Three Former UCLA Football Players Sue for Injuries

Three former UCLA football players are suing the school for injuries they suffered while playing under head coach Jim Mora. John Lopez, Poasi Moala, and Zach Bateman are seeking in excess of $15 million in damages from the mishandling of their injuries. All three lawsuits, filed June 5, 2019 in Los Angeles Superior Court, name Mora, former offensive line coach Adrian Klemm, associate trainer Anthony Venute, and the university in their suit. Lopez and Moala each name the NCAA in their suit as well. The…
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Status of Online Sports Betting in New York

New York’s legislature approved back in April 2019 the 2019-20 state budget of $175 billion. Notably, while provisions had been considered for inclusion into the budget regarding online sports betting, lawmakers ultimately nixed the issue from the final version of the budget. Background To date, the most obtrusive hurdle to overcome in the eyes of the legislators is the New York State Constitution. While Governor Andrew Cuomo has no opposition to limited, on-site sports betting at particular upstate casinos, he has consistently maintained that a…
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UFC Fighter Wins 27.5 Million in Lawsuit over Tainted Supplement

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fighter Yoel Romero (Romero) has won $27.45 million in damages after New Jersey Superior Court Judge Carlia Brady entered a default judgment for him against Gold Star Performance Products (Gold Star). The lawsuit stems from a failed drug test by Romero in 2015 for the banned substance, Ibutamoren. This led to a six-month suspension from the UFC by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Throughout the process, Romero has maintained that the New Jersey-based supplement company misrepresented ingredients of its Shred RX…
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Judge Rules that Documentary’s Use of “Super Bowl Shuffle” Didn’t Violate Copyright

The U.S. District Court ruled on May 30, 2019 that a documentary’s feature of the “Super Bowl Shuffle” song in its film did not violate the song’s copyright. The fan-favorite rap song, performed by Walter Payton and other Chicago Bears players, was originally made famous in 1985, when the Bears won Super Bowl XX. Snippets of the song were used in the documentary “85: The Greatest Team in Football History,” a 2016 film by Scott Prestin celebrating the Chicago Bears’ championship season. The lawsuit was…
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NCAA Athletes Move Closer to Receiving Pay from Their Names, Images, and Likeness

On Wednesday, May 22, 2019, the California Senate voted (31-4) to pass the Fair Pay to Play Act to allow college athletes in the state to earn income from endorsements or sponsorships. The bill would protect college athletes in the state from losing eligibility for receiving such compensations. “The California Senate has spoken loud and clear: Student-athletes should enjoy the same right as all other college students – to earn income from their talent,” California State Sen. Nancy Skinner, who introduced the bill, said in…
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Caught Stealing: Sports Agent Alleges Financial Adviser Poached Star MLB Client for Scott Boras

On May 10, 2019, sports agent Robert Garber of RMG Sports Group LLC brought suit against financial adviser Bruce Lee, wherein he alleges Lee helped the infamous agent Scott Boras poach Boston Red Sox star J.D. Martinez just in time for Martinez’s big payday. Specifically, per the complaint, Garber represented Martinez from 2010 until 2017, when Martinez was positioned to enter the free agent market. However, just months before signing a $110 million deal with Boston – all of which is guaranteed in Major…
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Caesars, ESPN Reach Media Partnership Deal

On May 14, 2019, ESPN announced a media content partnership with Caesars Entertainment. Similar to Caesars’ deal with Bleacher Report, its LINQ Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will host a brand new ESPN-branded studio, where they will produce sports-betting-themed content and contribute to ESPN’s Daily Wager show. In addition to the studio, Caesars will serve as ESPN’s official odds data supplier throughout its platform. Per ESPN’s Vice President of Business Development Mike Morrison, “[w]e are poised to expand our coverage in a big way…
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New York Federal Jury Again Finds Former Adidas Official and Business Manager Guilty Due to Bribery Roles in “Pay-for-Play” NCAA Scandal

On May 8, 2019, a New York federal jury convicted aspiring sports agent Christian Dawkins and former shoe company basketball consultant Merl Code of conspiring to bribe assistant college basketball coaches. Back in October 2018, another Manhattan federal jury convicted Dawkins and Code – along with former Adidas executive James Gatto – on conspiracy and fraud charges as a result of yet another trial coming out of this high-profile “pay-for-play” NCAA scandal. Following this conviction, Dawkins and Code were sentenced to six months in prison…
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Judge Denies Elon Musk’s Motion to Dismiss Defamation Lawsuit

On April 26, 2019, U.S. District Judge Stephen Wilson denied Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s motion to dismiss a defamation lawsuit. No detailed order was filed; Judge Wilson simply made a text-only docket entry declining Musk’s request. Back in September 2018, Vernon Unsworth brought suit against Musk, alleging defamation arising out of tweets and emails sent by Musk. Unsworth, who has in excess of 40 years of spelunking experience, played a pivotal role in rescuing a dozen young soccer players trapped in a Thailand cave earlier…
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Former NFL Players Challenge New Rules in Concussion Settlement Case

On April 24, 2019, a group of former NFL players challenged newly adopted medical rules in the ongoing NFL concussion settlement. As we have previously reported, in April 2015, Judge Brody approved a settlement between the NFL and almost 22,000 former players. The settlement established a 65-year uncapped monetary fund for players who could prove certain neurological diagnoses. The settlement provided a $75 million “baseline assessment program” that provided eligible retired players with neurological examinations, a $10 million education fund to promote safety and…
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