Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

NCAA Agrees to Mediate Concussion Claims

Former federal judge Layn Phillips is heading back to mediation with parties over concussion claims.  This time he will preside over claims by former college football players against the NCAA. The suit was filed two years ago by former Eastern Illinois player Adrian Arrington and three others.  Arrington, now 27, suffers from seizures that he alleges are a product of repeated head trauma suffered while playing as a defensive back.  The players, who are seeking class action status, are asking for unspecified money damages, long…

Continue Reading....

EA & CLC No Longer “In the Game” With College Athletes

After a long legal battle with college athletes, Electronic Arts (EA) and the Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) are calling it quits.  On September 26, 2013, the companies announced that they reached a settlement agreement with the former college athletes.  If the judge approves the settlement, the NCAA will be forced to defend the suits on its own. Four years ago, former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon filed a lawsuit against the NCAA, EA, and CLC focusing on college athletes’ rights and compensation.  O’Bannon sought…

Continue Reading....

Armstrong Faces Uphill Battle Against US Justice Department’s Lawsuit

In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s doping confession, the tide is still not settled. On Monday, September 23, 2013, the US Department of Justice, on behalf of the US Postal Service, urged a federal judge to allow the government’s fraud lawsuit against Armstrong to continue. In January 2013, the Toure de France “winner” confessed to using performing enhancing drugs in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey.  The confession was “arguably the greatest fraud in the history of professional sports,” according to a government filing. In…

Continue Reading....

Eighth Circuit Retires Former Player’s Claims Against NFLPA

On September 23, 2013, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a decision that rejected NFL retirees’ claims against the NFL Players Association (NFLPA).  The retirees alleged that they were wrongfully excluded from settlement negotiations during the 2011 NFL lockout.  As a result, they claimed they lost out on at least $600 million in benefits. Two lawsuits were filed during the lockout.  One suit was brought by active players against the NFL and the other by retired players against the NFL and its teams.  Since…

Continue Reading....

New Jersey’s Sports Betting Law Is Dealt Another Blow

New Jersey’s wager to legalize sports gambling was struck down by the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. On September 17, 2013, the federal court ruled that New Jersey’s betting law conflicts with the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA restricts sports betting in all but four states: Nevada, Delaware, Montana, and Oregon. New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie, signed the sports-betting law in January 2012. The law permits betting on professional and college sports at racetracks and Atlantic City casinos. Bets would…

Continue Reading....

Judge Orders NFL Retirees to Drop Two Cases

A U.S. District Judge in Minnesota dismissed two new cases relating to the publicity rights of NFL retirees.  On September 6, 2013, the judge said the cases were filed too early and violated the terms of an earlier order. The two cases arose out of unhappiness with a settlement in an earlier case.  In that case, ex-players alleged that the NFL wrongfully used their likenesses in marketing materials.  On April 8, 2013, a settlement was preliminarily approved for the dispute.  According to the settlement, a…

Continue Reading....

Parents Television Council Wishes MTV & Miley Really Would Stop

The Parents Television Council (PTC) was not impressed with MTV’s annual Video Music Awards show (VMAs). The conservative watchdog group, known for its protests against various television programs, blasted the Viacom-owned cable network for its raunchy telecast on that premiered on August 25, 2013. This time, the PTC is protesting former child star Miley Cyrus’ performance on the 2013 VMAs that included sexually suggestive conduct. The one-time Disney star repeatedly grabbed her crotch and “dry-humped” singer Robin Thicke, as he sang his hit song “Blurred…

Continue Reading....

NFL Settles for $765 Million in Concussion-Related Lawsuits

The National Football League has agreed to settle the massive class action litigation brought against it by more than 4,500 former football players who alleged that the league intentionally downplayed the risks of concussion-related head injuries and their long-term effects on cognitive decline. Former United States District Judge Layn Phillips, the court-appointed mediator, announced that the NFL will contribute $765 million to provide medical benefits and injury compensation for retired NFL players. The settlement will also pay for medical and safety research, and cover litigation…

Continue Reading....

Score One for the Good Guys: NCAA Reverses Decision Banning Former Marine from the Field

The NCAA has reversed its previous decision that prevented former U.S. Marine Sergeant Steven Rhodes from playing football this season.  The original story can be read here.  But, thanks to a massive outpouring of support and publicity, the NCAA now says that Rhodes can play immediately. The original decision caught some flak in all forms of media.  Major news organizations around the country picked up the story after it broke on Sunday, August 18, 2013.  In addition, the NCAA was crushed by internet activists.  Twitter…

Continue Reading....

NCAA “Battles” Former Marine Sergeant

Steven Rhodes, a former US Marine sergeant, just finished five years of active duty.  Now, he is going after his dream of playing college football.  He was a walk-on to the Middle Tennessee State (MTS) football team this summer and has been practicing as a tight end and defensive lineman.  Rhodes is, however, appealing an NCAA rule that prevents him from playing football this season. The NCAA says he won’t see any game time this year because of a league he played in during his…

Continue Reading....