Update: Cell Phone Evidence Upheld in NCAA Corruption/Bribery Case

As we have previously reported, former Adidas consultant, Merl Code, NBA agent, Christian Dawkins, and Adidas executive, Jim Gatto, came under fire in 2017 for alleged bribery and corruption practices relating to the NCAA. Specifically, they were accused of facilitating six-figure payments to basketball players and their families in exchange for assurance that the players would go on to attend Adidas-sponsored, NCAA Division I colleges, using Dawkins as an agent. Further accusations indicate that college coaches were similarly bribed in the scheme and encouraged…
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Mother Sues the NBA, Pistons, and Others after Her Son Died During a Game

In the final minute of a game on March 24, 2018, Zeke Upshaw was playing for the Detroit Pistons’ minor-league affiliate, the Grand Rapids Drive, when he suddenly collapsed on the court and later died. An autopsy of the then 26-year-old basketball player revealed that Upshaw suffered a “Sudden Cardiac Death” (SCD). Now Upshaw’s mother is suing on her sons behalf. According to a statement from the lawyers representing Upshaw’s mother, “Upshaw crumpled face-down on the court in full cardiac arrest. Despite this undeniable dire…
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Growing Up Big and Strong: FanDuel Raises $275M in Financing

On Tuesday, July 14, daily fantasy sports website FanDuel Inc. announced that it brought in $275 million after closing a round of financing, bringing its total venture capital funding to $363 million.  The funding is led by private equity firm KKR, Google, and Time Warner, and the company stated that it plans to use the financing to boost customer acquisition efforts, introduce new products, and build its management team. Additionally, the company noted that several NFL and NBA team owners participated in the funding round…
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Swoosh: Nike Scores $1 Billion NBA Jersey Deal

The NBA has recently announced an eight-year global merchandising and marketing partnership with Nike, Inc. that will begin with the 2017-18 NBA season. Pursuant to the agreement, Nike will become the official oncourt apparel provider for the NBA. The deal will make Nike the first ever apparel provider to have its logo appear on NBA uniforms. This comes after German apparel manufacturer Adidas, the NBA’s previous official outfitter, bowed out of the running for the uniform contract. In securing the contract, Nike reportedly beat out…
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Bill Ending Antitrust Exemptions for Pro Sports Leagues Introduced

A bill to end the current permanent antitrust exemptions of the four major professional sports leagues was introduced by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. on December 2. Titled the Sustained Promotion of Responsibility in Team Sports Act (SPORTS), the bill would remove permanent antitrust exemptions for NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA one year from the bill’s enactment and replace it with a reauthorization process every five years.  According to the SPORTS Act, ninety-five days before ending the exemption, Congress would have an up-down vote on a…
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NBA Leads in Gender Equity

On the National Basketball Association’s (NBA’s) opening night this past Tuesday, the defending champions, the San Antonio Spurs, made a historical win with the help of their new assistant coach, Becky Hammon. When Hammon was hired to the Spurs in early August, she became the first paid female assistant coach in the NBA, or any major American professional sport. Just weeks prior to Hammon’s hiring, Michele Roberts became the first woman elected as the executive director of the NBA Players Union. This occasion also marked…
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Appeals Court Agrees Cuban Is Not Mismanaging Mavericks.

On Thursday August 21, judgment was entered in the Court of Appeals for the Fifth District of Texas affirming the trial court’s November 2011 decision that the Dallas Mavericks were not being mismanaged and did not require court-appointed receivership. The lawsuit, filed in 2011 by previous majority owners, Hillwood Investment Properties III Ltd., claims that Mark Cuban’s ownership of the Mavericks has been “careless and reckless” resulting in a loss of substantial investment value to the now minority owners.  Hillwood is seeking court-appointed receivership due…
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Sterling to Oppose Forced Sale in Court

L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling released a statement on Monday titled, “The Team is not for Sale.”  In his statement, Sterling claims he will not assent to the forced sale of his team and will fight it in court.  Sterling intends to move forward with a $1 Billion lawsuit against the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver for the forced sale of the Clippers.  Sterling argues that the NBA breached their contract by fining him and that it breached antitrust law by forcing a sale of…
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Donald Sterling Throws in the Towel: the Clippers to Steve Ballmer

Donald Sterling decided to withdraw a $1 billion lawsuit against the NBA and agreed to sell the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.  According to an official release, Shelly Sterling in her deal with Ballmer agreed to “indemnify the NBA against lawsuits from others, including Donald Sterling.”  On the other hand, Donald Sterling’s lawyer Max Blecher stated that the decision to withdraw came as a result of the NBA’s agreement not to sue Sterling in return. Sterling’s $1 billion lawsuit against…
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Sterling Says the Forced Sale of Clippers is Illegal

Calling the forced sale illegal, Donald Sterling will challenge the NBA’s attempt to oust him.  He claims that the attempt is illegal because it is based on illegal recording of his racial comments “during an inflamed lovers’ quarrel.” According to Sterling’s response to the NBA, because the conversation was recorded without his knowledge, the recording is illegal under California law.  Without the knowledge, Sterling also argues, he could not have “willfully” offended the league. Sterling came under fire when a recording of his racist comments…
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