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Avi Sommer

Avi is an attorney for Under Armour primarily working with endorsements and brand management. He spent 2014 working for the Boston Red Sox in a Player Development & Professional Scouting role and, prior to that, he was a commercial litigation associate in a Baltimore law firm. He has wide-ranging professional experience in the sports world. Aside from the Red Sox, he has previously worked for the San Antonio Spurs, the National Football League, and the Baltimore Orioles. His writings have been published in the Sports Lawyers Journal and The Sports Lawyer. Avi graduated Cum Laude from Tulane University Law School with a certificate in Sports Law in 2012, after graduating with Honors from the University of Rochester in 2008 with a B.A. in History and Political Science.

The NFL Is Still Safe At Home

The FCC’s repeal of its Sports Blackout Rules was merely grandstanding and has no tangible effect. However, it does signal a public recognition that the four major sports leagues –primarily the NFL because it benefits the most from blackout – no longer need a government crutch to operate and remain profitable. The only way real progress could be made on this issue is if Congress repealed the antitrust immunity granted to home blackouts. Then and only then would the NFL and its broadcast partners alter the current blackout policy in order to avoid the black cloud of treble damages an antitrust suit brought by fans, bars, local networks, and advertisers alike would bring.

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The Ray Rice Fallout

The entire situation involving Ray Rice is extremely sad. In the last 72 hours, everyone – and I do mean everyone – has asked if the Ravens and the NFL saw TMZ’s video of the incident inside the elevator prior to its public release. That’s the wrong question. The right question is – What did the Ravens and the NFL expect to see? The way the League handled – or mishandled if you prefer – the Ray Rice situation is Exhibit A for the problems with the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Everything about the Ray Rice situation has been upsetting, but hopefully this negative can be transformed into a positive by addressing the endemic issue of domestic violence.

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King of the Jungle, or at least the Trade Deadline

Why the Detroit Tigers are the winners of this year’s MLB Non-Waiver Trade Deadline, and General Manager Dave Dombrowski is the most adept baseball executive in putting together a deal

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Drafting Tommy John

There has been a rash of Tommy John surgeries in Major League Baseball this year. What do teams need to consider when drafting a collegiate or high school pitcher who has torn his UCL?

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Drafting for the Bottom Line

The revamped rookie wage scale implemented under the current NFL collective bargaining agreement allows business incentives to influence draft choices. When first round draft picks were walking away with signing bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars this would not have been possible. The financial impact of a rookie would have done little to offset their contractual demands. But things have changed. Theoretically, if the average price of the 2,300 season tickets the Browns have sold since drafting Manziel is $1,000 then the financial impact of drafting him is approximately $2.3 million. This amounts to more than 25% of the approximate rookie contract Manziel will sign covering his first four years in the League. Perhaps in the near future teams will not only commission a study on the analytics of potential draft picks but their economic impact as well.

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A Return to the Past?

Stan Kroenke, Owner of the St. Louis Rams recently purchased real estate in Los Angeles. Does it signal the Rams return to L.A.? If so, what are the hoops and hurdles that must be jumped through and over in order for the original L.A. football team to return?

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The Emergence of the Qualifying Offer as a Legitimate Roster Building Tool and Salary Constraint – Part 1

Part I – The Impact of the Qualifying Offer: With five players who declined Qualifying Offers still unsigned as of MLK Day, there is no debate that the Qualifying Offer has cooled the hot stove down to a steady simmer. When Major League Baseball adopted the Qualifying Offer in 2012 …

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