Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

Seventh Circuit Hears Arguments from Rooftop Owners over Cubs Blocking Stadium Sight Lines

The ongoing legal battle between the Chicago Cubs and the owners of the iconic rooftops near Wrigley Field entered extra innings on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. The two teams fielded their heavy hitters for arguments in front of the Seventh Circuit over whether the Cubs broke a contractual duty in blocking the stadium sight lines from the rooftops. In 2004, both sides agreed to a 20-year contract in which the Cubs would not block for obstruct the views from the roofs and each rooftop owner…

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Forward Progress: Personal Injury Suits against Helmet Maker Moving Forward

After a delay and the conclusion of the NFL concussion litigation, the 95 personal injury suits against Riddell, the former official helmet supplier for the NFL, are moving forward. On May 18, 2017, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, a Pennsylvania federal court judge, issued a scheduling order for the claims against Riddell. Some of these suits were initially brought in 2012 and were later separated from the multidistrict concussion suit filed by ex-NFL players or their families. A suit against Riddell by NCAA football players…

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Professional Gamers Scheduled to Participate in NBA Esports League

Two months ago, esports league and Take-Two Interactive announced they were creating a competitive esports league centered on Take-Two’s popular NBA 2k video game. Since that announcement, 17 NBA teams have agreed that they would participate in the NBA 2k esports league’s inaugural season, which is set to debut in 2018. The creation of the league is notable in that it will be the first esports league that is run by a U.S. professional sports organization. Currently, the season is set to debut with esports…

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Will NFL Players Begin Wearing Tech on Uniforms?

The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) stated that its newly unveiled business accelerator has entered into an agreement with Whoop Inc., which will provide players with fitness tracking devices that they can wear. Notably, the deals allows players to retain ownership of the data they collect. As background, OneTeam Collective, a business incubator launched by the players union in December to help emerging sports-related companies grow by leveraging the licensing rights and advice of pro athletes. According to the NFLPA, the deal ensures…

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Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Former-NCAA Champions’ Likeness Suit

The Ninth Circuit has affirmed the dismissal of the lawsuit of two former college basketball players against a website that sold official NCAA photos, as the website’s rights under federal copyright law preempted the players’ publicity rights. As background, two former Division III college basketball players, Patrick Maloney and Tim Judge, sued T3Media in June, 2014 regarding the Website’s deal with the NCAA to host and license the League’s photos. Maloney and Judge were part of the 2001 NCAA championship team — Catholic University.…

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Another Sports Concussion Suit: NHL Enforcer Sues Various NHL Teams and Insurer

Mike Peluso, a former NHL enforcer, slapped the New Jersey Devils, St. Louis Blues, and an insurer with a lawsuit, is maintaining that a “newly discovered” medical report proves the teams were aware of the risks associated with head injuries, and nevertheless, continued to encourage him to play and fight. According to Peluso, he has played in over 450 games as an enforcer — a position with the primary purpose of agitating opponents and getting into fights in order to shield the skilled players…

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NFL Concussion Litigation Settlement Results in a Flurry of Objections

The five-year NFL concussion litigation finally came to a conclusion when a settlement was reached, however, while the court has given final approvals regarding several objections and opening the registration for all class members, lingering issues still remain regarding the allocation of attorneys’ fees, as counsel for thousands of class members are scrambling to take their fair share. The concussion litigation settlement established a bottomless fund over a sixty-five year period to compensate a class of over 20,000 former NFL players. The deal offered…

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Former NIU Punter Appeals Validity of Transfer Rule to the Seventh Circuit

Peter Deppe, a former punter for Northern Illinois University (NIU), has filed a notice of appeal that challenges an Indiana Federal Court’s dismissal of his antitrust claim regarding the NCAA rule forcing student-athletes who transfer universities to sit out for a year before returning to play for the new school. As background, Deppe was originally recruited as a walk-on punter by NIU in 2014. Deppe’s complaint alleged that he was redshirted and told by the coaches that he would receive a scholarship and become…

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University of Richmond Student-Athletes Suspended for Wagering Reinstated

The University of Richmond announced that it will reinstate the five baseball players who were suspended this season for potential NCAA violations, as it now appears that the players wagered on sports games—not fantasy sports—as initially reported. NCAA rules prohibit student-athletes from engaging in any “sports wagering activities or provid[ing] information to individuals involved or associated with any types of sports wagering activities.”  This may include “internet sports wagering” and pay-to-play “fantasy leagues.” Student-athletes found in violation of these rules are ineligible from playing time…

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Former NFL Agent Pleads Guilty to Bribing Former UNC Players

Former NFL agent, Terry Watson, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of athlete-agent inducement for providing nearly $24,000 in cash to former UNC and current NFL players Robert Quinn, Marvin Austin, and Greg Little in 2010. Watson entered his plea deal on Monday, April 17, which concluded the more than three-year-old felony charges. The terms of his plea deal include 30 months of probation, a $5000 fine, and a suspended six to eight month jail sentence. A felony obstruction of justice charge for not providing records…

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