NCAA Game Rigging Scheme: From Working in Politics to Working with the Mafia

Benjamin Bifalco, a 25-year-old former political staffer for a New York State Assemblyperson, was arrested in October 2019 for his role in attempting to rig an NCAA basketball game. He is expected to plead guilty on the charges.

Previously, we reported Bifalco was charged with violating 18 U.S.C. Section 224(a), which makes it unlawful to influence a sporting contest “in any way, by bribery. . . .” Per the indictment, Bifalco is alleged to have “knowingly and intentionally attempt[ed] to . . . influence by …

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It’s All About the Benjamins: Ex-Kansas Head Coach’s Breach of Contract Suit

David Beaty, former head coach of the Kansas University (KU) Jayhawks football team, has filed a breach of contract lawsuit against the university. KU hired Beaty in December 2012, where he initially  received an annual salary of $800,000 on a five-year contract. Following the 2016 season, Beaty received a two-year extension with a $1.8 million annual salary. The contract stipulated a payout, worth approximately $3 million, if KU terminated Beaty without cause.

Notably, the payout was not linked to Beaty’s salary. In 2018, KU hired …

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Parents Respond to Pop Warner’s Attempt to Exit CTE Suit

On December 2, 2019, Kimberly Archie and Jo Cornell (plaintiffs) filed their response in opposition to Pop Warner’s motion for summary judgment. Archie’s son, Paul, and Cornell’s son, Tyler, participated in Pop Warner Youth Football between the late 1990s and early 2000s. Both young men passed away in 2014.

In an evaluation from Boston University, it was revealed that the young men suffered from Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). In 2016, the plaintiffs filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, …

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Another One Bites the Dust, AFL Files Bankruptcy

The Arena Football League (AFL) has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in a Delaware bankruptcy court. The AFL filed its bankruptcy petition a little over a month after suspending all local business operations for its remaining six teams.

Since its inception in 1986, there have been as many as 19 AFL teams in a single season. However, the number of teams dramatically decreased following a Chapter 11 reorganization in 2009. That same year, the league rebranded to Arena Football One.

This year, the AFL’s financial …

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No Goal: Massachusetts Panel Rules that Hockey Player Can’t Sue Fellow Player or Officials over Injury

The Massachusetts Appeals Court ruled in a split decision that a high school-age hockey player cannot sue a fellow player or other officials for a serious injury he suffered as a result of an illegal hit.

In July 2013, hockey player Daniel Borella was injured by opposing player Julion Scott Lever near the end of a game between the New England Renegades and Team Kanaly. After being checked by Lever, Borella briefly lost consciousness and had his hand slashed by Lever’s skate. Borella permanently lost …

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What a Knockout! Disgruntled Fans Suit Down for the Count

The May 2, 2015 match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, promoted as the “Fight of the Century,” saw two of this generation’s most prominent figures in boxing go head-to-head for 12 rounds. However, many fans were less than pleased with the outcome of the fight after the Pacquiao camp’s post-fight revelation.

At the conclusion of the match, a “three-judge panel [unanimously] declared Mayweather the overall winner of the match,” the Ninth Circuit said. That same panel declared Pacquiao the “winner of between two …

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Pausing the Game: Take-Two Seeks to Pause WWE Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

Video game publisher Take-Two Interactive has told an Illinois federal court that it wants to pause a tattoo artist’s copyright infringement lawsuit, as a ruling on a pending summary judgment motion could decide the case.

As we reported last year, tattoo artist Catherine Alexander filed a lawsuit against Take-Two and World Wrestling Entertainment, alleging that they infringed on her copyright. Between 2003 and 2008, Alexander created several unique tattoos for WWE superstar Randy Orton. While WWE allegedly offered Alexander $450,000 for the rights to use …

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Los Angeles Dodgers try to Leave Ballgame by Transferring Jackie Robinson Contracts to Foundation

In a dispute over a pair of Jackie Robinson contracts, the Los Angeles Dodgers told a New York federal court that it transferred its purported interest in the contracts to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

As we reported  in October, the Dodgers entered a legal dispute over two of Jackie Robinson’s historic contracts. One is his 1947 contract with the then-Brooklyn Dodgers, in which he became the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball. The other is his 1945 contract with the Kansas City Monarchs, …

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Ex-NFL Player DeMeco Ryans Fights Arbitration in Lawsuit Versus Texans

Former Houston Texans and Philadelphia Eagles linebacker DeMeco Ryans has asked the Texas Supreme Court to let his lawsuit against the Texans continue, instead of going to arbitration.

As we reported earlier,  Ryans sued the Houston Texans back in 2016, alleging that they were responsible for an Achilles tendon injury he suffered in 2014. Specifically, Ryans claimed that the field of NRG Stadium was maintained in a poor condition, as the playing field consists of square patches of actual grass interwoven with seams of artificial …

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Players’ Unions v. Jock Taxes: An Inside Look at This Waging Legal Battle

Last week, we reported that the NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association sued the city of Pittsburgh for charging a fee on nonresident professional athletes that play within the city. These fees, often referred to as jock taxes, have come under fire over the past few years.

The players’ associations are not challenging the legality of jock taxes in general. It is well established that states and municipalities have the right to tax income earned by athletes in their jurisdiction. …

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