NCAA Antitrust Trial Continues with Testimony from Pac-12 Commissioner

As part of the continuing NCAA antitrust action, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott took the stand on Tuesday, issuing a grave warning about the future of amateur sports if the judgment were to be awarded in the plaintiffs’ favor. Scott testified that any proposal to abandon the pay limit rules currently in place in the NCAA would “create significant consumer confusion,” making it “murkier” for broadcasters and fans to understand the nature of collegiate sports. He also stated that lifting such pay limits would be…
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UW Chancellor and AAC Commissioner Each Testify at NCAA Antitrust Trial

On September 17, 2018, University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) Chancellor, Rebecca Blank, and American Athletic Conference (AAC) Commissioner, Michael Aresco, each testified in the NCAA Antitrust trial. As we have previously reported, in this lawsuit a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for various NCAA schools to compete for top college recruits. Pursuant to Chancellor Blank’s testimony, UW is considering dropping its athletic program in the event that the court forces…
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WWE Cleared from All Concussion-Related Lawsuits amid Plaintiff Attorney Sanctions

World Wrestling Entertainment has earned a key legal victory, with the Connecticut District Court ruling to dismiss all concussion-related claims against the entertainment giant. Over the past several years, more than 65 of retired wrestlers have filed against WWE, alleging a lack of protection for the wrestlers’ health that lead to concussions, CTE, and other brain injuries. The former wrestlers further contended that WWE forced them into dangerous performances and covered up the effects of head trauma. U.S. District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant…
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NFL Sued by Former Athletes over Pro Bowl Promotionals

World Sports Alumni Inc. (WSA), a sports marketing firm, is suing the NFL and a chapter of the National Football League Alumni Association (NFLAA) over the use of former athletes’ names and pictures in promotional advertisements without their permission. WSA alleges that the NFL and NFLAA depicted retired NBA player Nick Anderson, retired NFL player Brandon Meriweather, and retired heavyweight boxing champion Riddick Bowe to promote the Pro Bowl events without the former athletes’ knowledge or consent. The complaint states that, in December 2017, NFLAA…
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NFL Painkiller Class Action Resurrected by 9th Circuit

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit has reversed a lower court’s dismissal of a class action filed by former NFL players, sending the case back to federal court. The suit claims the NFL encouraged players to abuse painkillers, including opioids. In 2014, the lower court sided with the NFL, holding that the claims were preempted by the Labor Management Relations Act and the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the NFL team owners and athletes. Now, however, the 9th Circuit has…
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NCAA Sanctions Alabama A&M for Miscertifying Student Athletes

Alabama A&M University has been hit with severe penalties from the NCAA for what the organization called, “some of the most extensive and widespread certification failures in recent case history.” The University was determined to have miscertified 101 student athletes across 14 sports, allowing them to compete and receive travel benefits despite failing to meet academic eligibility requirements, such as minimum credit hours or academic degree criteria. The NCAA also noted in their release that Alabama A&M “did not withhold 60 of the student-athletes from…
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Notices in the NCAA $75 Million Settlement Finally Complete

On September 12, 2018, attorneys representing the NCAA notified U.S. District Judge John Lee that the direct notice portion in the $75 million dollar NCAA Concussion Litigation case had ended. As we have continued to report, Judge Lee has delayed the final approval of a $75 million settlement several times after he learned that thousands of current and former NCAA student-athletes were yet to be notified of the settlement. Judge Lee originally approved the $75 million settlement in July 2016, but delays, largely attributed…
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Former College Athletes Testify in NCAA Antitrust Trial

On September 7, 2018, three former college athletes, Shawne Alston, Martin Jenkins, and Justine Hartman, each testified that the NCAA “exploited them” by pushing them to prioritize athletics over academics. As we have previously reported, in this lawsuit a class of college athletes are attempting to challenge the existing NCAA amateurism rules and attempting to create an open market for various NCAA schools to compete for top college recruits. Hartman, a former University of California basketball player, testified that the NCAA exploited her by…
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DraftKings Sues to Identify Cyber Attackers

DraftKings, Inc. has filed suit in Massachusetts federal court in an attempt to identify the individuals behind cyberattacks launched at the website. DraftKings, with its business based in fantasy sports contests, claims to have suffered a 26 minute denial of service when the cyber assailants “overwhelmed” its servers on two separate occasions in an attempt to stifle business. Its complaint, filed under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, articulates, “The attack occurred because defendants intentionally sent thousands of packets of information or commands to plaintiff’s…
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Retired Chicago Bears Player Sues NFL Over Risk of Brain Injuries

Former Bears player Craig Steltz has brought action against the National Football League, claiming that the organization deliberately abandoned its duty to players’ health in concealing the dangers of head injuries relating to the sport. Steltz claims that under the 2006 and 2011 collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the National Football League Players Association, the NFL assumed a duty to protect the health and safety of the players within the organization, which extended to providing information about the risks to long-term injury. The…
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