Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

March 2014 Archives

Is It Legal to Bet on Fantasy Baseball?

It's Opening Day! As baseball season begins anew, some fans who wouldn't normally give two hoots about fantasy games will start betting on fantasy baseball.

And strangely, the MLB seems to be OK with that (though the league's support is "purportedly limited" to free games on a particular site, as Forbes points out).

But before you put money on your fantasy picks, consider this: Is it legal to bet on fantasy baseball?

Northwestern Football Players Are 'Employees': NLRB

Northwestern University's football players may be able to unionize after a NLRB ruling Wednesday determined that scholarship-receiving players are employees of their private university.

The National Labor Review Board found that many of the school's football players were being "paid" in the form of scholarships and working 20 to 50 hours a week to maintain the school's multimillion-dollar football program, reports CNN.

What legal ripples could this decision have for college athletes everywhere?

Firm's 'Johnny Football' Trademark Filing Rejected

A battle over the "Johnny Football" trademark was lost by a Texas-based investment firm, which hoped to poach the mark from Texas A&M's star quarterback Johnny Manziel.

The Kenneth R. Reynolds Family Investments' trademark registration was rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, with the reviewing attorney writing that "Johnny Football" referred to a "particular living individual," reports ESPN. That individual is apparently Johnny Manziel, and the firm may not be able to obtain a trademark without Manziel's permission.

Manziel has his own trademark for "Johnny Football" pending, but who will win out?

College Athletes' Lawsuit: NCAA Is an 'Unlawful Cartel'

Four college athletes are suing the NCAA and its five biggest conferences, claiming that the organization is an "unlawful cartel."

The lawsuit seeks damages for college football and basketball players who claim they suffered economic harm from the National Collegiate Athletic Association. It asks for a declaratory judgment that the NCAA is in violation of antitrust law, reports The Associated Press.

How is the NCAA an "unlawful cartel," according to the lawsuit?

Colts Owner Jim Irsay Arrested for Alleged DWI, Drug Possession

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay was arrested on suspicion of a DWI and possession of controlled substances Sunday night. He was released from jail about 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Police in Carmel, Indiana, pulled Irsay over for driving too slow, stopping in the road, and failing to signal a turn, according to The Indianapolis Star. After being pulled over, Irsay allegedly failed several sobriety tests and was taken into custody.

In addition, officers also found evidence in Irsay's car that led to his arrest on suspicion of possession of controlled substances.

Tiger Woods' Company Sued Over Memorabilia Dispute

A sports memorabilia retailer is suing Tiger Woods' company, ETW Corp., for allegedly breaching a contract.

Gotta Have It Golf alleges that ETW breached a licensing agreement by not providing a specified number of autographs and photographs of Woods, according to the Miami Herald.

Woods himself received a subpoena to testify in the civil lawsuit. What will the memorabilia company's lawyers have to prove in order to win?

Oscar Pistorius Trial: 5 Legal Facts You May Not Know

The Oscar Pistorius murder trial, which is being called the "trial of the century" in South Africa, began today with testimony from a neighbor of the Olympic track star.

The neighbor told the court she heard "bloodcurdling screams" followed by gunshots the night Pistorius shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steencamp, Reuters reports. The neighbor said she then heard a man screaming for help.

While today's court proceedings may have seemed similar to how American courts work, there are significant differences between the South African and U.S. criminal justice systems. Here are five legal facts about the Oscar Pistorius trial that you may not have known: