Titleist Calls Out Website Over Rules Violation for Product Line

On July 13, 2017, Titleist’s parent company, Acushnet Co., filed a complaint in Massachusetts federal court against imadebogey.com’s owner, Benjamin Russell, alleging his products infringe Titleist’s classic marks and offend its customers. The complaint cites unfair competition, trademark infringement and dilution. Imadebogey.com sells golf hats and other accessories with the words “Titties” and “Titlost” instead of “Titleist” in the same distinctive stylized script as the 84-year-old logo, including shirts and beer koozies. These are just some of their golf-related products sold on the website that poke fun at the refined nature of golf. Other products include hats with the phrase “Make Golf Great Again” and shirts with Adam Sandler’s blue-collar professional golfer character Happy Gilmore. The Titleist logo was created 84 years ago, and is one of the most iconic ...
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After Review, Ruling Linking Football to CTE Stands

On Tuesday, July 25, 2017, Dr. Ann McKee published the continuation of a study that began eight years ago, where McKee and fellow researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University published study results revealing that 87 of 91 former NFL players had CTE. The most recent update to that study, which was published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that 177 of 202, or nearly 88 percent, of deceased football players had CTE. Of those brains tested, 110 of 111 former NFL players had CTE, 48 of 53 college players, 9 of 14 semi-professional players, 7 of 8 Canadian Football League players, and 3 of 14 high school players. CTE was not found in the brains of two younger players who played football before ...
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Game, Set, a Fixed Match? Three Wimbledon Matches and One French Open Match Under Investigation

he Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) is investigating three Wimbledon matches and one French Open match for potential match-fixing. Two of the Wimbledon matches were in the qualifying tournament, with the third being in the main draw. These four matches all looked suspicious due to abnormal betting patterns. Sports betting companies and regulators tipped off the TIU. The alerts are not evidence of any match-fixing, however they are an indicator for further investigation. The TIU has to look at what other conditions were in play, such as weather, if a player was suffering from an injury or if there was incorrect odds-setting. This year’s Wimbledon had 10 early retirements during the men’s and women’s singles which caused some controversy, but none of the three Wimbledon matches being investigated relate to this. ...
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FTC Pressure Forces DFS Giants to Cancel Merger Plans

Last November, FanDuel and DraftKings announced their plan to merge, and sought to combine the two largest operators of paid fantasy daily sports. The agreement came amidst scrutiny from several state attorneys general and other regulators over the legality of daily fantasy sports. On July 13, 2017, the two daily fantasy sports giants announced they would no longer pursue their plan to join forces. The most recent announcement came after the FTC filed a lawsuit against DraftKings and FanDuel in June, saying the two are in a league of their own in terms of daily fantasy sports, and that a combination of the two means they would not feel pressure from season-long fantasy sports providers. The FTC complaint stated, “[this merger] if consummated, would eliminate such vigorous price and non-price ...
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Nationals, Orioles Broadcasting Dispute Heading Back to MLB Arbitration

The New York State First Department Appellate Division voted 3-2 to allow Major League Baseball owners and executives decide the ongoing dispute between the Washington Nationals and Baltimore Orioles. The teams are divided over how much compensation the Washington Nationals should receive from the Baltimore Orioles and their broadcasting entity, the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, for television broadcast of the Nationals’ games. In November 2015, a New York State Supreme Court threw out an MLB arbitration decision granting the Nationals $298 million from the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) for the Nationals’ television rights from 2012-2016. MASN and Orioles argued the arbitration, conducted by the MLB’s Revenue Sharing Definitions Committee (RSDC), had “evident partiality,”  since the law firm representing the Nationals has previously been hired by the MLB and the teams of ...
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Robert Kraft One of First to Tackle Ownership of New eSports League

Videogame maker Activision Blizzard Inc. announced on Wednesday, July 12, 2017, that seven international cities that will field teams for its upcoming Overwatch League, with buyers including New England Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, and chief operating officer for the New York Mets, Jeff Wilpon. Kraft will have ownership rights to a Boston-based team, and Wilpon will help field a team based in New York. Other cities will include Los Angeles, Miami-Orlando, San Francisco, Shanghai, and Seoul. The buy-in price for Los Angeles-based Immortals and San Francisco-based NRG eSports is $20 million per slot to be paid over time. The prices for the teams in Boston and New York have not yet been disclosed. Reportedly, there will be no revenue sharing among the teams until 2021, when they each will receive ...
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Milwaukee Bucks Dancer Settlement Agreement Not Quite a Slam Dunk

In September 2015, former Milwaukee Bucks dance team member Lauren Herington filed a class action against the NBA franchise, claiming that it engaged in “prolific wage abuse” of her and other members of the dance and cheerleading squads. The suit was filed in Wisconsin’s federal courts, and claimed that Bucks dancers spent hours in training, wardrobe maintenance, practice and dancing at games, as well as appearing at charity events and posing for a calendar. The dancers would be paid a flat rate of $65 per game, $30 for practice and $50 for special appearances. According to the suit, they would earn less than minimum wage most weeks. Herrington’s attorney, Ryan Stephan, stated “the Milwaukee Buck’s emphasis on physical appearance and almost round-the-clock mandatory workouts not only violate applicable law, but ...
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MLB Points to Win Over Minor Leaguers in Attempt to Cut Off Scout’s Appeal

Former Kansas City Royals scout Jordan Wyckoff, and former Colorado Rockies scout Darwin Cox, have sued Major League Baseball for unlawfully suppressing scout’s wages. In September, 2016, the bulk of their suit was dismissed by a New York district court after it was ruled that the scout’s federal and state antitrust claims were barred by the so-called baseball exemption. The exemption was set forth in a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision, and it covers employees who are essential to the “business of baseball.” On July 7, 2017, the MLB pointed to a ruling last month by the Ninth Circuit which upheld the baseball antitrust exemption. The Ninth Circuit case, Miranda v. MLB, affirmed a district court ruling which held that minor league players are exempt from federal antitrust law. The ...
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Arkansas Tech Sues NCAA Over Vacated Wins

The NCAA imposed sanctions on the Arkansas Tech athletic program for violations revolving around the school’s failure to monitor its housing operations from 2009 to 2013. Tech waived or paid $14,250 in housing security deposits for 57 prospects during this time period and also reserved on-campus apartments and dorms for student-athletes, which is a NCAA violation. Arkansas Tech believes the sanctions imposed by the NCAA are excessive and that the organization abused its discretion in the disciplinary process. Arkansas Tech contends the NCAA has failed to explain why the school’s self-imposed penalties, which included financial aid reductions for men’s and women’s basketball recruits, and other recruiting limitations, were not sufficient. The allegedly excessive additional sanctions set forth by the NCAA included vacating all wins by both the men’s and women’s ...
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Dropping The Gloves: NHL Fights Back at Player’s Bid to Exclude Expert Testimony

The NHL has responded to a bid to remove expert testimony the league believes improves their attempt to defeat class certification. The NHL’s response is the latest development in the December bid to certify a class by the league’s former players who claim that the league failed to warn them of the various known risks and diseases associated with repeated head trauma. The players believe the league’s expert testimony is cumulative and will confuse a jury due to its amount of similar and supposedly irrelevant evidence and information. The NHL does not see the testimonies as cumulative but rather as valued declarations from some of the most qualified experts in the world, with information simply addressing a similar topic but with different perspectives from multiple disciplines. The NHL feels that ...
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