Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

May 2012 Archives

Barry Bonds Calls Himself a 'Convicted Felon,' Looks for Work

Barry Bonds is a convicted felon and the media is making a big deal about it. Or at least the fact that he openly refers to himself as being one.

Reporters caught up with the ex-slugger at a Giants game on Monday, a little over a year after he was convicted of obstructing justice. Though he's currently appealing the conviction, Bonds is still looking forward to a time when his legal troubles are over.

In a recent meeting with Giants president Larry Baer, he's said to have brought up the possibility of working with the team in the near future.

New York Knicks guard J.R. Smith was arrested in Miami Beach, Fla., on Thursday night in what cops characterize as a slam-dunk case that dates back to 2011.

Police stopped Smith, 26, in South Beach about 8:30 p.m., ESPN reports. Officers say they recognized the NBA star's famous face, and knew they had a bench warrant for his arrest.

Smith spent the night in the Miami-Dade County jail and posted bond early Friday for the warrant that apparently stems from an incident a year ago.

NFL Players Accuse League of Collusion: What is Collusion?

It looks like the NFL labor situation is right back where it started. The NFL Players Association has sued the NFL for collusion, claiming that it imposed a secret salary cap during the 2010 season. That season, per the prior collective bargaining agreement, was supposed to be uncapped.

But the union claims that the teams and the league illegally agreed to impose a $123 million per-club salary cap. Representatives also claim the Redskins, Cowboys, Raiders and Saints did not abide by the agreement and were subsequently punished.

An Alabama fan's "genital assault" on an unconscious LSU fan has led to criminal charges that could result in a lengthy prison sentence, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.

A grand jury indicted Brian Downing, 32, of Smiths Station, Ala., on charges of sexual battery and obscenity. Downing pleaded not guilty, and "does not acknowledge" being the man seen in a viral Internet video taken after Alabama beat LSU at the BCS national title game Jan. 9, his attorney said.

In the video, a Crimson Tide fan at a Bourbon Street restaurant unzips his pants and places his genitals on an unconscious LSU fan's neck as others snap photos. The Bama fan then acts like he is sodomizing the LSU fan.

Arkansas Football: Burglary Charges for 3 Receivers

Things aren't looking up for fans of University of Arkansas football. Burglary charges have been filed against wide receivers Marquel Wade and Maudrecus Humphrey, as well as tight end Andrew Peterson. They three are accused of stealing items from on-campus dorms.

Sadly, the trio's arrests bring the team's off-season arrest count up to six. Offensive tackle Jason Peacock, wide receiver Kane Whitehurst and linebacker Tyler Gilbert have all three been arrested in since mid-March.

8 Shot in OKC After Lakers-Thunder Playoff Game

If you thought violence was only for Lakers fans, you thought wrong.

Fans were sent scrambling last night outside Chesapeake Energy Arena just minutes after the Oklahoma City Thunder knocked the Lakers out of the NBA playoffs. One, possibly two, individuals opened fire on the crowd, wounding eight bystanders.

Police are questioning two individuals, but are still looking for more information about the OKC shooting. Murder charges may need to be filed.

Roger Goodell Sued for Defamation by Saints' Jon Vilma

We all knew the Saints bounty scandal would lead to a lawsuit or two, but few expected New Orleans linebacker Jonathan Vilma to sue NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for defamation. The suspended player filed suit in federal court on Thursday in what appears to be a last-ditch effort to protect his reputation.

Goodell, the suit claims, made repeated and public accusations connecting Vilma to the bounty program. But Vilma says none of the allegations are true.

Ex-Ohio State linebacker Andrew Sweat is giving up on his tryout with the NFL's Cleveland Browns, and will instead tackle the rigors of law school. The reason: fears about the effects of concussions.

"Concussion symptoms didn't want to risk it," Sweat, 23, explained via Twitter on Sunday. "Health trumps football any day."

Sweat's announcement comes as more than 1,700 former NFL players pursue lawsuits against the league alleging a cover-up about the dangers of concussions, CNN reports. But Sweat's decision is also being sacked with ridicule, even by legal commentators.

The wife of former Syracuse basketball coach Bernie Fine is set to sue ESPN over an allegedly doctored audio recording that she says smeared her "as a monster."

Laurie Fine announced her intention to sue ESPN for libel at a press conference Wednesday, Syracuse's WSYR-TV reports. Her lawyers released the lawsuit to reporters, but they have not yet filed it in court.

Fine's husband Bernie was fired in November after two former ball boys publicly accused him of child sex abuse in interviews with ESPN. The channel also aired an audio recording of Laurie Fine that suggested she knew her husband had molested at least one of his accusers.

The Philadelphia Eagles' Jason Peters plans to sue the makers of a device called the Roll-A-Bout, after a serious injury that will sideline the tackle "indefinitely" and may threaten his career, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

Peters, 30, ruptured his Achilles tendon for a second time this offseason, after the Roll-A-Bout he was using allegedly broke, a source told Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia. Peters fell on his face and required surgery for his re-ruptured Achilles.

If Peters can prove the Roll-A-Bout malfunctioned and caused his injury, it could result in a substantial judgment against the maker of the device, which is used by many recovering athletes.

OKC Thunder Announcer Arrested on Child Sex-Abuse Charges

Oklahoma City Thunder public address announcer Jim Miller has been arrested for child sex-abuse charges, USA Today reports.

Miller was removed as the NBA team's announcer following his arrest on three felony counts of lewd or indecent acts with a child under 16. Two of the three alleged victims say there was sexual abuse involved. Miller is also accused of masturbating to computer porn while forcing the three children to watch him, according to court records.

But that's not all.

Ex-Yankee Rusty Torres Pleads Not Guilty to Sex Abuse of Girl, 8

Did Rusty Torres sexually abuse an 8-year-old girl?

The former Yankees outfielder has been charged with four misdemeanor counts of sexual abuse. Prosecutors say he exposed himself to a young girl in the back of a van provided by the Town of Oyster Bay. He worked as a youth baseball coach and, until his arrest, was on the town payroll.

Attorney Scott Carrigan disputes the allegations and insists Torres is innocent. But is he?

A new NFL concussion lawsuit accuses the league of hiding the ball when it comes to head injuries.

More than 100 ex-NFL players, including former Atlanta Falcons Jamal Anderson, Chris Doleman, and O.J. Santiago, are named as plaintiffs in the new federal lawsuit, filed May 3 in Atlanta, CNN reports.

With the latest lawsuit, a total of more than 1,500 former NFL players are now suing the league for allegedly covering up the dangers of concussions. The new suit cites scientific studies that suggest concussions can lead to Alzheimer’s-like symptoms, CNN reports.

Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees Arrested for Kneeing Cop

Don't knee a cop. Notre Dame's Tommy Rees learned this lesson the hard way early Thursday morning when he and teammate Carlos Calabrese were arrested at an off-campus house party. When police arrived, Rees and Calabrese fled with a few others.

Eventually, the officers caught up and the situation turned criminal.

Police arrested Tommy Rees after he kneed an officer, knocking him out. And Calabrese, upset with Rees' arrest, allegedly threatened officers, telling them, "My people will get you."

NFL legend Junior Seau was found dead in a shooting that police are investigating as a suicide, ESPN reports.

A woman who said she was Seau's girlfriend called 911 to report a possible suicide about 9:35 a.m., the police chief of Oceanside, Calif., told reporters. Officers found Seau in a bedroom at his home, with a gunshot wound to the chest.

Seau, a 43-year-old former linebacker who spent most of his NFL career with the San Diego Chargers, didn't seem depressed in recent weeks, entertainment website Zimbio reports. But his alleged suicide is being compared to that of another ex-NFL star, who also shot himself in the chest.

The New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal has resulted in four player suspensions -- a move that may eventually lead to a lawsuit against the NFL, a source tells ESPN.

"All 4 player suspensions will be appealed, per source who said, 'Get ready for a massive multiple legal battle over this on several fronts,'" ESPN's NFL expert Adam Schefter reported via Twitter.

The NFL player suspensions, announced Wednesday, are without pay. The suspended players are:

Brandon Meriweather Arrested After Refused DUI Tests

Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was arrested for drunk driving in Virginia on Thursday.

Arlington County police pulled Meriweather over for speeding around 3 a.m. Officers clocked the two-time Pro Bowler going 73 mph in a 55 mph zone. Meriweather allegedly smelled like alcohol, The Washington Post reports. The NFL player refused a breathalyzer test and was given a field sobriety test instead. He failed the exam.

So where was Meriweather in such a hurry from?