Johnnie Vassar Drops Transfer Rule Suit

On August 10, 2018, former Northwestern University guard, Johnnie Vassar, dropped his lawsuit against the NCAA and Northwestern. As we have previously reported, in 2016, Vassar sued the NCAA and Northwestern claiming that Northwestern “offered Vassar a “cash payment” to “make [Vassar] go away and free-up his scholarship.” According to the November 2016 class-action lawsuit, Vassar alleged that Northwestern breached a contract it had with Vassar after the school removed Vassar’s four-year athletic scholarship in May 2016. Further, Vassar alleged that the school used…
Continue reading...

O’Bannon Evidence to be Used by both Litigants in NCAA Antitrust Trial

In a controversial move, U.S. District Judge Wilken has announced that, in the antitrust action brought by student athletes against the NCAA, she will admit evidence from the O’Bannon case, despite objections from both litigants. In the case at hand, the athletes are pursuing claims that the NCAA illegally restrains their income potential by prohibiting pay beyond the students’ scholarship. Judge Wilken’s statement permitting the use of O’Bannon evidence will allow the NCAA in to use O’Bannon’s expert testimony for impeachment purposes, and will also…
Continue reading...

Five in NYC Charged for Selling Over $73M in Counterfeit Jordans

Five New York City individuals have recently been charged for the sale of over $73 million worth of counterfeit Nike Air Jordans, in a ring thought to have been active since at least 2016. On August 3, 2018, a complaint was filed in the Southern District of New York, alleging that Miyuki Suen, Jian Min Huang, Songhua Qu, Kin Lui Chen, and Fangrang Qu conspired to and did traffic counterfeit goods in violation of federal law. The investigation was led by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI),…
Continue reading...

NCAA Adopts New Policies Amid Bribery Scandal

On August 8, 2018, the NCAA announced sweeping policy changes specifically targeting NCAA Men’s Basketball. These policy changes come in the midst of an ongoing bribery scandal. As we have previously covered, the scandal involved two alleged schemes that rocked NCAA Men’s Basketball. The first scheme involved NCAA basketball coaches who solicited and accepted bribes from financial advisers and, in return, promised to persuade players to send business to those financial advisers once the players turned professional. The second scheme involved efforts to secretly…
Continue reading...

Bizarre Inside Edition Lawsuit that Involves the Murder of a Former NFL Player

On August 6, 2018, Billups P. Percy sued Inside Edition Inc. after Inside Edition allegedly used Percy’s copyrighted video of Anthony Hayes. On December 26, 2005, Percy, a Louisiana-based photojournalist, video recorded Anthony Hayes wielding a knife while surrounded by New Orleans police officers. Hayes was shot and killed by a police officer after he lunged at a police lieutenant. Percy later registered the video with the U.S. Copyright Office and he was given rights to the video as the sole owner of all “right,…
Continue reading...

MLB Asks Lawmakers to be Cautious in Recently Legalized Sports Betting World

On July 31, 2018, at the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) Bryan Seeley, a senior vice president with Major League Baseball, asked lawmakers to be cautious in the recently legalized sports betting world. As we have previously reported, in May 2018, the United States Supreme Court struck down a federal statute controlling the states’ ability to regulate sports gambling. In its majority opinion, the court voted to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Although PAPSA did not…
Continue reading...

Football Coach Suspended for On-Field Prayer Gets High-Profile Support While Awaiting Supreme Court Writ

On August 1st, Bobby Bowden, retired Florida State University football coach, submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court in support of Joseph Kennedy’s appeal to allow the high school coach to pray with his football players on the field immediately after games. Bowden argued that denying Kennedy the opportunity for on-field prayer is an infringement on religious freedom. As we have previously reported, Bremerton School District suspended Kennedy in 2015 after Kennedy disobeyed the public school district’s ban on his…
Continue reading...

Two Former NFL Players Dispute Rightful Ownership of Miami Property

On August 2, 2018, a judge denied an “emergency motion” requesting a temporary injunction to prevent a Miami property purportedly owned by former NFL player, Antonio Bryant, from being conveyed to a third party by another former NFL player, Chuck Sanders.  Bryant filed the motion after claiming that Sanders forged Bryant’s signature on a 2012 deed to himself, and in February 2018, inappropriately conveyed Bryant’s North Miami Beach parcel to a Pennsylvania company called DTT North LLC (“DTT”). The dispute began after Sanders made a…
Continue reading...

NFL Concussion Settlement Payouts Far Ahead of Schedule

As we recently reported, the district judge overseeing the NFL’s billion dollar concussion settlement has refused the NFL’s request for a special investigator to uncover potentially fraudulent claimants.  Since then, claims administrators in the settlement process have released a report indicating that over $500 million in claims had been approved for payout as of July 30, 2018, which is 8 years ahead of the 10-year, $400 million projection. Just weeks ago, counsel for the NFL conjectured that the total settlement would reach approximately $1.4…
Continue reading...

UFC Moves for Summary Judgment in Antitrust Class Action

On July 30, Zuffa LLC—parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (“UFC”)—moved for summary judgment, requesting the dismissal of an antitrust suit filed against them by a proposed class of mixed martial arts (“MMA”) fighters. While the MMA fighters allege that the UFC engaged in anti-competitive practices to dominate the MMA industry and restrict fighters’ wages, the UFC counters that there is no evidence of such activity, instead contending that fighters’ wages are increasing. The action was originally filed in 2014 by fighters Cung…
Continue reading...