Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

Deion Sanders Still Refuses to Cooperate in School Lunch Lawsuit

Deion Sanders once again faces sanctions due to his failure to participate in court proceedings surrounding the suit about his alleged misuse of subsidized lunch funds. As we have previously reported, whistleblower Lawrence Smith claimed that Prime Time Prep Academy, a charter school co-founded by Sanders and D.L. Wallace, applied for, and received, nearly $1 million under the National School Lunch Program and Summer Food Service Program, with no evidence that the money was used for school lunches or for the benefit of needy…

Continue Reading....

Deer Antler Spray Litigation Saga Continues

The latest development in the ongoing litigation dispute between the PGA Tour and Vijay Singh over the use of deer antler spray features another appeal. This time the appeal was brought by the PGA Tour, in New York State Supreme Court. On December 29, 2017, PGA Tour requested the court review Judge Eileen Bransten’s September 2017 ruling on a motion to in a lawsuit brought by former professional golfer Vijay Singh. In May 2017, Judge Bransten granted part of the PGA Tour’s summary judgment…

Continue Reading....

NCAA Wins Motions in Antitrust Litigation

On January 3, 2018, Judge Nathanael M. Cousins denied the class of former NCAA student-athlete’s motion to reopen discovery in the NCAA antitrust litigation. The litigation began in March 2014, when former student-athletes claimed that the NCAA violated antitrust laws by capping scholarship awards below the actual cost of college attendance. The former student-athletes wanted to reopen discovery to gain access to a public opinion survey conducted by the NCAA, which according to the players said that 79 percent of Americans believe that big universities…

Continue Reading....

NFL Continues to Argue Hernandez Suit is a Matter of Federal Labor Law

On December 18, 2017, the National Football League responded in opposition to Avielle Hernandez’s motion to remand her lawsuit against the NFL back to state court. Also named in the suit are helmet maker Riddell and other related companies. Avielle’s lawsuit seeks compensation for the NFL’s role in her father’s, Aaron Hernandez’s, post-mortem diagnosis of stage 3 chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Those diagnosed with CTE exhibit symptoms that include impulse control issues, aggression, depression, dementia, and suicidality. Hernandez committed suicide while serving a life sentence…

Continue Reading....

Rick Pitino Shoots Back at Adidas’ Motion to Dismiss Emotional Distress Suit

Dribbling around the allegations connecting him to a bribery scandal, former University of Louisville men’s basketball coach, Rick Pitino, fought back against Adidas’ arguments to toss his claim alleging emotional distress. Adidas filed a motion at the end of November to either dismiss the case for failure to state a claim or stay it in favor of mandatory arbitration because of a provision in a contract between Pitino and Adidas. Pitino, in response, argued the product endorsement contract with Adidas does not apply to…

Continue Reading....

MLB, Chicago Cubs Ask Judge to Toss Fan’s Foul Ball Blindness Suit

The Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball moved to dismiss a negligence suit on December 15, 2017 before a Cook County Circuit Court, arguing that the Illinois Baseball Facility Liability Act bars the plaintiff’s claims. John “Jay” Loos sued the Cubs and MLB in October, claiming they were negligent for failing to install enough netting behind home plate. Loos claimed the foul ball hit by a Pittsburgh Pirates player on August 29 at Chicago’s Wrigley Field not only left him blind in one eye, but…

Continue Reading....

NCAA Sanctions University of Northern Colorado

On December 15, 2017, the NCAA hit the University of Northern Colorado’s men’s basketball team with sanctions for the former head coach and other staff members completing coursework and paying tuition for poorly performing prospects. Additionally, one player was given extra, off-site practice. Specifically, the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions found that the former head coach, B. J. Hill, was fueled by his want to “succeed at any cost.” To accomplish this goal, as well as follow his high-performing predecessor’s footsteps, Hill recruited many…

Continue Reading....

More Ripken Baseball Camps Added to Complaint in Patent Infringement Fight

A Maryland federal court on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, granted Zito LLC, a company suing Cal Ripken Jr.’s baseball camps, a chance to amend its complaint against the retired player’s camps over patent infringement, finding that adding four more Ripken-owned camps would not prejudice the company. The Ripken camps had argued that the amendment would be made in bad faith because they allege the additional parties are unrelated and the additions were made as a work-around for an inability to change the theory of infringement.…

Continue Reading....

Louisville Athletics Association Contends Pitino Must Pay Forfeited Funds

On December 13, 2017, the University of Louisville Athletics Association stated that Rick Pitino, the former men’s basketball head coach, should cover the penalties issued by the NCAA against the school. The University of Louisville Athletics Association filed counterclaims against Pitino in his federal suit over his termination. The university received penalties from the NCAA panel because of allegations that a former operations director used strippers and escorts to attract potential players. However, once the FBI investigation was complete, there were only charges against an…

Continue Reading....

Zachary Lutz Fights for Suit Against Japanese Team to Stay in U.S.

On December 14, 2017, former New York Mets player Zachary Lutz requested the Pennsylvania federal court to keep his suit alive against Japanese baseball team owners. Rakuten Baseball Inc. moved to dismiss Lutz’s case by citing to parallel proceedings in Japan. In August, Lutz initiated the lawsuit against Rakuten Inc., the owner of Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, for refusing to sign a contract with Lutz for the 2015 season after months negotiating, which left Lutz unable to find another team under similar terms. Lutz opposed

Continue Reading....