Orioles and Nationals’ T.V. Court Battle

By: Joshua Calo, Novevmber 26, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfyurasko/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wfyurasko/

In early October 2014, fans, analysts, and players excitedly discussed the possibility of a “Beltway World Series” between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles. While neither team ultimately advanced to baseball’s fall classic, baseball fans still have the opportunity to observe the local rivals in a different type of matchup. In July 2014, the Orioles and Nationals filed cross-petitions with a New York trial court in a legal battle over licensing fees for the Nationals’ television broadcasting rights.

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What the Sayreville Hazing Scandal Says About Locker Room Culture

By Ian Forster, October 19, 2014

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dsyzdek/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dsyzdek/

The Sayreville Bombers’ football season has been cancelled in the wake of team hazing allegations.  The accusations rocked the New Jersey high school and the Middlesex County community, a community passionate about its historically strong football team.  There will be no Homecoming game, no Senior Night, and no celebratory lap around the field for players this season.

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Hope Solo: The Conversation We Need to Have


By Jacquelyn Herder on 10/09/14

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/n_miller/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/n_miller/

During the past few weeks, headlines have been filled with declarations, accusations, mea culpas, and the opinions of sports commentators, figures, and fans speaking out about the recent accusations of domestic violence against NFL players. At the forefront of most headlines is the National Football League (NFL) with Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and a slew of football players who have been “exposed” as domestic abusers. The NFL has imposed sanctions on the players as some of them await legal ramifications, and the public outcry has been substantial and profound.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: How the NFL Celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Violence Against Women Act


By Azadeh Erfani on 10/06/14

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncai/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncai/


It is an understatement to say that the National Football League (NFL) has had a shaky response to domestic violence allegations. Since Commissioner Roger Goodell began his tenure in 2006, fifty-six players have faced domestic violence related charges. Goodell’s overall response was mild to say the least—with a total of thirteen game suspensions.


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Dribbling Circles Around FIFA: How F.C. Barcelona and Luis Suarez Got Around FIFA Sanctions

By Patrick Doughty on 10/01/14

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/montannito/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/montannito/

This summer, a soccer club prohibited from signing players signed a player who was prohibited from playing soccer. Perennial Spanish soccer power, F.C. Barcelona (Barça) of Spain’s La Liga, purchased the rights to the sensational striker Luis Suarez from Liverpool F.C. of the English Premier League for £75 million.

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Roger Goodell on the Chopping Block? Don’t Count On It

By Nicholas Gregory on 09/19/14


Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zennie62/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/zennie62/

In the wake of the recent Ray Rice video firestorm, some have called for the thirty-two National Football League (NFL) owners to sack their most powerful employee, Commissioner Roger Goodell, for mishandling the Rice incident.[i]  Goodell may have fumbled the NFL’s reputation by initially giving Rice a lenient two game suspension, but do not expect the owners to come calling for his playbook.

While commissioners play a powerful role in the management of their respective leagues, they are ultimately employees of the team owners, who have the authority to fire the commissioner if the commissioner takes actions contrary to the leagues’ best interests.[ii] Like most employees, commissioners enjoy a heightened sense of job security when they are helping their employers enjoy financial success.    Continue Reading –>

FIFA Must Stop Playing Head Games

By: Heather MacGillivray on August 4, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60278244@N00/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60278244@N00/

Sport concussions have been a major issue in recent years. On July 7, 2014, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody preliminarily approved the settlement between the National Football League (NFL) and the class of former players who suffered the effects of concussions.

The revised settlement has no cap on overall compensation for former players and pays former players depending on their age and condition. Despite the settlement’s approval, concussions remain a serious issue. In professional soccer, a number of injuries in the recent Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup moved the issue further into the spotlight.

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Center’s Official Legal Memo on Proposed NCAA Concussion Settlement

By: Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law
Andrew Brandt, Director
Samantha Epstein, Fellow


On July 29, 2014, the NCAA reached a $70 million settlement in the several concussion-related class action suits in which it has been named since 2011. The settlement comes less than a month after U.S. District Judge Anita Brody granted preliminary approval to the NFL’s historic settlement, compensating thousands of former NFL players for concussion related claims.

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The Almighty FIFA and Brazil’s Great Concessions

By: Anna Haslinsky on July 28, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/felipequintanilha/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/felipequintanilha/


Every four years, people across the globe are glued to the television over the world’s single largest sporting event, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) World Cup.  This summer, excitement reached new heights when an unprecedented 24.7 million Americans tuned in to watch the United States and Portugal match, while only eighteen million watched the 2014 NBA finals.


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Dodgers’ Security Fails, Liability Ensues

By: Meghan Price on July 27, 2014

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brendan-c/

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/brendan-c/

Three years ago on Opening Day, two Los Angeles Dodgers fans brutally beat a San Francisco Giants fan outside of Dodger Stadium.

The attack led to a civil suit in which the jury recently awarded the victim, Bryan Stow, an $18 million verdict in damages.


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The Buffalo Jill’s Employment Claims: the Future of NFL Cheerleaders

By: Mary Meghan Balkin on July 15, 2014

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/domit/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/domit/

National Football League (“NFL”) cheerleaders have been part of the professional football experience for years. The Buffalo Jills, the affectionately named cheerleading squad for the Buffalo Bills, joined the Bills “team” in 1967. Two decades later, in 1986, the Jills became its own separate entity.

On April 22, 2014, the relationship went sour when five former Buffalo Jills filed suit against the Buffalo Bills, Inc. and the Jills’ owners, Citadel Communications (“Citadel”) and Stejon Productions Corporation (“Stejon”). The women claim that the companies violated New York State employment laws and maintained a harassing work environment.

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The Name of the Game: Washington Redskins Keep Moniker, Lose Trademark

By: Katherine Oaks on July 3, 2014

Photo credit: Chris Staley https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmstaley/

Photo credit: Chris Staley https://www.flickr.com/photos/cmstaley/


On June 17, 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademark registration belonging to the Washington Redskins for the team’s name. While this decision appears to manifest decades’ worth of efforts to derail socially accepted racial slurs and derogatory labels, the true impact falls pitifully short of the name change petitioners and advocates are fighting for.


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Settling a Storm: How Schools Should Address Fans Storming the Court

By: Katherine Tohanczyn on March 19, 2014

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/32862893@N04/

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/32862893@N04/

In light of the recent slew of upsets in this year’s NCAA tournament, Katherine Tohanczyn examines the attitudes of coaches, fans, players, and school officials regarding the practice of storming the court.  The NCAA has recently increased penalties for schools whose fans violate the ban of fans rushing onto the court after a home team upset.  Will these penalties be sufficient to thwart this practice, thereby better securing player and fan safety?


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Cursing, Concussions, and Children: The Real Problem with “Friday Night Tykes”

By:  Meghan Price on February 24, 2014

Pop Warner football players

  The newly-launched Esquire Network’s primetime reality show, Friday Night Tykes,  shows hard-headed coaches in the football haven of Texas pushing their preteen players in practice and games as if they are legitimate NFL prospects.  Recently, two coaches were suspended from their positions for behavior caught on camera.  This raises the qu

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NFL, Are You Ready For Some… Medical Marijuana?

Photo Credit:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/janellie23/

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/janellie23/

 By:  John Becker on February 4, 2014

The most recent Superbowl featured a matchup between the two NFL teams from the states that most recently legalized recreational marijuana.  The NFL purports to have both the goal of remaining apolitical and enhancing player safety.  How will the NFL handle medical marijuana used by players as an alternative to more addictive and dangerous painkillers?


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MLB Drops an A-Bomb on A-Rod

Photo Credit:  flickr.com/photos/keithallison

Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/keithallison




New York Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez recently received a 211 game suspension for his involvement in the most recent performance-enhancing drug scandal.  After an appeal of this suspension and arbitration, the veteran slugger received a reduced suspension for the 2014-2015 season.  Considering his age, this may be one of Rodriguez’s seasons.

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Texas Coach Celebrates Dropped Bullying Charges Instead Of 91-0 Win

By:  Mia Rosati on October 27, 2013

Texas HS football game

Image Courtesy: http://www.flickr.com/photos/christianspenceranderson/

Can a parent of a high school football player really sue the coach of an opposing team for bullying after a devastating win?  Is the courtroom really the place to settle this kind of matter?  A Texas coach was able to breathe a sigh of relief this week after bullying charges based on his team’s performance were dropped .


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NFL Sues Musician M.I.A, for “Obscene Gesture” During Super Bowl Halftime Performance: NFL’s Claimed Damages Appear to be M.I.A.

By:  Matthew Boyd on October 12, 2013

M.I.A. performing

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/whittlz/


The NFL Super Bowl halftime show has seen its fair share of scandal and controversy over the years, but recently, an all but unnoticed  profane gesture by singer-songwriter M.I.A has precipitated a lawsuit from the NFL claiming $1.5M in damages for breach of contract.  The NFL alleges that the performer breached provisions that stipulated she comport herself in a manner consistent with the league’s reputation.  The evidence of actual damages from M.I.A.’s gesture, however, are missing in action.

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Whose Tattoo?  Tattoo Copyright labeled “Pressing Issue” by NFL Player’s Association

By:  Angela Brosnan on September 17, 2013

Aaron Hernandez's Tattoos

Photo Credit: Aaron Frutman http://www.flickr.com/photos/34495711@N06/


NFL players are quickly becoming larger than life.  They have cameos in hit television series and movies and are perfectly modeled in popular video games such as EA Sports’ Madden series.  However, as player likeness proliferates, an important and interesting intellectual property question is raised:  Who owns the rights to the designs that so many of the players ink onto their bodies?

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That’s Not Foul – MLB Agrees to Expand Instant Replay in 2014 

By:  Matthew Cali on September 12, 2013

MLB instant replay screen capture

Photo Credit: Keith Allison

The MLB, due to popular demand, has proposed a new instant replay system for the 2014 season that more closely mirrors the system used by the NFL.  Unfortunately the proposed system seems to be more of a half-step to a full instant replay system that will slow the game and change the challenges faced by the baseball team manager.  Our Editor-in-Chief, Matthew Cali, argues that the MLB should abandon this proposal and implement a full “booth review” system.

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EA Sports: If It’s In the Game, It’s In the Courtroom

By:  Benjamin Bolas on August 26, 2013

EA sports NCAA game kit

Photo Credit: Esperino.com


Game development company Electronic Arts’ subdivision EA Sports is known for its wide range of genre-leading sports video games with giant titles like Madden, EA Sports FIFA, EA Sports NHL, and EA Sports NCAA.  Recently, however, EA has hit a rough patch, being party to several major lawsuits and losing a major contract with the NCAA to use the likeness of college football players.

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Double or Nothing:  How New Jersey Can Beat the Spread in National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Christie

By:  Joseph Catuzzi with an introduction by Matthew Cali

Las Vegas Sportsbook

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roundnoon/


The state of New Jersey is in a legal battle with multiple sports leagues regarding a long standing federal law that prohibits sports betting in 46 of the 50 united states.  Guest writer Joseph Catuzzi, currently interning for the U.S. Attorney General’s office in New Jersey gives his opinion on the developing high-profile litigation.

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NFL Sidelines Obamacare Advertising Invitation

By Francis Baker on July 24, 2013

Houston Texans Sideline

Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dskillzhtown/

In an attempt to promote the upcoming opening of health insurance exchanges on October 1, 2013 pursuant to the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration approached the National Football League to solicit a promotional partnership.  After political influence and contemplation, the NFL declined to promote the sweeping new health law.  Other leagues, such as the NBA, have been approached to promote the reform as well.  The NFL’s disinclination to promote the politically volatile law may dictate future decisions by professional sports leagues and may complicate how the administration raises awareness for the change.

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By Brittany Waters on June 28, 2013

Madrid 2020 Olympic meeting photo

IOC meeting for Madrid’s 2020 Olympic Bid.
Photo Credit: Portaldelsur.es http://www.flickr.com/photos/portaldelsur/

The city of Madrid, in competition with Istanbul and Tokyo, instituted new anti-doping and PED laws to help buck its reputation of being too lax with enforcing regulations.  The new laws comply with all IOC requirements and improve Spain’s chances of hosting the summer games in 2020.





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By Scott Edelstein, Esq. and Karl Nobert, Esq. of Squire Sanders on April 28, 2013

Recently, the New York Times reported upon a decision by the National Football League to expand league-wide a 2012 pilot program involving the use of a post-injury sideline assessment tool.  The expanded program will permit all team physicians and trainers to use the assessment tool, which is composed of an iPad and a downloadable App (“NFL Concussion App”) to compare a player’s personal pre-season baseline and post-injury test results on a side-by-side basis in real time. . . .

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By Thomas Elliot on April 11, 2013

Established in 1910, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) purports to protect today’s student-athletes from exploitation.  The NCAA has little control over how member institutions run their athletic departments, but maintains almost exclusive control over eligibility guidelines for student-athletes.  These eligibility standards control not only potential student-athletes deciding which school to attend, but also controls enrolled student-athletes competing interscholastically. . . .

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Will Golf Survive Another Drought?

By Seth W. Hiller, on April 2, 2013
Since the economic downturn in 2008, the formerly booming golf industry saw large declines in the number of people playing golf and the number of new courses being developed.  Despite the downturn, there are still over 15,000 golf courses in the United States, covering an area the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.  Golf courses are notoriously thirsty consumers of water, and recent droughts have put an additional strain on the already struggling golf industry. . . .

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Pink Concussions

The mission of Pink Concussions.com PinkConcussions.com is to highlight what is known about female concussions, list resources, and share women’s personal experiences with head injury.  The goal is to encourage more research on the vulnerability, the causes of injury and the delay in recovery time for females of all ages. . . .


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The 2013 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium—Concussion Conundrum—explores, debates, and informs on the key issues facing players, teams, leagues, doctors, and lawyers regarding head injuries and brain trauma in sports. . . .

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Subsidizing Billionaires: How Your Money is Being Used to Construct Professional Sports Stadiums

By Tim Kianka on March 6, 2013

Professional sports franchises receive public funding and tax subsidies from all levels of government, including the federal government, state governments, county governments, and local governments. The use of taxpayer money to fund the construction of professional sports stadiums has a long and controversial history. . . .

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With the “One and Done” Rule, the NBA and NCAA Benefit While Players Lose

By Andrew Knox on February 26, 2013
On February 12, Kentucky basketball player Nerlens Noel collided with the base of a basketball hoop in a game against Florida, tearing his ACL and ending his season.  While the timetable for recovery can be anywhere from six months to a year, Noel’s draft stock could suffer an unrecoverable injury. . . .

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New Study Likely to Prove Key Development in Concussion Lawsuits

By Sara Lewis on February 17, 2013

On January 22, 2013, the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry published the harrowing findings of a UCLA study on brain damage in living NFL football players, specifically chronic traumatic encephalopathy (“CTE”). Funded by groups researching the impact of concussions including the Brain Injury Research Institute, the study marks a significant breakthrough in brain injury research of athletes in high-contract sports.  Living players now have the opportunity to see and understand the actual damage to their brains, whereas in the past such effects could only be seen after death. . . .

Keeping Up the Lies: How Lance Armstrong’s Past Will Come Back to Haunt Him After His Appearance on Oprah

By: Robert B. Gardner on February 10, 2013

While largely overshadowed by Manti Te’o’s fake girlfriend, Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey airing on January 17, 2013 marked the end of an era for an American hero.  By the time Armstrong interviewed with Oprah, the public was already accepting his guilt.  The journey began in 1997, when Armstrong set up his Livestrong foundation after recovering from testicular cancer.  Despite testing positive for a banned substance, Armstrong won his first Tour de France in 1999. . . .


No Pumping Iron for Prosecutors: Arkansas Attorney General Recommends Against Use of Public Funds for Attorneys’ Gym Memberships

By: Heather Mandelkehr on February 3, 2013


In November 2012, the Arkansas Attorney General put a stop to a practice uncovered by a state legislative audit – the use of public forfeiture funds to pay athletic facility membership fees for prosecutors and other law enforcement personnel.  The Attorney General’s opinion came in response to an inquiry from state Sen. Bill Pritchard and state Rep. Tim Summers, who serve as chairmen of the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee for the Arkansas legislature. . . .

Take a Hike! Why the NFL Shouldn’t Enjoy Tax-Exempt Status

By Aarthi Manohar on January 12, 2013
When most people think of non-profits, names like The Salvation Army and The American Red Cross are likely come to mind.  Therefore, it might come as a surprise to hear that major league sports associations like the NFL, the NHL, and the PGA are also non-profit organizations.  The NFL, for example, is classified as a 501(c)(6) organization with the IRS, which means that it is a federal, non-profit, tax-exempt entity.  In other words, the NFL is not required to pay taxes on any revenue it takes in, putting it on a similar plane as organizations like the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. . . .

Brooklyn Keeps on Takin’ It and Seattle Keeps on Payin’ For It: Nets, Sonics and the “Public Purpose” Doctrine

By Sekou Campbell, Associate at Fox Rothschild on January 5, 2013

Seattle hedge fund magnate, Chris Hansen, demonstrates that condemnation is not as necessary an evil for urban development as described here.  Chris Hansen has committed to develop a new sports arena for an NBA franchise in Seattle, filling the void left by the now Oklahoma City Thunder.  Hansen purchased rather than “took” all necessary land for his development project.  His project serves as an interesting counterpoint to the Atlantic Yards development project, home of the Brooklyn Nets, because Washington and New York are two states that maintain the broad power to transfer private property to a private developer for a “public purpose” permitted after Kelo.


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Sports Law Publications

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2013 Villanova Sports Law Symposium

In March of 2013, the Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal held its annual symposium titled "Concussion Conundrum", about the many aspects of concussion in sport. Speakers included Brian Westbrook, Taylor Twellman, and Peter Keating. View the videos of this event here.


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