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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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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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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Former Football Players Fight Back, Tell Ninth Circuit That NFL Was Directly Involved in Painkiller Lawsuit

In a lawsuit where former NFL players accused the league of doping them with amphetamines and painkillers, the players have responded to the NFL’s effort to end their appeal in the Ninth Circuit. As we reported earlier, former Chicago Bears players Richard Dent and Jim McMahon sued the NFL in 2014, claiming that the league facilitated the use of opioids, anesthetics, and drugs like Toradol without prescriptions, violating the Controlled Substances Act. While their lawsuit was initially dismissed by a district court for being preempted…
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NFL, MLB, and NHL Players’ Associations Sue Pittsburgh Over “Unconstitutional” Athletes Fee

The city of Pittsburgh is being challenged for a fee it is charging  nonresident professional athletes who play for Pittsburgh teams. The NHL Players’ Association, MLB Players’ Association, and NFL Players’ Association, along with baseball player Jeff Francoeur and hockey players Kyle Palmieri and Scott Wilson, have sued the city of Pittsburgh. The city currently imposes a three percent general revenue income fee on professional athletes who reside out of state. Athletes who live in the city, however, pay only a one percent fee. Pittsburgh…
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Parents Try To Quash Pop Warner Subpoena

The Sports Law Insider has previously reported on the class-action suit started by parents whose sons played Pop Warner football as children and subsequently were found to suffer from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) after their deaths. The original complaint accused Pop Warner of failing to monitor games, practices, rules, equipment, and medical care to minimize long-term risks associated with brain injuries, failing to accurately diagnose brain injuries, and failing to approve the best equipment available. The complaint also accused USA Football of promoting safety programs…
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Football Coach Immune from Brain Injury Suit, Yet Ruling May Give Hope to Future Players

Sheldon Mann, a high school football player who suffered a traumatic brain injury after a concussion during practice, will not be able to sue his coach or the school district. The Third Circuit affirmed Coach Christopher Walkowiak’s grant of immunity from a lawsuit that Mann’s parents filed in 2014. The appeals judge noted there was considerable dispute around what happened, and whether the coach knew Mann was injured when he allowed him to keep practicing. The head football coach of Palmerton Area School District claimed…
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NCAA to Review Instant Replay, Targeting Rules in Football

The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced on Thursday, February 4, 2016, that it intends to review certain rules to increase and promote football safety next season. The proposed rule changed will be analyzed by the NCAA Football Rules Committee during its upcoming meeting, scheduled for February 9-11. According to the NCAA, the committee will primarily be concerned with discussing potential rule changes to promote the improvement of health and safety in the sport of football – a wise stance to take as the wave of…
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Parents of New York High School Football Player File Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The parents of a Staten Island high school football player who died of a heart attack after collapsing at a pre-season workout in September 2014 recently filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City of New York, the Department of Education, the Fire Department, and the Emergency Medical Services Bureau. According to reports, the 6 foot 2 inch, 295 pound player collapsed after doing wind sprints when the temperature was 78 degrees with 75 percent humidity. The heart attack was reportedly caused by a…
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Recent Poll: Half of Americans Don’t Want Their Son to Play Football

Despite football’s popularity as a spectator sport, according to a recent Bloomberg Poll, half of American’s don’t want their son’s playing the game.  Those statistics are even gloomier among the educated; sixty-two percent of college-educated survey respondents said they wouldn’t want their son to play. Many suggest this decline is attributable to the attention on the negative health impacts of the sport.  Concussions have been a large stumbling block for the NFL.  A vast number of former players have alleged they suffer long-term effects…
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