California Prepared to Battle the NCAA Over Pay-to-Play

The California Senate unanimously voted to pass the California Assembly’s version of the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB-206) on September 11, 2019. The bill will allow student-athletes to earn compensation through endorsements or sponsorships. If signed by California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the bill would take effect January 1, 2023. If the governor does nothing, or he does not veto the bill, then the bill becomes law. Paying student-athletes for use of their name, image, and likeness contradicts current NCAA rules and regulations regarding student-athlete…
Continue reading...

LeBron’s “Taco Tuesday” Trademark Blocked

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has rejected LeBron James’ application to trademark the phrase Taco Tuesday. Having become a popular part of American food culture, Taco Tuesday is a common theme found at restaurants across the country. Since the NBA offseason began, James recorded and posted videos celebrating Taco Tuesday. Some videos were with his family at the dinner table and other videos were by himself. The USPTO explained its decision, stating that “Taco Tuesday” is a “commonplace term, message, or expression…
Continue reading...

Collision Course: California’s Pay-to-Play Bill Takes Aim at NCAA

On September 9, 2019, the California State Assembly voted 66-0 to pass an amended version of the Fair Pay to Play Act. The bill now moves back to the state senate for a vote, which is likely to pass, putting the state on a collision course with the NCAA over its rules prohibiting student-athletes from being compensated for use of their name, image and likeness. Previously, we reported that the California State Senate voted to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB- 206) to…
Continue reading...

Key Witness in NCAA Corruption Trial Avoids Prison Time

Munish Sood, a crucial witness in the NCAA corruption cases, will avoid both prison time and probation, a federal judge ruled. Sood, a New Jersey financial adviser, admitted to paying bribes to a variety of people involved in college athletics. Included are two former assistant coaches: Lamont Evans, of the University of South Carolina, and Emanuel “Book” Richardson, of the University of Arizona, who each pled guilty and faced three months of prison time. Government counsel requested leniency at Sood’s hearing, with attorney Noah…
Continue reading...

Amended California Student-Athlete Bill Nabs Endorsement of LeBron James

A recent bill introduced to give student-athletes the right to earn compensation has garnered star support. The bill, SB-206, was recently endorsed by Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James. The superstar took to Twitter to voice his support for the recently amended bill that would allow students to receive compensation for the use of their names, images, and likenesses. “Everyone is [sic] California – call your politicians and tell them to support SB 206! This law is a GAME CHANGER. College athletes can responsibly…
Continue reading...

“Nola No Call” Suit Sacked, Dismissed Before the End Zone

A lawsuit alleging an improper call by an NFL referee has been dismissed. The suit was filed by attorney Antonio Le Mon and three others after the NFC Championship playoff game against the Los Angeles Rams. In the game, the referees failed to make a call on a pass interference against the Rams; had the call been made, the Saints would have been in a better position to win the game. The NFL later admitted that the circumstances warranted a pass interference call. The…
Continue reading...

Cubs ADA Lawsuit Narrowed but Can Continue, Judge Rules

A lawsuit against the Chicago Cubs for failing to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will be allowed to continue, a federal judge ruled.  In December 2017, David Cerda filed a lawsuit alleging that the Cubs violated the ADA by failing to provide enough seating for wheelchair users at Wrigley Field. Cerda, who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and needs a wheelchair for mobility, claimed that the ADA requires the Cubs to offer 217 accessible seats and that the Cubs only offered 42…
Continue reading...

Access Denied: NCAA Bribery and Corruption Scandal

On September 3, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan issued a ruling denying the motions by the NCAA and Yahoo Sports parent company, Oath, Inc., to intervene in the pay-for-play NCAA scandal case for the limited purpose of obtaining access to evidence that was not admitted at trial. As we have previously reported, in October 2018, former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager Christopher Dawkins, and consultant Merl Code were convicted of fraud that arose out of a college basketball pay-for-play scandal.…
Continue reading...

California NCAA Athletes Inch Closer to Earning Compensation

As previously reported, a California bill that would allow student-athletes to be paid for their likenesses has cleared yet another legal hurdle. The closely followed bill would allow college athletes to enjoy the capital gained from their name, images, and likeness. Under current NCAA rules, student-athletes are not permitted to accept payment for, or permit, “the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend, or promote” the commercial sale of goods, or use their likeness to promote a service or product.…
Continue reading...

NFHS Argues Paying Student-Athletes Will Erode School Spirit at All Levels

On August 23, 2019, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) asked the Ninth Circuit to grant leave and allow it to file an amicus curiae brief (non-party brief) in the Alston v. NCAA case. As we have previously reported, this case was brought by a class of college athletes in the wake of the O’Bannon decision, where a court held that NCAA rules prohibiting college athletes’ abilities to profit from their likenesses were anti-competitive. O’Bannon held that compensation for college…
Continue reading...