forced to sell his championship ring as part of a bankruptcy settlement.

Walker, 35, sold his ring for $21,500 to a man named Andres Garcia, gossip website TMZ reports. A judge needs to approve the deal before any money changes hands, according to TMZ.

But once Walker is paid for his ring, he won't be allowed to keep the proceeds for himself. Instead, the money will go toward paying off Walker's debts -- estimated at about $12.7 million, the report says.

Reading, writing, and bracketology have landed a Nebraska boy in trouble. The fifth-grader tried to start an NCAA tournament pool at his Omaha elementary school, but instead got a lesson in the law.

"You can't gamble in school," Max Kohll, 11, told the Omaha World-Herald. "It's not OK to gamble. It's like, illegal, sort of."

Like his college-basketball-fan parents, Kohll read up on his favorite team (the North Carolina Tar Heels) and filled out his bracket (with the Tar Heels winning, of course). He then borrowed $5 from his mom, and set off to school.

Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward's DUI case has been resolved in court, but newly released police video of his arrest reveals the NFL free agent's greatest fear: bad publicity.

"Can I get out on bail or ... this is going to be all in the newspapers though?" Hines Ward asks in the video, taken inside a police cruiser in July 2011 and obtained by the gossip website TMZ. "Only if you tell somebody," an officer replies.

"No, I already know ESPN -- they always be looking for s--- like that," Ward says in response.

A Massachusetts man accused of biting off part of a coach's ear after a middle-school basketball game has turned himself in to police.

Timothy Lee Forbes, 34, of Springfield, Mass., was the assistant coach of a losing team of sixth graders, the Hartford Courant reports. USA Today, however, said Forbes was not a coach, but rather a father angry over the loss of his son's basketball team.

Either way, Forbes faces charges of mayhem, assault and battery, and disorderly conduct in connection with the alleged biting attack that took place at the Western Massachusetts Catholic Youth Organization finals Friday night, Springfield's WWLP-TV reports.

New York Mets bullpen catcher Eric Langill faces DUI charges in connection with a rollover crash not far from the Mets' spring training camp. He also allegedly tried to run away from the scene.

Langill, 32, crashed his car into a fountain at a traffic circle in Port St. Lucie, Fla., about 11:25 p.m. Sunday, according to a police report obtained by New York's WNBC-TV. The impact caused Langill's white Honda Accord to flip upside down.

Two witnesses ran to Langill's aid and pulled him out of the car through the passenger door, the police report says. Langill then tried to run off, but the witnesses kept him there until police arrived.

NFL star Michael Vick’s younger brother Marcus is in jail in Newport News, Va., on a contempt charge for failing to appear in court.

Marcus Vick, 27, was initially charged in 2010 with driving on a suspended license, the local Daily Press reports. The younger Vick, a former standout quarterback at Virginia Tech, failed to appear in court — twice — to answer that charge, the paper said.

So a judge held Marcus Vick in contempt. Vick was supposed to turn himself in to the Newport News jail last week — but he didn’t do that either, the Daily Press reports.

Former Mets and Phillies slugger Lenny Dykstra was sentenced to three years in prison for grand theft auto, despite his impassioned plea for leniency.

"I'm doing everything in my power to be a better person," Dykstra, 49, told a Los Angeles judge at his sentencing Monday, the Associated Press reports.

But the judge said Dykstra's conduct "was indeed criminal" -- the latest in a series of legal problems that have included assault, indecent exposure, and alleged possession of cocaine, ecstasy, and synthetic human growth hormone.

NFL 'Pay for Pain' Scandal Destined for Courts?

The NFL 'pay for pain' scandal is growing, and it may even end up in the courts. A league investigation has unearthed a bounty program operated by 22 to 27 defensive players on the New Orleans Saints.

The players contribute to a pool and are paid $1,500 for a knockout, and $1,000 for a cart-off.

They're getting paid to knock opposing players out of the game. And if the reports are correct, similar programs exist (or existed) at the Washington Redskins, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans.