Author Archives: Joseph M. Hanna

Researchers Report Evidence of CTE in a Living Patient for the First Time

Researchers in Chicago report they have detected evidence of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in a living patient for the first time by detecting deposits of tau proteins. The degenerative brain disease currently can only be formally diagnosed after an autopsy. The study also confirmed that a “fingerprint” signature of CTE exists. More research is needed to verify the correlation, but it is a groundbreaking first step toward understanding CTE and developing a cure. The case study was published in the journal Neurosurgery this…

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Adidas Executive Asserts No Universities Defrauded in NCAA Bribe Case

On November 15, 2017, the attorney for Adidas executive Jim Gatto told a Manhattan federal judge that no colleges were defrauded. Gatto was charged in a bribery scheme to pay college basketball athletes to play for Adidas-sponsored schools and to hire certain agents after they went professional. Gatto was arrested in September and was Adidas’ head of global sports marketing directed at basketball. In addition, Merl Code, an Adidas consultant, and Christian Dawkins, a former NBA agent, pled not guilty to wire fraud conspiracy charges.…

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WWE Granted Phone Record Request; Wrestlers Ask for Reconsideration

On November 9, 2017, the Connecticut district court granted World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.’s (WWE) request for phone records of calls between Marcus “Buff” Bagwell and Scott “Raven” Levy and attorney Matthew T. Peterson. WWE wanted the phone records to show that Peterson solicited the two former wrestlers to file the royalty suit against the WWE. The judge granted WWE’s motion because the wrestler’s attorney did not respond to the motion in time. The wrestlers had until noon on November 9 to file their response to…

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Game Over for Ezekiel Elliott; Appeal at Second Circuit Dropped

Dallas Cowboys’ Ezekiel Elliott has accepted his six-game suspension and withdrawn his appeal at the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, ending the battle that started in July 2016, when Elliott’s ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence. After a year-long investigation, his suspension was announced August 11, 2017. Elliott fought the suspension through three different courts, and got three reprieves that kept him on the field for the first half of the season. He will sit out the next five games, and is set to return…

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NFL Removes Hernandez Suit to Federal Court

On November 14, 2017, the NFL removed Aaron Hernandez’s daughter’s lawsuit to Massachusetts federal court. The lawsuit seeks to hold the NFL, as well as helmet maker Riddell, Inc. accountable for Hernandez’s development of severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). The NFL moved the case to federal court based on their assertion that the claim arises under federal law. Hernandez’s daughter, Avielle, filed the suit initially in Norfolk County Superior Court in Dedham, Massachusetts. She claimed the NFL and Riddell hid and downplayed the risks of…

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NCAA Hopes for Slam Dunk in Trademark Infringement Suit

The NCAA, on November 13, 2017, asked for a default judgment and a permanent injunction against Kizzang LLC and its owner, Robert Alexander, for alleged trademark infringement of “March Madness” and “Final Four.” A judge had issued a stipulated order back in March under which Alexander and Kizzang agreed not to use “April Madness” or “Final 3” in its online fantasy games. The suit was originally filed in March 2017, less than a week before the NCAA’s annual Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament. It…

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U.S. Army Shoots Back at Holding that “West Point” is Not a Registrable Trademark

An examiner at the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board refused to register the U.S. Army’s military academy crest and the words “Army West Point” unless the Army disclaimed the words “West Point.” The examiner ruled that “West Point” was not a registrable trademark, but rather a “primarily geographically descriptive” name, referring to the town of West Point, New York. Last year, the Army applied to register the famous military academy’s crest — an Athena helmet on a shield with the words “Duty Honor Country West…

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Ex-Softball Coach Sues FDU; Alleges Termination Based on Bisexuality

On November 7, 2016, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s (FDU) former softball coach, Katherine Kelley, sued the university in New Jersey state court for alleged discrimination against her for being bisexual, and that she was fired for speaking out against bullies on the team. Kelley is seeking compensatory damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress for the university’s actions against her, and alleged FDU violated New Jersey’s Conscientious Employee Protection Act and Law Against Discrimination, as well as breached her employment contract. Kelley also claimed FDU did…

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Eight People Indicted in NCAA Bribery Scandal

A series of indictments unsealed on Wednesday, November 8, 2017 reveal more of the iceberg of the dark underbelly of college basketball. The scandal was publicized in September when ten individuals were arrested. The new indictments named Adidas executive Jim Gatto, sports agent Christian Dawkins, Auburn University associate head coach Chuck Person, Oklahoma State University assistant coach Lamont Evans, University of Arizona assistant coach Emanuel Richardson, University of Southern California assistant coach Anthony Bland, former Adidas adviser Merl Code and former NCAA referee Rashan Michel.…

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Al Jazeera America Argues MLB Players Must Subpoena Reporter in Libel Suit

On November 6, 2017, Al Jazeera America LLC moved that it does not need to provide documents in response to the MLB players’ motion to compel the company to give information an undercover reporter gathered in 2015. The move is the latest in the libel case filed by MLB players Ryan Zimmerman and Ryan Howard in January 2016 that alleged Al Jazeera America recklessly published the 2015 documentary “The Dark Side” and an accompanying article, and damaged their reputations. The documentary revealed the use of…

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