Sports Law Links

Each week, The Sports Esquires round up the top stories in sports law to keep you informed about what’s happening behind the scenes with players, teams, and leagues.

NCAA

  • A new report has revealed that the academic scandal surrounding the University of North Carolina’s athletic program was more pervasive than previously reported, involving about 3,100 students enrolled in a “shadow curriculum.” Here’s the full report.  Briefer highlights of the report here.
  • College athletes filed suit against the NCAA alleging the NCAA violates the minimum wage requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, arguing that athletes meet the criteria for recognition as temporary university employees and comparing them to participants in work study employment programs. Complaint here.
  • The University of Georgia announced it will apply for the reinstatement of star running back Todd Gurley, who was suspended indefinitely after reports that he received financial compensation for signing autographs.
  • Oklahoma State filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against New Mexico State alleging that New Mexico State used a “confusingly similar” mascot to Oklahoma State’s trademarked mascot, Pistol Pete.
  • Lawyers for former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon have requested $50.2 million in fees for their work on O’Bannon’s successful challenge of the NCAA.
  • Following Judge Claudia Wilken’s ruling in the O’Bannon case, the University of Texas will begin paying each of its athletes $10,000 per year to cover cost of attendance and likeness rights.

NFL

  • Former U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones ruled that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell must testify in Ray Rice’s appeal of his indefinite suspension.  Jones, the arbitrator hearing Rice’s appeal, will also hear testimony from NFLPA attorney Heather McPhee, Ravens president Dick Cass, Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome, NFL executives Jeff Pash and Adolpho Birch, and Rice himself.  Goodell may face questions from attorneys Jeffrey Kessler and Peter Ginsberg.  The hearing is scheduled for November 5 and 6.  Michael McCann analyzes the potential implications of Goodell’s testimony on video.
  • Rice has also filed a formal grievance against the Ravens for wrongful termination under Article 46 of the NFL CBA, which prohibits an NFL player from receiving more than one punishment for a single rule violation.  Our own Andrew Sensi analyzed Rice’s appeal here.

NBA

  • NBA owners rejected a proposal to reform the NBA’s draft lottery process on Wednesday.  A significant part of the reform was designed to discourage tanking by adjusting the odds of bad teams getting the top pick.

Gambling

  • On Tuesday, the four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA sought a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent New Jersey’s Monmouth Park Racetrack from offering sports wagering beginning this Sunday. Here’s the memo in support of the request.  Daniel Wallach offered his analysis on the strategy.
  • On Wednesday, attorney Ted Olson responded to the leagues’ motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction on behalf of New Jersey Governor Christie. Highlights of the response here.