A Widow’s Fight Against the NHL Faces Procedural Hurdle

Often, when lawsuits involve sports-related brain and head injuries (CTE), it’s easy to assume that the NFL is involved. However, concussion-related lawsuits are not solely confined to professional football.

In 2018, the NHL was engulfed in concussion litigation. Kelli Ewen, the widow of former NHL player, Todd Ewen, filed a lawsuit against the NHL in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. In her complaint, Ewen alleges that the NHL promotes a culture of “violence and concealment of long-term brain injuries associated …

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Collision Course: California’s Pay-to-Play Bill Takes Aim at NCAA

On September 9, 2019, the California State Assembly voted 66-0 to pass an amended version of the Fair Pay to Play Act. The bill now moves back to the state senate for a vote, which is likely to pass, putting the state on a collision course with the NCAA over its rules prohibiting student-athletes from being compensated for use of their name, image and likeness.

Previously, we reported that the California State Senate voted to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act (SB- 206) to …

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Former USC Basketball Coach to Serve No Prison Time for NCAA Bribery

The U.S. District Court ruled on June 5, 2019 that ex-University of Southern California assistant basketball coach Anthony “Tony” Bland will not be serving prison time for his involvement in the NCAA bribery scheme. Instead, the former coach will serve two years of probation and will forfeit the $4,100 sum he accepted as a bribe back in July 2017.

Bland pled guilty to taking bribes from various financial advisors and business managers to influence young athletes to retain their services  He originally faced six months …

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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. …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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Tennis Pro Wants Claims Bounced Back To State Court

On April 9, 2018, ten-year tennis pro Madison Brengle sued the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for physical and emotional consequences related to anti-doping blood tests. The suit was filed in a Florida Circuit Court and seeks damages for battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Specifically, Brengle believes that being subjected to vein penetrating blood drawings for anti-doping tests caused her to have extreme physical and emotional pain.

Brengle has a rare medical condition called complex regional pain …

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Public Backlash Major Influence in CFL Sacking of Art Briles

After public backlash, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, a Canadian Football League team, backtracked on its decision to hire former Baylor football coach Art Briles. Briles had been fired from Baylor University in May 2016 after an investigation revealed that the university mishandled sexual assault allegations against football players.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats CEO cited an underestimated “tsunami of negativity” from fans and the media, mainly in the U.S., as the main reason the hiring decision was quickly reversed the same day. The CEO also stated he believed …

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First Professional Transgender Player Not Quite Ready to Hang Up the Skates

Last October, Harrison Browne, formerly known as Hailey Browne, became the first openly transgender athlete to compete in a professional North American team sport. For the past two seasons, Browne has played in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) for the Buffalo Beauts. Two seasons ago, in the NWHL’s inaugural season, Browne scored 12 points and tied for the team lead in penalty minutes. Last season, Browne was part of a surprising Beauts championship season, where they beat the Boston Pride 3-2.

After the championship …

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