Judge Denies Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case

On February 15, 2018, Judge Lewis A. Kaplan denied defendants, Christian Dawkins, Jim Gatto, and Merl Code, motion to dismiss corruption and bribery charges. As we have previously reported, Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins were accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for promises that the players would enroll in Adidas sponsored NCAA Division I schools and later would hire Dawkins. In their motion to dismiss, Gatto, Code, and…
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NHL Moves to Bar Testimony of Four Expert Witnesses in Concussion Litigation

On February 9, 2018, two proposed classes of NHL players asked U.S. District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson not to bar expert testimony of four experts. The players argued that the experts provided necessary information that is pertinent to their lawsuit. The suit began when former NHL players claimed that the NHL failed to inform them of the health risks caused by concussions and head-related trauma even though the league had knowledge of such information. The NHL argued that epidemiologist Dr. R. Dawn Comstock’s opinions…
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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Move to Dismiss Expert in Negligence and Fraud Claims

On February 7, 2018, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers filed a motion to dismiss a lawsuit brought by former player, Lazarius Pep Levingston. Levingston sued the team and its Director of Football Operations, Mike Greenburg, for negligence and fraud, alleging that the team concealed the extent of Levingston’s injures in order to give Levingston a smaller settlement. In August 2013, Levingston suffered a neck injury in a pre-season football game. The team informed Levingston that he had a “cervical strain/sprain, thoracic sprain/contusion, and shoulder contusion.” He…
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NFL and NFLPA Move to Stop Former Agent’s Antitrust Claim

On February 5, 2018, the NFL, and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), filed a motion to dismiss an antitrust suit brought by former sports agent James Dickey. As we have previously covered, Dickey accused the NFL and the NFLPA of stifling competition by implementing a rule called the “Three Year Rule” to keep new agents out of the NFL. In order for an agent to represent players the must be certified. To be certified, agents must negotiate at least one NFL team contract every…
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Filing Mistake Could Cost Government in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case

On February 9, 2018, defendants in the NCAA corruption and bribery case filed a motion to suppress key government evidence. The motion outlines several procedural breaches, the most important is the claim of “a failure to identify the authorizing justice official” in paperwork to obtain a warrant for a wiretap. On April 7, 2017, a court issued an order permitting the federal government to wiretap Munish Sood’s cellphone for thirty days. The goal of the wiretap was to target communications between Mr. Sood and Christian…
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Syracuse University and Women’s Lacrosse Coach Motion to Dismiss Denied

On February 9, 2018, the New York Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department (Appellate Court) affirmed a lower court’s ruling, which denied Gary Gait and Syracuse University’s motion to dismiss Addy Tauro’s suit. Ms. Tauro, a former varsity women’s lacrosse player at Syracuse University, sued her former coach, Mr. Gait, and Syracuse University after Ms. Tauro was allegedly injured at a lacrosse practice on October 8, 2013. According to Ms. Tauro’s complaint, she was struck in the head with a lacrosse ball that Mr. Gait…
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Judge Delays NCAA $75 Million Settlement for the Second Time

On February 6, 2018, U.S. District Judge John Lee again delayed final approval of a $75 million settlement after he learned thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes have still yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee expressed his frustration with the notification process, and he once again delayed finial approval given that nearly 13,000 class members have not yet learned about the case and its proposed settlement. The $75 million dollar settlementwas initially approved by Judge Lee in July 2017. Seventy…
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Former Professional Golfer Sued

On January 24, 2018, drink and dietary supplement company, Organo Gold International Inc., sued 62-year-old former professional golfer Greg Norman, Aussie Rules Marine Services, Ltd., and ABG-Shark, LLC, in Washington federal court. Norman controls Aussie, a foreign company organized under the laws of the Cayman Islands. Also, Norman has an existing partnership with ABG. Back in March of 2017, Norman partnered with, and gave, ABG the right to control “the direction of the consumer products division of The Greg Norman Company.” In their…
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NCAA College-Athletes Move to Secure Settlement

On January 31, 2018, a class of college-athletes, suing the NCAA over the alleged anti-competition cap benefits, asked Judge Claudia J. Wilken to issue an appeal bond. As we have previously covered, the class secured a court approved settlement of over $209 million, the second largest settlement in NCAA history. However, Darrin Duncan was the only member of the class of 53,748 that objected to the $209 million settlement. Mr. Duncan has since appealed the court approved settlement. Now, the rest of the class…
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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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