Mother Sues the NBA, Pistons, and Others after Her Son Died During a Game

In the final minute of a game on March 24, 2018, Zeke Upshaw was playing for the Detroit Pistons’ minor-league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, when he suddenly collapsed on the court and later died. An autopsy of the then 26-year-old basketball player revealed that Upshaw suffered a “Sudden Cardiac Death” (SCD). Now Upshaw’s mother is suing on her sons behalf. According to a statement from the lawyers representing Upshaw’s mother, “Upshaw crumpled face-down on the court in full cardiac arrest. Despite this undeniable dire…
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NCAA Affirms Sanctions Against Louisville Basketball Team

As we have previously covered, the Louisville men’s Division I basketball team has been under scrutiny since news surfaced in 2015 about its inappropriate recruitment practices involving escorts and strippers, which started back in 2011. Since then, the team has endured the firing of its head coach, self-imposed penalties, and much embarrassment. In June 2017, the NCAA issued penalties, including a five-game suspension of former coach Rick Pitino, four years’ probation for the entire team, and show-cause penalties for former coach Andre McGee,…
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NBA Calls for Legalization of Sports Betting

On January 24, 2018, the NBA’s Assistant General Counsel, Dan Spillane, testified in front of a New York State Senate committee and expressed the NBA’s support for a body of law that would legalize sports betting. Spillane said, “[w]e have studied these issues at length …[o]ur conclusion is that the time has come for a different approach that gives sports fans a safe and legal way to wager on sporting events while protecting the integrity of the underlying competitions.” Spillane’s testimony comes in stark…
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Ice Cube’s Big3 Moves to Dismiss Champions Complaint

On January 12, 2017, lawyers representing Ice Cube’s Big3 Basketball, LLC asked a New York federal court judge to dismiss a suit brought by Champions League, Inc. (Champions). Back on October 2017, Big3 submitted a memorandum of law in support of its motion to dismiss. As we have previously covered, rapper and actor, Ice Cube, owns the 3-on-3 basketball league, Big3. Big3 is a ten-week season that features several former NBA players, including Ron Artest, Corey Maggette, Kendall Gill, and most recently, Nate…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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Three UCLA Basketball Players Arrested in China

Three UCLA men’s basketball players were arrested Tuesday, November 7th in Hangzhou, China for allegedly shoplifting sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store next to the team’s hotel. Freshmen LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were kept for a number of hours at a police station and questioned, but treated “with the utmost respect,” and were released on bail around 4 a.m. on Wednesday. Ball is the younger brother of NBA rookie Lonzo Ball of the L.A. Lakers, and the son of LaVar Ball, the…
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