NFL Officially Partners With DraftKings for Daily Fantasy

On September 26, 2019, the NFL announced that it has selected DraftKings to be its first official daily fantasy partner. Notably, this partnership deal does not include sports betting. In a joint statement, the companies stated that their partnership includes “exclusive sponsorship of the daily fantasy sports category with access to NFL branding and more.” NFL Chief Revenue Officer Renie Anderson said, “[d]aily fantasy football has been a tremendous vehicle for fans of all types to deepen their engagement with the NFL.” Over 11…
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The Death of Tyler Skaggs and Potential Liability of the Los Angeles Angels

On July 1, 2019, Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher, Tyler Skaggs, was found dead in a hotel room in Texas several hours before his team was scheduled to play the Texas Rangers. The police in Southlake, Texas, said they found Skaggs, 27, dead in a room at the team hotel after responding to a call about an unconscious male. After an autopsy was performed, it was discovered that Skaggs died by choking on vomit after using drugs and alcohol, according to the Tarrant County, Texas…
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California First State to Pay Student-Athletes

On September 30, 2019, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the Fair Pay to Play Act. Groundbreaking legislation and the first of its kind, this act will allow California student-athletes to earn compensation through endorsements or sponsorships. As we have continued to report, the legislation – now law – comes on the heels of the heated debate across the country on whether student-athletes should be compensated for their services. California is now the first state in the country to allow student-athletes at the 58 member…
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Jets Player Sues NFL, Alleging ADA Violation Over Helmet Visor

New York Jets safety Rontez Miles filed a lawsuit against the NFL, claiming that a referee violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) when he forced Miles to remove a helmet visor. Miles said that the visor was necessary to protect his eyes from sun glare. He had previously collided with another player and was injured when his helmet did not include the visor. The incident took place on August 19, 2017, during a preseason game against the Detroit Lions. According to his complaint, a…
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New England Patriots Player Asks Judge to Throw Out ‘Trash Talk’ Lawsuit

New England Patriots safety Patrick Chung has asked a federal judge to dismiss a defamation lawsuit by a former Los Angeles Rams employee that involves the posting of a text message on social media. As we reported earlier, former Rams ticket executive Matthew Hogan sued Chung and Matthew Weymouth, a friend of Chung’s who ran his social media pages. The lawsuit is over text messages that Chung posted to his social media. The post consisted of an exchange between Hogan and Weymouth where Hogan…
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All in the Family: Father of NCAA Corruption Convict Allegedly Fired for Soliciting $25,000 from Student-Athlete

Cleveland State University (CSU) has fired Lou Dawkins, the father of aspiring sports agent and convicted NCAA bribery conspirator Christian Dawkins, from his assistant basketball coach position for soliciting $25,000 from a student-athlete. As we previously reported, Christian Dawkins and Adidas consultant, Merl Code, were convicted by a federal jury in October 2018 on fraud charges. Then, in May 2019, Dawkins and Code were convicted by another federal jury on conspiracy to bribe assistant college basketball coaches. Dawkins is currently arguing for leniency in…
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$29.5 Million Sports Betting Scheme Unraveled by SEC

On August 30, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court of Nevada against John Thomas, 74, and Thomas Becker, 72. The SEC alleges Thomas and Becker ran a fraudulent $29.5 million sports betting investment scheme. The two men raised the funds from 600 investors across 40 states by “offering investors pooled investment contracts whereby [the investors] obtain the opportunity to share in the purported profits” from Thomas’ and Becker’s “proprietary sports betting system.” Thomas and Becker communicated…
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NFL Partners with Australian Sports Bookmaker, Signals Future Cooperation in America

With the emergence of widespread sports betting in the USA, we’ve seen the vast majority of the major sports leagues – including the NBA, MLB, and NHL – join forces with sports books, allowing the bookmakers to use live statistics and official licensing on their platforms. Notably absent from these deals, however, has been the NFL. While ESPNews recently rebranded to show live odds and statistics concurrently with its primary programming, nothing official from the NFL may be shown—the sport is listed as Professional Football,…
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New York Introduces Bill Entitling College Athletes to Ticket Sale Proceeds

New York Sen. Kevin S. Parker (D-Brooklyn) recently introduced a bill that would allow college athletes to become eligible to receive compensation. The bill would allow college athletes to sign endorsements, but was recently amended to allow athletes to also enjoy a 15 percent cut of the income generated from ticket sales. This change comes after reports revealed Parker planned to add language that required schools to share 15 percent of all athletics revenue with athletes. “At the conclusion of each school year, each college…
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Scandal, Lawsuit, Settlement: Louisville, Pitino Reach an Accord

The University of Louisville Athletic Association (ULAA) and ex-coach, Rick Pitino, reached a settlement on September 18, 2019, following a two-year legal battle. Previously, we reported that Pitino was terminated following the NCAA’s investigation into alleged inappropriate recruitment practices by the Louisville men’s basketball team. As a result of the investigation, the NCAA forced the University of Louisville to vacate many of its wins, including the school’s 2013 national championship. Following the NCAA’s actions, the university terminated Pitino’s employment in October 2017. In November 2017,…
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