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 Bynum unpublished book, 12th Man: The Life and Legend of Texas A&M’s E. King Gill.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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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“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…
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SCOTUS Settles Circuit Split, Rules Copyright Owners Must Register Prior to Bringing Infringement Lawsuits

On Monday, March 4, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared that a work must be registered with the U.S. Copyright office prior to the copyright owner bringing an infringement lawsuit. While registration is not required for valid copyright ownership, Section 411(a) provides that a work must be registered prior to bringing a copyright infringement lawsuit. Notably, even if the application is ultimately refused and the registration is denied, the applicant still may bring a civil action. Previously, the circuit courts had been split on what…
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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…
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NCAA Head Coaches Sean Miller and Will Wade Face Subpoenas in Upcoming Federal Basketball Corruption Trial

On February 25, 2019, reports began circulating that indicate both Arizona head basketball coach Sean Miller and LSU head basketball coach Will Wade will be subpoenaed in connection with the upcoming April 22 federal basketball corruption trial. Back in October, a Manhattan federal jury convicted former Adidas executive James Gatto, business manager and aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins, and former Adidas consultant Merl Code of fraud charges arising out of this college basketball pay-for-play scandal. Throughout the course of trial, several NCAA coaches’ names emerged…
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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,…
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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…
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