Joseph M. Hanna

All articles by Joseph M. Hanna

 

Michael Avenatti Accused of Embezzling $2 million From NBA Player

Michael Avenatti, celebrity lawyer and notably outspoken President Trump critic, is once again in the spot light. On April 21, 2019, the Los Angeles Timesreported that, in 2017, Avenatti embezzled $2 million from NBA player Hassan Whiteside. Back in 2017, Avenatti was representing Alexis Gardner, Whiteside’s ex-girlfriend, in order to negotiate a settlement of a potential lawsuit against Whiteside. The public does not know the contents of an alleged potential lawsuit; however, Avenatti was able to negotiate a $3 million settlement. Both Gardner and…  

Damaging Video Recording Played in Second NCAA Basketball Corruption Trial

On April 24, 2019, a video recording of Christian Dawkins endorsing his connections to top NCAA basketball coaches, including the University of Arizona’s Sean Miller, was played in front of the jury in the second trial over NCAA basketball corruption. As we have previously reported, the trial is essentially a spin-off of a major NCAA corruption scandal. In October 2019, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code of fraud…  

NCAA Head Coaches Sean Miller and Will Wade Likely Won’t Testify in Upcoming Federal Basketball Corruption Trial

On April 19, 2019, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos ruled that two high profile NCAA men’s basketball coaches, accused of corrupt recruiting practices, are not likely to testify in an upcoming federal corruption trial. As we have previously reported, in February 2019, reports began circulating that Sean Miller, head coach at the University of Arizona, and Will Wade, head coach at Louisiana State University, were subpoenaed to testify in an upcoming trail. The trial focuses on alleged bribes paid to assistant coaches at Arizona,…  

Jury Selection Begins in Second Trial Over NCAA Basketball Corruption

On April 22, 2019, jury selection was conducted in the trial of aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins and former Adidas consultant Merl Code. Dawkins and Code stand accused of bribing major NCAA D1 basketball coaches in order to facilitate a relationship with high-profile amateur basketball players. The current trial is essentially a spin-off of a major NCAA corruption scandal. Previously, in October 2019, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant…  

Ninth Circuit Affirms $42 Million Fee Award in NCAA in Antitrust Suit

On April 17, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a $42 million attorney fee award despite objections from former NCAA athletes. As we have previously covered, in November 2017, former Division I NCAA athletes won a settlement of $208.7 million against the NCAA. In their suit, former NCAA athletes challenged the NCAA’s practice of capping student scholarships at values less than the actual cost of attendance. Previously, class member Darrin Duncan articulated that the “central issue in the…  

Alliance of American Football Update: Bankruptcy

On April 17, 2019, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) filed a petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Texas. The league announced: “We are deeply disappointed to be taking this action. The AAF was created to be a dynamic, developmental professional football league powered by an unprecedented alliance between players, fans and the game. The AAF strove to create new opportunities for talented players, coaches, executives and officials while providing an exciting experience for fans.…  

FIFA Bans Brazilian Soccer Official

On April 15, 2019, Jose Maria Marin, a Brazilian soccer official, was officially banned for life by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). In August 2018, the 86-year-old Marin was sentenced to four years in United States prison for racketeering, money laundering, and wire fraud. According to FIFA, Marin was also guilty of taking bribes linked to media and marketing rights for South American and Brazilian soccer competitions. During his 2017 trial, federal prosecutors said that Marin received $6.6 million in bribes and was…  

UPDATE: Fans Respond to NFL’s Move to Dismiss Controversial No-Call Lawsuit

On April 8, 2019, a group of New Orleans Saints responded to the NFL’s motion to dismiss the controversial no-call lawsuit. As you recall, a group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders sued the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell with the goal of reversing the New Orleans Saints’ overtime playoff loss in the 2019 NFC championship game. According to their suit, Saints fans were “left bereft and with no faith in the National Football League for fairness despite the leagues own rules to…  

Astros Fan Sues after Injured by T-shirt Cannon

On April 8, 2019, Jennifer Harughty, a lifelong Houston Astros fan, filed a lawsuit against the Astros for an incident that occurred July 8, 2018. On July 8, 2018, Harughty was seated in the stands behind third base with her family, enjoying a game between the Astros and the White Sox. Suddenly, during a break in play, the Astros’ mascot, Orbit, emerged onto the field with high-powered t-shirt cannon. Orbit then began launching t-shirts, at high speeds, into the stands behind third base. At one…  

Supreme Court of New Jersey Ends NFL Super Bowl Ticket Suit

On April 4, 2019, the Supreme Court of New Jersey denied Josh Finkelman’s certification and seemingly his last attempt at legal recourse. As we have previously reported, Finkelman filed a proposed class action suit against the NFL for an alleged violation of a New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act, which Finkelman claimed prevented event holders from withholding more than 5 percent of all tickets to a given event from “sale to the general public.” In 2014, Finkelman purchased two tickets to Super Bowl XLVIII for…  

Series on the Alliance of American Football: The Fall of the AAF

This is the second part of a two-part series chronicling the rise and fall of the Alliance of American Football (AAF). In the first part, we delved into the unprecedented growth of the AAF, much of which was based on an unsustainable dream to bring a successful professional football league to the United States. In this part, we analyze the ultimate collapse of the AAF, a reality of insurmountable debts and a lack of supporting investors. The Failed Hail Mary On April 2, 2019,…  

Mike v. Nike: Avenatti Strikes Again

Michael Avenatti, celebrity lawyer and notably outspoken President Trump critic, again struck back at Nike in a series of tweets alleging foul play. On April 6, 2019, Avenatti stated that he had turned over documents and other evidence to law enforcement, which shows Nike was involved in an illicit bribing scandal involving high school players and their family members. At 9:01 am on April 6, 2019, Avenatti tweeted, “1/2 – Here is a link to only SOME of the evidence showing Nike bribed players…  

Patrick Chung Sued over Posted Trash Talk

On March 27, 2019, a former Los Angeles Rams ticket executive, Matthew Hogan, sued Patriots safety Patrick Chung and Matthew Weymouth over trash talk that was later posted on social media. According to the lawsuit, Hogan was “forced from his job” and now cannot find a new job after Weymouth, the man who runs Chung’s social media account, posted a text message exchange, between Hogan and Weymouth, where Hogan said, “Patrick Chung is a b***h.” According to Hogan, the text message was a joke sent…  

Both the NCAA and Student-Athletes Plan to Appeal Ruling on NCAA Pay Rules

On Friday, April 5, 2019, the plaintiffs from the controversial NCAA antitrust suit filed a notice of cross-appeal in California federal court. The student-athletes seek a broader ruling than that of the lower court, which held that the NCAA’s player pay restrictions violate antitrust laws, seeking a holding that expands pay beyond education-expenses alone. The athletes’ cross-appeal follows defendant NCAA’s filing their own notice of appeal, two weeks earlier. The organization has criticized the district court’s ruling, accusing the courts of “micromanaging” its rules, and…  

Pepsi Moves for Summary Judgement in 2016 Super Bowl Ad Suit

On April 1, 2019, Pepsi moved for summary judgement in the lawsuit over its 2016 Super Bowl halftime commercial that featured artist Janelle Monảe. As we have previously reported, back in July 2016, Betty Inc., a boutique Connecticut advertising agency filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement, breach of contract, unjust enrichment, conversion, and unfair competition against the soft drink giant PepsiCo. According to the lawsuit, Betty Inc. claimed that Pepsi’s 2016 ad was “fundamentally based” on an idea that Betty Inc. previously pitched to…  

Series on the Alliance of American Football: The Rise of the AAF

As a filmmaker and the son of legendary NBC television executive Dick Ebersol, Charlie Ebersol was motivated to create the Alliance of American Football (AAF) in late 2016 after producing the documentary This Was the XFL for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 series. The Xtreme Football League (XFL) was the 2001 brainchild of Vince McMahon, CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). The XFL, which aired on NBC, was designed to be an extreme version of spring professional football, but it was canceled after only one…  

Court Rejects Televisa’s Motion to Dismiss FIFA Bribery Class Action

On Monday, March 25, a New York judge ruled that Mexico’s Televisa Group will not be let off the hook for allegations of participation in a FIFA bribery scheme of over $15 million. The scheme was allegedly an attempt by the mass media company to obtain the broadcasting rights to FIFA World Cup soccer games. U.S. District Court Judge Louis L. Stanton determined that Televisa’s shareholders had described their allegations with necessary specificity, ruling that Televisa must face its investors’ claims of securities fraud. Originally…  

Avenatti Strikes Back at Nike

Just one day after being arrested and charged with numerous crimes, including conspiracy to commit extortion, bank fraud, and wire fraud, celebrity lawyer and outspoken President Trump critic, Michael Avenatti, proclaimed his innocence and struck back at Nike in a CBS interview and a string of tweets. As we just recently reported, on March 25, 2019, Avenatti was charged and taken into custody after federal prosecutors were tipped off about Avenatti’s attempt to extort up to $26.5 million from Nike. However, over the last twenty-four…  

Michael Avenatti Arrested for an Attempt to Extort up to $26.5 Million From Nike

On March 25, 2019, celebrity lawyer and outspoken President Trump critic, Michael Avenatti, was arrested and taken into custody after federal prosecutors charged him with numerous crimes, including conspiracy to commit extortion, bank fraud, and wire fraud. According to a federal criminal complaint, on March 19, 2019, Avenatti met with Nike representatives claiming to represent a youth basketball coach who had information that Nike employees made illicit payments to the families of high school athletes. Avenatti and his alleged co-conspirator Mark Geragos, a high-profile criminal…  

Former Northwestern University Football Player Sues NCAA

On March 18, 2019, former Northwestern University football player, Jay Tant, filed a proposed concussion class action lawsuit against the NCAA. In the class action suit, Tant alleged that the NCAA failed to protect the school’s players from the dangers of concussion and head injuries despite knowing the risks. According to Tant, the NCAA knew, since 1933, of the dangers of concussions and the long-term risks they posed to student-athletes however, the NCAA only began to implement concussion protocols in 2010. Tant, a standout tight…  

Texas A&M Wants out of the “12th Man” Copyright Suit

On March 15, 2019, Texas A&M University urged U.S. District Court Judge Andrew S. Hanen that the Texas A&M Athletic Department is not a separate entity and therefore is entitled to immunity in the Texas A&M “12th Man” copyright suit. As we have continued to report, in 2014, Michael J. Bynum, an author, sued Texas A&M after it posted on its website the “heart” of Mr. Bynum unpublished book, 12th Man: The Life and Legend of Texas A&M’s E. King Gill. According to…  

Potential New Tax Law Would Allow NCAA Athletes to Profit From Their Image

On March 14, 2019, Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) introduced a bill that would allow NCAA athletes to profit from their image and likeness. The Student-Athlete Equity Act, which is co-sponsored by Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), would amend the definition of an “amateur” in the federal tax code and would allow NCAA student-athletes to get paid when they, or more specifically their image, appears in video games, advertisements, and other public media. In a statement, Rep. Walker said, “Signing an athletic scholarship with a school…  

Ex-Auburn Assistant Coach Pleads Guilty

Former Auburn basketball assistant coach, Chuck Person, has reportedly plead guilty to a conspiracy charge. Person, who was previously accused of accepting bribes and encouraging Auburn basketball players to sign with certain financial advisors and business managers, is the latest NCAA figure to be caught up in the NCAA corruption/Bribery scandal and trial. As we have continued to report, the scandal, which concluded in a trail and convictions, involved Adidas executive Jim Gatto, Adidas contractor Merl Code, and sports business manager Christian Dawkins. Each…  

Former Penn Basketball Coach Takes the Stand, Admits Accepting Bribes

On March 8, 2019, former head basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania, Jerome Allen, took the stand as a government witness in the trial of Philip Esformes. Allen, now with the Boston Celtics, previously plead guilty, in October 2019, to a bribery-related money laundering charge. Allen testified against Esformes, a healthcare executive, claiming that Esformes bribed him with $300,000 in bags full of cash and wire transfers so Esformes’ son, Morris, could qualify as a “recruited” basketball player, which would help him get accepted…  

NCAA Escapes Wrongful-Death Suit

In February 2016, at Mount Ida College in Massachusetts, after a two-hour off season workout with his football team, Michael Mazza returned to his dorm room and tragically died. According to an eyewitness, “[h]e sat on the couch and stiffened up. His head went back. His friends thought he was fooling around, but his lips were turning white and he wasn’t breathing.” Thirty minutes later, at 20 years old, Michael Mazza was pronounced dead. An autopsy revealed that the cause of death was “probable…  

“Hard Rock” Hamilton Says Microsoft Can’t Leave Gears of War Lawsuit

On March 2, 2019, Lenwood “Hard Rock” Hamilton filed a motion in opposition to Microsoft’s summary judgment motion in video game lawsuit. As we have previously covered, Hamilton sued Microsoft Studios Inc. and Epic Games Inc. claiming that a character/avatar in the popular video game Gears of War, Augustus “Cole Train” Cole, was based on, and copied, Hamilton. According to Hamilton, “[t]he similarities of the avatar ‘Cole Train’ and [Hamilton] include that both are black (and ‘Cole Train’ is the only black avatar…  

College Athlete Compensation Decision

On March 8, 2019, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken issued an injunction prohibiting the NCAA from enforcing rules that are “overly and unnecessarily restrictive.” In yet another decision, Judge Wilken changed the landscape of the NCCA’s amateurism and compensation rules. For the second time, Judge Wilken ruled that the NCAA’s amateurism and compensation rules violated federal antitrust laws. Specifically, the NCAA can no longer “limit compensation or benefits related to education;” however, the NCAA “may continue … to limit compensation and benefits that are unrelated…  

UPDATE: NFL Moves to Dismiss Lawsuit Over Controversial No-Call

On February 27, 2019, the group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders dropped their lawsuit against the NFL. ******* On February 12, 2018, the NFL moved to dismiss the lawsuit brought by a group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders over the controversial no-call in the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game. As you recall, a group of New Orleans Saints season ticket holders sued the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell with the goal of reversing their overtime playoff loss in…  

Sports Betting Website Sued Over Mass Texts

Sideline Marketing, Inc. has been accused of violating the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by sending unsolicited advertisements via text messages. The proposed class action was filed in Florida federal court on February 22, 2019. The lead plaintiff Steven Saul alleges in his complaint that Sideline Marketing bombarded individuals with unwanted text messages, sending spam texts advertising its sports betting advice service on BlowoutPicks.com. The suit claims that these bulk spam messages were sent without the recipients’ permission by an automatic telephone dialing system, and that…  

Youth Hockey “Boys Club” Prevents Tier 1 Application, Suit Says

On February 21, 2019, Reapers Hockey Association Inc. (Reapers), an organization that hopes to become Illinois fifth Tier 1 youth hockey club, filed a lawsuit against the Amateur Hockey Association of Illinois Inc. (AHAI), the committee in charge of granting Tier 1 charters. According to the lawsuit, the AHAI governs all organized amateur hockey in Illinois, but the AHAI has only served the pecuniary interests of the existing four hockey clubs that possess a Tier I charter. It was alleged that the AHAI and its…  

Kaepernick and Reid Settle Grievance Against NFL

On February 15, 2019, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and current Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a settlement with the NFL regarding their collusion claims against the NFL. As we have previously reported, Kaepernick accused the NFL of colluding to keep him out of the league since he became a free agent in March 2017, arguing that the NFL refused to hire him because of his 2016 national anthem protests. Kaepernick has not been with an NFL team since severing his…  

Appeals Court Revives White Sox Injury Suit

A three judge-panel on an Illinois appeals court has revived a negligence/product liability suit by a former electrician against the Chicago White Sox. The suit arose from an incident in which plaintiff Thomas Zahumensky, an electrician, slipped and fell on wet polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, while repairing the scoreboard in the field on which the White Sox Play. The field, which is now known as Guaranteed Rate Field, was known as U.S. Cellular Field when he was injured in 2013. Zahumensky sued the White Sox,…  

Detroit Lions Agent Sues Over Player’s Autograph Session

Agent Jason Bernstein, of Clarity Sports International, is suing the owner of a sports memorabilia operation, arguing that an autograph session they arranged with Detroit Lions wide receiver Kenny Golladay broke an exclusive marketing deal. Gerry Ochs, owner of Redland Sports, is accused of arranging the autograph session through a rival agent, Todd France of Creative Artists Agency (CAA), and is alleged to have done so to lure Golladay into signing a new representation deal with CAA. The complaint states that Ochs arranged the event…  

Again, Supreme Court Declines to Review NFL Diabetes Suit

The Supreme Court has once again declined to review the case filed by Aurora Moody, who argues on behalf of her son that the NFL discriminated against him because he has diabetes. The son, Julian Moody, was a teenager when he was involved in the NFL’s high school program. He claimed in his complaint that the NFL barred him from playing in the 2012 national tournament because he has Type 1 diabetes, removing him from their program. Julian Moody claimed emotional damage and argued that…  

Former NFL Players Time Barred in Painkillers Suit

On February 6, 2019, the Ninth Circuit ruled that a group of former NFL player’s claim against the NFL was time barred. As we previously reported, back in May 201, lead plaintiff, Etopia Evans, widow of the late Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens player Charles “Chuck” Evans, and six other former NFL players sued the NFL claiming that the league illegally dispensed painkillers and pushed athletes to return to the field, ending their careers early. Back in 2008, Chuck Evans died a jail cell,…  

NYS Gaming Commission Approves of Regulation which Permit Sports Betting at State Casinos

On February 4, 2019, the New York State Gaming Commission approved a proposed set of regulations, which would allow four New York State casinos to operate, and permit, in-person sports betting. According to one a member of the New York State Gaming Commission, “[t]he proposed regulations seek to protect the integrity of wagering and ensure the sports wagering remains within the scope of activity the legislature authorize.” Aside from the typical standards for operating sports betting, the proposed regulations layout a framework for how…  

Litigation Funding Companies Claim Judge Improperly Assumed Jurisdiction in Concussion Settlement Case

On January 23, 2019, three litigation-funding companies, RD Legal Funding LLC, Atlas Legal Funding LLC, and Thrivest Specialty Funding LLC told a three-judge panel that U.S. District Judge Anita B. Brody, the judge who oversaw the NFL concussion case settlement, improperly assumed jurisdiction over third party funding contracts between the companies and the former players. The litigation funding companies argued that Judge Brody lacked jurisdiction to bar the litigation funding companies from recovering their stake in the settlement. As we have previously reported, in…  

Angry Saints Fans Sue Over Controversial No-Call

In the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game, the New Orleans Saints were tied 20-20 with the Los Angeles Rams. The Saints were marching down the field and it appeared they were on the verge of scoring a touchdown and leaving the Rams with little to no time to respond. On a crucial third down, Saints quarterback Drew Brees dropped back and threw a pass near the five-yard line, on the right sideline, intended for Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis; however, Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman…  

Judge Explains Reasoning in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Trial

On January 17, 2019, U.S. District Court Judge Lewis A. Kaplan explained his reasoning behind precluding the defendants use of an expert witness in the NCAA corruption/bribery trial. As we previously reported, on October 24, 2018, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christopher Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code of fraud charges arising out of a high-profile college basketball pay-for-play scandal. In a memorandum, Judge Kaplan explained that expert witness Dr. Daniel…  

DOJ Issues Reversal: Wire Act to Prohibit All Online Gambling

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has released an official revised opinion articulating its stance on the application of the Wire Act. The opinion threatens to have sweeping effects on the online gambling industry, potentially prohibiting all online wagering, not just online sports betting. The Wire Act, put into effect in 1961, was originally strategized by Congress as a way to crack down on underground sports betting and to subsequently reduce organize crime. The Act made it a federal offense to take sports bets through a…  

Tidal Wave of Former College Football Players Plan to File Lawsuits Against NCAA

Reportedly, over 200 former NCAA college football players are planning to sue the NCAA. The lawsuits allege that the NCAA was negligent in failing to protect the former players from long-term brain damage, even though the NCAA knew about the dangers. The tip of the iceberg were several lawsuits filed on January 25, 2019. In one lawsuit, former Cameron University football player, Abe Mack IV, sued the NCAA for injuries sustained a result of NCAA’s “reckless disregard for [his and others similarly situated] health…  

Lane Johnson Fights to Keep Suit Against NFL and NFLPA Alive

On January 16, 2019, Lane Johnson, a right tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, fought a motion for summary judgment in his case against the NFL and the NFLPA. Johnson argues that an arbitrator who handled an appeal in his 10-game Performance Enhancing Drug policy suspension, failed to disclose a conflict of interest. Back in 2016, Johnson filed his lawsuit after an arbitration proceeding which upheld his 10-game suspension for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. Johnson alleges that James Carter, an arbitrator and senior counsel…  

Youth Football Coach Sues USA Football Inc. After Being Struck by Lightning

On January 14, 2019, Zachary G. Mumford, a former assistant youth football coach from South Carolina, filed an amended lawsuit against USA Football Inc. In his lawsuit, Mumford alleges that he was struck by lightning while acting as an assistant coach for a youth football team in a local South Carolina youth football league. According to Mumford, back in August 2015, he was coaching a practice for a team composed of 12- and 13-year-old boys at Carver Elementary School, when suddenly, a lightning storm abruptly…  

Judge Allows High School Basketball Star to Play Amid Controversy

Maori Davenport, a girls high school basketball star and Rutgers recruit, was ruled ineligible for her senior season of basketball after a controversial ruling. Back in November 2018, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) suspended Davenport after she cashed an $857.20 check sent to her by Team USA. Previously, in August 2018, Davenport played for Team USA in the FIBA Americas U18 Tournament. The $857.20 check was sent to Davenport to cover her expenses and lost wages; however, a clerical error was made and…  

Law Firm Asks For $3.2M From Concussion Settlement Fund

Seeger Weiss LLP, a law firm representing some of the former NFL players involved in a class action lawsuit against the NFL, asked Untied States District Court Judge Anita Brody to distribute $3.2 million from a common benefit fund to pay Seeger Weiss LLP, and a handful of other firms, for work they performed in the class-action lawsuit. As we have previously reported, in April 2015, the NFL entered into a settlement agreement with almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped…  

“Hard Rock” Hamilton Can’t add Claim in Video Game Suit

On January 10, 2019, former former football player, professional wrestler, and motivational speaker, Lenwood “Hard Rock” Hamilton, was allowed to drop, but not add, allegations in his suit against Microsoft Studios Inc. and Epic Games Inc. Back in 2005, Hamilton claimed that he provided photos and voice recordings for a character who would later become Augustus “Cole Train” Cole in the video game Gears of War. In 2017, in a lawsuit against Microsoft Studios Inc., Hamilton claimed that the character, voiced by actor Lester…  

Former Field Hockey Athlete Fights to Hold American University Liable

Jennifer Bradly, former field hockey athlete at American University, argued against the University’s motion for summary judgment, contending that the motion contains identical arguments to a motion to dismiss that has already been denied. Bradley suffered a concussion in 2011 when she was hit in the head with a stick during a game, and brought suit in April 2014, alleging that the school and the doctors who treated her failed to attend to her medical needs. She states that she has brought “ample evidence” to…  

“Physically Damaging Workouts” cited in $12M Suit Against University of Oregon and NCAA

Doug Brenner, former offensive lineman for the University of Oregon, has brought suit against the school, the NCAA, and two coaches for $11.5 million. Brenner contends that the “extreme” workouts players were forced to endure resulted in such “serious, lifelong injuries,” and that his body is “ruined.” Coach Willie Taggart and strength and conditioning Coach Irele Oderinde were recently added to the complaint, and Brenner alleges that the coaches implemented “physically impossible and unreasonably repetitious” routines for Brenner and the other football players. Brenner…  

NFL and Players Union Defends Drug Testing of Eric Reid

A joint statement co-authored by the National Football League and its players union defended the decision to administer a series of drug tests to the Panthers’ Eric Reid, reiterating the organization’s ban against performance-enhancing drugs and stating that Reid was not singled out in the testing process. Reid had claimed that the NFL and its team had colluded against him in an effort to dissuade him from protesting the national anthem. Reid, a former San Francisco 49er, was one of the first players to kneel…  

Mother of Deceased NBA Minor Leaguer Seeks to Keep Suit in Eastern Michigan

The mother of deceased minor league basketball player appeared before a Michigan federal court, arguing to keep her case in Eastern Michigan. The mother, Jewel Upshaw, is pursuing litigation against the Detroit Pistons, the NBA, the owners of the arena where the incident occurred, and a group of Pistons investors, contending that the defendants are liable for negligence and the wrongful death of her son, Zeke Upshaw. As we have previously reported, Upshaw was playing during the March 24, 2018 game, defending his player man-to-man,…