UNC Attempts to Block NCAA’s Latest Allegations Over “Sham” Classes

On Friday, May 26, 2017, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill made public their response to the NCAA’s third, and latest, NCAA notice of allegation of sham course for athletes. Their response included that the classes in question were available to all students and any irregularities were academic in nature and not subject to NCAA enforcement. The NCAA’s latest notice of allegations were filed at the close of 2016, and accused UNC of providing improper extra benefits to student-athletes so that they could remain eligible for athletic competition. These allegations stem from a 2014 investigatory report by former U.S. Justice Department official Kenneth Wainstein. The report found that from 1993–2011, more than 3,100 UNC students took classes in the African-American and Afro-American Studies department, which did not require attendance. The ...
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U.S. Solicitor General Won’t Support Sports Betting in New Jersey

It may soon be another sad day in New Jersey for fans that enjoy betting on their favorite sport. A bill led by New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone would have the Supreme Court overturn “the 25-year-old prohibition on state authorization of sports betting.” However, on Wednesday, May 24, 2017, United States Solicitor General Jeffrey Wall recommended that the Supreme Court deny New Jersey’s certiorari petition. There have been recent studies that the Supreme Court follows the recommendation of the Solicitor General 79.6 percent of the time. New Jersey has been wrestling with this gambling issue for years. In 2011, a state referendum amended New Jersey’s constitution, paving the way for lawmakers to develop a way to regulate gambling activity on spots. But after the NCAA and various professional sports leagues ...
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Class-Action Suit Against Riddell Dropped

A class-action lawsuit brought against Riddell by former high school and college football players has been dropped. The former players had alleged that Riddell, the NFL’s official helmet maker from 1989 to 2014, misrepresented the degree of safety provided by helmets manufactured by the company. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that Riddell falsely claimed in advertising and marketing materials that its Revolution helmets would reduce concussions by 31 percent compared to other helmets on the market, without ever testing them for the type of hits which cause the most concussions. The plaintiffs also alleged that Riddell failed to warn their customers of the long-term risks of repeated head injuries suffered while wearing the helmets. Riddell responded by describing the suit as “overt lawyer self-promotion and meritless litigation,” and now, the plaintiffs ...
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Muirfield Village Golf Club Files Trademark Claim

Muirfield Village Golf Club, which hosts the annual Memorial Tournament on the PGA Tour, has sued TCGC Properties LLC for trademark infringement. Muirfield, located in Dublin, Ohio, alleges that TCGC filed a trademark application in early May, attempting to register the Memorial Tournament marks in its name. Therefore, Muirfield claims, TCGC has infringed by attempting to profit off the goodwill generated by Muirfield from hosting the tournament since 1976. TCGC claims they own the Memorial Tournament mark and should have the exclusive right to use the mark outside of the State of Ohio. Muirfield is seeking a declaration that they own the Memorial Tournament mark, and that they should be able to continue hosting the tournament as well as license the mark for others to sell various Memorial Tournament branded ...
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New Jersey Assembly Reaches Endzone with DFS Bill

On Monday, May 22, 2017, the New Jersey Assembly was able to advance a bill to the Senate that would regulate daily fantasy sports games in their state. Assembly Bill 3532 passed, following a 56-16 vote, with two members abstaining. The vote came just less than four months after unanimous approval by the Assembly’s Tourism, Gaming and the Arts Committee, and two months after an 8-3 approval by the Assembly Appropriations Committee. The bill would regulate all fantasy or simulated activities or contests that utilize an entry fee in which a participant owns or manages an imaginary team and competes against other participants or a target score for a predetermined prize. The bill would directly affect the contests that are offered by daily fantasy sports game providers DraftKings and FanDuel. ...
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WADA You Mean it’s Prohibited?

In a Sports Illustrated interview, Vijay Singh admitted to using a spray that contained “2,520 mg deer antler velvet extract per bottle.” The PGA Tour Inc. suspended Singh because the Deer Antler Spray contained insulin-like growth factor 1(IGF-1), which is one of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) banned substances. The Tour eventually dropped the suspension and investigation when they discovered that the spray is not prohibited, according to the World Anti-Doping Agency. This did not stop Singh from bringing a lawsuit against the Tour, which was brought the day before The Players Championship — an event where Singh has three major championships — alleging that his reputation was tarnished because of the allegation and suspension. Singh specifically alleges that the Tour prematurely acted without doing their due diligence to determine ...
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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 would share 17 percent of the rooftop’s gross revenue. Two previous attempts by the owners to block the Cubs renovations struck out in the early stages of litigation. The first attempt, in 2014, was dismissed since the Supreme Court has ruled Major League Baseball is ...
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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 was dismissed in 2016 because the complaint failed to show the helmets had any manufacturing defects. However, the former NFL players are claiming Riddell failed to warn players of multiple head injuries leading to long-term brain damage even if Riddell’s helmets were properly worn. The ...
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The Not-So Big Easy: Louisiana District Judge Limits AFL Player to Workers’ Compensation for Concussion Injuries

On May 10, 2017, Judge Fallon of the Eastern District of Louisiana held that Lorenzo Breland, a professional arena football player suffering from alleged concussions, was limited to pursing relief through a workers’ compensation claim. As such, the player was barred from pursuing his intentional tort claims against Arena Football One, LLC (the AFO), which owns both the Arena Football League One, LLC and Louisiana Arena Football, LLC. In originating this lawsuit, Breland asserted that he suffered multiple concussions while playing for the New Orleans Voodoo in 2014. He brought claims of misrepresentation, fraud, negligence, and breach of contract, essentially arguing that the AFO knew of the potential risks associated with head trauma, intentionally concealed these risks, and fostered an environment of brutality while ignoring the wellbeing of its players ...
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Boston University Calls NHL’s Subpoena Unjustified; Seeks Reimbursement of Legal Fees

Boston University has filed a motion in Minnesota federal court asking the court to order the National Hockey League to reimburse the university for $119,704 in attorneys’ fees and costs. The NHL is currently embroiled in a proposed class action suit involving the claims of former players that the NHL failed to warn the players about the risks of head injuries and concussions. One of the potential groups of members includes players diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). Boston University is not a party to the current suit. However, Boston University is one of a number of institutions that operates a CTE research center. Research involving CTE is performed on brains donated by individuals after they are deceased. The Boston University CTE Center has data relating to around four hundred ...
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