Sports Law Links

Each week, the Sports Esquires round up the top stories to keep you informed about the world of sports law. Here’s what happened last week in the world of sports law:


  • A quick recap of some of the league’s biggest legal issues. More in-depth stories below.
  • Adrian Peterson pleaded no contest to misdemeanor reckless assault. The plea agreement involves no jail time. What are Roger Goodell’s options following the deal?  Cedric Hopkins wonders when the Vikings will reinstate  The NFL reportedly rejected a request for immediate reinstatement following Peterson’s plea deal.  Mike Florio argues the NFL needs to remove Adrian Peterson from the Commissioner’s Exemption List quickly.  Andrew Sensi analyzed the commissioner’s list here, and Justin Fielkow argued that the list is a bad idea here.
  • Andrew Brandt and Michael McCann analyzed Ray Rice’s suspension appeal. Our own Andrew Sensi explained why Rice should win here.  Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome testified under oath that Rice told Roger Goodell that he hit his then-fiancée in a hotel elevator.  The NFLPA has requested Peterson’s reinstatement.
  • The NFLPA has requested that changes to the league’s personal conduct policy be collectively bargained.
  • Over 200 retired NFL players chose to opt out of the concussion settlement with the league. One of them, Harry Hamilton, has filed his own suit against the NFL for $5 million.
  • A brief background on sports lawyer Jeffrey Kessler, the man who cross-examined Roger Goodell.
  • Jason Luckasevic’s crusade against the NFL.
  • Is this advertisement an NFL parody or copyright infringement?
  • Former All-Pro Darren Sharper remains in jail a year after he allegedly raped a woman with no trial in sight.
  • What’s wrong with the league’s HGH blood-testing?


  • The Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling allowing Penn State’s case against the NCAA to expand to include consideration of the legality of the NCAA’s sanctions on Penn State as a result of the Sandusky scandal. The ruling follows the publication of controversial internal NCAA emails discussing the Penn State sanctions.  Here’s Penn State’s reaction to the emails.
  • Did David Cornwell break the law by revealing the name of Jameis Winston’s accuser? Michael McCann says probably not. Winston’s student code of conduct hearing is scheduled for next week.
  • Will increased payments to college athletes ease eligibility requirements for prospective athletes?
  • As colleges push to keep financial advisors away from athletes, Darren Heitner explores why prohibiting them from having advisors is inadvisable.
  • Former UNC football player Michael McAdoo filed suit against UNC for breaching its contract to legitimately educate athletes in the wake of UNC’s academic scandal. How the 2005 UNC basketball champions benefited from the academic fraud.
  • The NCAA has concluded its investigation into Syracuse’s athletics violations.
  • Should the NCAA allow convicted felons to play college sports?
  • Ken Starr defends the NCAA’s amateurism model.
  • More universities move to offer 4-year scholarships: how will it change the college athletics landscape and affect recruiting?
  • Smriti Sinha takes on the NCAA for its failure to insure college athletes.
  • Read the settlement agreement between the University of Michigan and former athletic director Dave Brandon here.


  • An attorney for Alex Rodriguez stated that Rodriguez admitted his steroid use to DEA investigators in connection with the Biogenesis scandal. Eric Macramalla examines whether the Yankees can cut A-Rod. Michael McCann analyzes the legal fallout from Alex Rodriguez’s record suspension.
  • The Miami Herald reports that Ryan Braun and other players received immunity from federal prosecutors in exchange for their testimony in the Biogenesis investigation.
  • A bit of sports history: a secret brotherhood, a trip to Egypt, and the narrow survival of the National League.


  • John Brennan summarizes the four latest sports betting briefs in New Jersey.
  • Marc Edelman says the NFL is running out of time to define “sports gambling” on its own terms.
  • Darren Heitner on the long battle for sports betting.


  • The latest on the dispute between Larry Sanders’ basketball agents.


  • FIFA faces problems with corporate sponsors following corruption
  • Why female professional soccer players will likely fail in their lawsuit demanding to play on natural grass. McCann’s analysis here.  In any case, politicians are now involved with 13 U.S. senators requesting that natural grass be used for the Women’s World Cup.


  • PGA golfer Dustin Johnson has filed suit against a Georgia law firm alleging the firm’s attorneys stole $3 million from him as part of a larger theft and embezzlement scheme.


  • South African prosecutors have appealed Oscar Pistorius’s verdict and sentence in an attempt to convict him of a more serious crime requiring a longer sentence for the shooting death of his girlfriend.
  • The IRS has updated its regulations on the taxation of foreign athletes and entertainers.
  • An overview of concussion protocols across professional sports leagues.
  • Italian tennis player Daniele Bracciali partially admitted to match-fixing during a corruption hearing last week.


  • A new class action lawsuit against the WWE alleges the wrestling entertainment company knowingly subjected wrestlers to concussions and brain damage.
  • The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the WWE can seize counterfeit merchandise under trademark law. Opinion here.

Sports Media

  • Tulane Sports Law’s Gabe Feldman, attorney-turned-basketball analyst Jay Bilas, and Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand are among Sports Illustrated’s Twitter 100.
  • Sports Law Podcast of the Week: Outside the Lines on Ray Rice’s appeal.

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