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…
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“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…
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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…
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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…
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Ex-Penn State Doctor Alleges Football Coach Pressured Him to Clear Injured Players

A former Penn State football team doctor filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania state court on August 23, 2019,  alleging that the school’s football coach, James Franklin, pressured the doctor into clearing injured players and allowing them to return to the field. Allegedly, Dr. Scott A. Lynch reported Coach Franklin’s actions to various Penn State department heads. It was after he reported those actions, though, that Dr. Lynch was removed from two positions in Penn State’s athletic department in March 2019. In his lawsuit, Lynch is…
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Junior College Sued Over Controversial “Oklahoma Drill”

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled on August 20, 2019, that Lackawanna Junior College had assumed a duty to care for the well-being of two of the school’s football players, Augustus Feleccia and Justin Resch. On March 29, 2010, Feleccia and Resch were injured while participating in an Oklahoma Drill during the team’s football practice. An Oklahoma Drill has several variations, but it commonly involves two players lined up three yards opposite one another. At the sound of the whistle, the players run at one…
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Mr. T Sues Popular Marijuana Website

On August 22, 2019, Laurence Tureaud, most commonly known as Mr. T, sued Leafly, a digital cannabis company. In his lawsuit, Mr. T claimed that Leafly, the largest cannabis website in the world for people in legal cannabis markets, infringed on his trademark rights by abbreviating one of their product names, called Mr. Tusk, to “Mrt.” Mr. T became famous in the 1980s for his roles in the “The A-Team” and “Rocky III.” According to Mr. T, the abbreviation of Mr. Tusk to “Mrt”…
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The Historical Significance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2001 decision in PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin

On January 17, 2001, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments for PGA Tour, Inc. v. Martin. Historically, the court has often strayed from sports-related disputes, although there are some landmark cases which were exceptions and shaped the national landscape of sports. However, the dispute in Martin spanned greatly beyond a mere sports-related dispute. The issue was simple: does using a golf cart fundamentally alter a tournament? However, the larger legal question was whether the American Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) supersedes the rules of…
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City of Phanatic Love: Phillies Face Lawsuit Over Beloved Mascot

He’s green, a little mean, and often obscene – it’s the mascot everyone loves to hate, the infamous Phillie Phanatic. After the filing of a new federal lawsuit, however, there’s an ominous question looming of whether the 41-year-old relationship will continue in the city of brotherly love. Back on August 2, 2019, the Philadelphia Phillies filed a copyright lawsuit in federal court against Harrison/Erickson, Inc. (H/E) over the future use of the Phanatic as a mascot.  Reportedly, H/E asserts that its primary members, Bonnie and…
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Raiders Prevail in Lawsuit Against City of Oakland

U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph C. Spero granted the Oakland Raiders, the NFL, and 31 other NFL teams their motion to dismiss a lawsuit from the City of Oakland on Thursday. In a 30-page order, Judge Spero found that a city cannot recover damages based on tax revenue from the “broad scope of economic activity associated with the presence of a professional football team.” The Raiders previously claimed the City of Oakland could “lose significant tax and other income” associated with the Raiders’ pending move…
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