Tarnished Twenty- The FindLaw Sports Law Blog

June 2014 Archives

Biting in Sports: How the Law Can Bite Back

Unless your sport is competitive eating, there's no biting in sports. It's not just the rules, the law really frowns upon using your teeth against your fellow player.

Americans who were stunned by Uruguayan footballer Luis Suarez's shoulder-chomping action at the World Cup should remember that we've hosted our own notoriously "toothy" athletes (cough Mike Tyson cough). And these biters learned the legal implications of taking a bite out of an opponent.

So how can the law "bite back" against sports biters?

NFL Concussion Settlement Update: $765M Damages Cap Removed

The NFL has announced it will agree to a new concussion settlement, one without the $765 million damages cap.

The National Football League had agreed in August to an estimated $765 million in settlement funds for former NFL players and their families; the judge rejected it. Now the League says it supports a new settlement agreement that "will not be capped at any specified amount."

What else does this revised settlement agreement provide, and will it be enough for the judge?

Jerry Sandusky Abuse Investigation Took Too Long: AG's Report

The investigation into Jerry Sandusky's child sex abuse may have taken too long, according to a report released Monday by Pennsylvania's attorney general.

The 339-page report by Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane concluded that her predecessors had made "crucial missteps and inexplicable delays" in arresting and charging Sandusky for his crimes. Philadelphia's WCAU-TV reports that it took prosecutors "a year to recommend filing charges against Sandusky," one of many revelations unearthed by the new report.

What caused the Sandusky investigation to last so long?

Hope Solo Arrested for Allegedly Assaulting Sister, Nephew

Soccer star Hope Solo was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of domestic violence.

Solo, the goalkeeper for the gold medal-winning U.S. Women's National Team and the Seattle Reign professional team, is accused of assaulting both her sister and nephew, Reuters reports. Solo's lawyer, however, claims that Solo was the one assaulted in the incident.

What are police saying Solo did to get hit with this real-life red card?

Donald Sterling's 'Threats' Not Enough for Restraining Order: Judge

Donald Sterling had a minor win in court, as a judge declined to grant restraining order against him based on alleged threats he made in a call to his estranged wife's attorney.

Pierce O'Donnell, an attorney for Sterling's wife Shelly, told the New York Daily News that he had been threatened over the phone by Sterling, who said he would "take [her] out." O'Donnell perceived this as a threat against his life and proceeded to file for an emergency restraining order against the embattled Clippers owner.

But a judge denied the order, asking all parties to "tone down." Was this just an act of pre-trial hysterics?

Redskins' Trademarks Canceled; Patent Office Finds Them 'Disparaging'

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the Washington Redskins' trademark registration.

In a ruling issued today, the USPTO cancelled six trademarks held by the team which it found "disparaging to Native Americans," reports The Washington Post.

What led to the USPTO's decision, and how will this affect the team's continued use of the controversial Redskins name?

Supreme Court Won't Hear Scottie Pippen's Defamation Lawsuit

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition by hall of fame basketball player Scottie Pippen to continue his defamation case against media outlets.

The Court declined to hear the case without comment, letting stand a lower court's decision to dismiss Pippen's case against NBC, CBS, and others, The Associated Press reports.

What had Pippen, one of the NBA's all-time defensive greats, calling foul against these companies? And why did his case air-ball at the Supreme Court?

Donald Sterling Battles Wife Over Clippers Sale: 5 Things to Know

As fallout from Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's racist comments continues, the latest development has Sterling squaring off against what could possibly be his toughest opponent yet: his wife.

According to Fox Sports, Shelly Sterling is seeking to have her husband declared mentally incompetent to prevent him from stopping the sale of the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

Here are five things about this ever-growing legal drama that you need to know:

Ex-Intern Sues Clippers, Sterling Trust for Not Getting Paid

A former Los Angeles Clippers intern is now suing the team and the Sterling Family Trust over not being paid for his work.

Frank Cooper claims that he worked 40- to 50-hour weeks for two months in the fall of 2012 as an "unpaid fan relations intern," reports the Los Angeles Times. Cooper asserts he deserves compensation because he performed the same work as a regular, paid employee.

Is embattled Clippers owner Donald Sterling ready to be hit with yet another employment suit?

Is It Legal to Bet on the World Cup?

With more and more Americans becoming soccer fans every year, Thursday's kickoff of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil will likely be a much-discussed event.

It might also be the subject of a great deal of wagering. According to The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the World Cup is still no Super Bowl in terms of total amounts wagered, but some of the matches played will get as much action as a football game -- American football, that is -- at Vegas' sports books.

You may be wondering though: Is it legal to bet on the World Cup?

O'Bannon v. NCAA: 5 Legal Questions and Answers

A federal court in Oakland, California, has begun hearing the much-discussed lawsuit pitting college athletes, led by former UCLA basketball standout Ed O'Bannon, against the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

What is this federal antitrust lawsuit all about, and what might it mean for the future of big-time college athletics?

Here are the answers to five key questions about O'Bannon v. NCAA:

EA Sports Settlement Filed: How Much Will College Athletes Get?

College athletes may be headed for a payday after EA Sports agreed to a $40 million settlement over likeness rights in its games.

The settlement, filed in court last week, has the potential to include more than 100,000 athletes (and even current college players) who have had their virtual selves included in Electronic Arts' line of NCAA-related video games. According to The Associated Press, taking part in the settlement will not affect any current player's eligibility to play.

If the settlement is approved, what will college athletes receive from EA?

Dan Marino Withdraws From NFL Concussion Lawsuit

Dolphins Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino is officially withdrawing from the NFL concussion lawsuit, claiming he did not intend to be included in the first place.

Marino released a statement explaining that he had authorized a claim to be filed on his behalf "in case I needed future medical coverage" for future head-trauma-related effects, but he did not know he would automatically be listed as a plaintiff. The Miami Herald reports that Marino officially rebuffed any claims that he suffers from current head injuries.

What prompted Marino to be part of the suit in the first place?

Phil Mickelson Investigation: What Is Insider Trading?

Golfer Phil Mickelson has announced that he is cooperating with a federal probe regarding allegations of possible insider trading.

Mickelson and Las Vegas gambler William Walters are being questioned in connection with trading activity that federal authorities believe may be linked to billionaire hedge-fund manager Carl Icahn's 2011 bid to purchase consumer products-maker Clorox.

But as Mickelson prepares to play in this month's U.S. Open, what will authorities be looking for and why might it be hard to make any possible insider trading charge against Mickelson stick?