Friday , December 23 2016
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Sports Law Links

As usual, NFL scandals dominate the sports law world. But don’t miss the fascinating soccer stories and in-depth coverage of match-fixing issues in this week’s edition of Sports Law Links.


  • Breaking down Deflategate: The NFL’s initial Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s statement.  The protocols involved.  Michael McCann on how the NFL will respond.  How the Patriots responded.  The legal implications of Belichick’s comments.  This isn’t the first time.  Equipment tampering in other sports.  The response from football manufacturer Wilson.
  • The Benson Saga: Saints owner Tom Benson alters succession plan. His disinherited family members filed suit to declare him mentally unfit and issued a statement maintaining Benson was coerced.  The full petition for interdiction.  Exhibits and other filings (including Benson’s disinheritance letter and the TRO ordered against Benson).  The family power struggle.  Why Benson’s gambit could fail.  Why the lawsuit against Benson won’t be easy.  The NFL’s role in the succession plan.
  • Robert Tomback on the key legal issues facing a London franchise for the NFL: Part I and Part II.
  • Michael McCann previews the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez. The jury selection is finished.
  • The NFLPA has filed a grievance against the NFL challenging the league’s new personal conduct policy.
  • A review of the past year of NFL-related intellectual property litigation.
  • The risk of opting out of the concussion lawsuit settlement.
  • The U.S. Treasury Department issued a warning about money laundering as Super Bowl betting ramps up. More on the feds’ pressuring casinos over sports betting.
  • The FBI has arrested NFL agent Vincent Porter and Financial Adviser Joseph Vaccaro for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
  • Boom: Seahawks attempt to trademark everything, including the number “12.”
  • A blunder-proof brand: can anything hurt the NFL?


  • The NCAA is investigating academic fraud at 20 colleges.
  • The mixed financial landscape of NCAA athletic programs.
  • The O’Bannon plaintiffs reply to the NCAA’s appeal. Their full brief is here.  Thanks to Andy Schwarz, the full public filing of all plaintiff documents is here.
  • A new bill in the Mississippi state legislature would compel the state’s FBS programs to escrow 33% of bowl revenue in order to pay players after they’ve exhausted their NCAA eligibility.
  • Is this the future of booster donations or another regulatory headache?
  • ESPN has sued Notre Dame for refusing to disclose records.
  • Fans funding college athletes: an introduction to FanPay.
  • California schools are altering the way coaches are compensated based on player performance.
  • Two former NCAA athletes have filed suit against UNC for failing to provide academically sound McCann and Wertheim on the suit.  More from Jon Solomon.  Here’s the full complaint.
  • Judge rules against Texas coach in contract dispute with Oklahoma State.
  • Some updates on recent NCAA litigation.


  • The Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court’s dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit against MLB. Will the Supreme Court get involved?
  • Biogenesis founder Anthony Bosch must turn over documents relating to payments from MLB.
  • A group of Wrigley rooftop businesses have sued the Chicago Cubs for violating terms of its revenue-sharing contract and for creating a price-fixing scheme to monopolize the market for game tickets.
  • The Yankees are attempting to fight Alex Rodriguez over contract bonuses.
  • The National Baseball Arbitration Competition takes place this week. Read the briefs, see the team power rankings, and get all the information on the competition here.


  • MLS and MLSPA “extremely far apart” on new CBA talks.
  • Mike Jarosi argues MLS free agency is incompatible with the single entity.
  • The group of female soccer players suing over artificial turf fields used at this year’s World Cup has withdrawn its complaint.
  • Writing the Premier League Rule Book – an interview with EPL’s Director of Governance.
  • FIFA is investigating Real Madrid over signing minors.
  • The U.S. Women’s National Team has suspended Hope Solo.

Best of the Rest

  • Is this the future of refereeing? The NHL reaches agreement with GoPro.
  • The Court of Arbitration’s bulletin of recent “leading cases,” including Luis Suarez v. FIFA.
  • Asser’s report on the odds of match-fixing and Kevin Carpenter’s thoughts on how to combat it.
  • The PGA Tour has suspended Bhavik Patel one year for a PED violation.
  • Nike sued over its Michael Jordan “Jumpman” logo.
  • EA Sports has been sued for infringing on a sports statistics patent.
  • Property rights contextualized with sports.

About Ian Gunn

Ian is a New Orleans attorney and a 2014 graduate of Tulane University Law School with a certificate in sports law. Before practicing law, he worked for the legal departments of the New Orleans Saints, the New Orleans Pelicans, and the San Antonio Spurs. He also interned for a player representation agency and an international stadium management company. At Tulane, he served as the Editor in Chief of The Sports Lawyers Journal, Senior Managing Editor of The Sports Lawyer, and as an officer for the Sports Law Society. Prior to attending Tulane, Ian graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in philosophy, B.S. in psychology, and minor in political science.

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