NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case Update

On February 21, 2018, Yahoo Sports reported that financial records, documents, and wiretaps tied to prominent former NBA agent, Andy Miller, and his former associate, Christian Dawkins, have provided the prosecution with a detailed window into the ongoing NCAA Corruption and Bribery case. As we have continued to report, this case involves Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins. Each stand accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for promises that…
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John Cena Battles Ford Over Flipped GT

On February 13, 2018, wrestler and actor John Cena filed a motion to dismiss Ford Motor Co.’s recent complaint against him for reselling a custom 2017 GT sports car, and in doing so, allegedly breaching a contract that the parties had made. In addition to damages for breach of contract, Ford also seeks relief for fraudulent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment. Ford claims that in 2017 it entered into an agreement with Cena for him to purchase the one-of-a-kind vehicle, and that part of that agreement…
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Lawsuit Concerning Use of Student-Athletes’ Name and Likeness by DraftKings and FanDuel Continues

On February 22, 2018, two Seventh Circuit judges, Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judge Ilana Diamond Rovner, said that they would likely need an answer from the Indiana judiciary before they can decide whether to revive a proposed class action suit brought against DraftKings and FanDuel. As we have previously reported, in May 2017, a group of 3,000 college-athletes, led by former Northern Illinois University football players Akeem Daniels and Cameron Stingily, and former Indiana University football player Nicholas Stoner, bought a suit alleging that…
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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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Massachusetts Bill Proposes Legalization of Daily Fantasy Sports Amid Pending Supreme Court Ruling

On February 14, 2018, Massachusetts Legislature introduced a bill aimed at legalizing and taxing daily fantasy sports (DFS).  The timing for the bill could be particularly timely depending on how the Supreme Court decides to rule on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which currently prohibits sports betting across the country.  As we have previously covered, the issue is still pending with the Supreme Court, though many states are hopeful for a decision by mid-March. Senator Eileen Donoghue, the initiator of bill…
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Notre Dame Forced to Vacate 2012 and 2013 Wins

On February 13, 2018, the NCAA’s Division I Infractions Appeals Committee (IAC) announced that the University of Notre Dame’s football team must vacate 21 wins accumulated during the 2012 and 2013 football seasons. Back in November 2016, an NCAA panel sanctioned Notre Dame after the school self-reported that a student trainer had done coursework and given benefits to a group of football players. As a result of the ruling, wins from the 2012 and 2013 seasons were vacated, Notre Dame was put on probation, Notre…
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Mississippi Firearms Bill Unpopular with NCAA Conference Chief

On February 7, 2018, House Bill 1083, proposing to allow the carrying of certain firearms in public, overwhelmingly passed the Mississippi House. The bill would allow those with enhanced concealed carry permits to carry in such places as university campuses, in courthouses, and at sporting events. NCAA Southeastern Conference Chief, Greg Sankey, wasted no time in expressing serious concerns about potentially negative repercussions befalling Mississippi universities, should the bill become law. Specifically, Sankey took issue with future implications on collegiate athletic events, noting that “it…
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White Sox’s Move to Dismiss Dustin Fowler’s Negligence Suit

On February 13, 2018, the Chicago White Sox moved to dismiss a suit brought by brought by former New York Yankees outfielder, Dustin Fowler. Fowler, now a member of the Oakland Athletics, sued the White Sox claiming that the team negligently caused him to injure himself during a game at Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox. The incident occurred on June 29, 2017, when Fowler was running at full speed, chasing a foul ball, and crashed into the low corner wall. His right…
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Reebok-CCM Fights Last Minute Depositions

On February 14, 2018, the hockey equipment company, Reebok-CCM Hockey (CCM), filed an opposition motion to Hefter Impact Technologies, LLC (Hefter) Emergency Motion. In their Emergency Motion, Hefter argued that they should be allowed to depose six people, including Pittsburg Penguins’ star Sidney Crosby, even though a scheduling order originally stated that all depositions must be completed by September 30, 2016. In opposition, CCM argued that Hefter should not be allowed to retake/take six depositions on the eve of trial simply because they characterized the…
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NCAA Bribery Suit Continues Less One Defendent

The NCAA corruption and bribery case is still ongoing, though now with one less defendant. We recently reported on a motionfiled February 9, 2018, in which the defendants moved to suppress evidence arising from an allegedly flawed warrant application by the United States Attorney’s Office. Also on February 9, and in further progression of the case, a federal judge complied with a request by federal prosecutors to dismiss the charges against defendant Jonathan Brad Augustine, former director of an Adidas-sponsored travel basketball organization called…
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