The Problem of Earning Too Much Too Fast

It is not uncommon to hear about sports stars and entertainers going broke.  Often, with the influx of large sums of money, they are clueless how to handle and preserve it wisely.  This is especially true with younger athletes. Many athletes land multimillion dollar contracts at a young age, sometimes right out of high school.  At such a young age, these athletes have little to no financial experience.  Yet, suddenly they find themselves thrust into a situation requiring a significant amount of knowhow.  They have…
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Collegiate Athletes Bring in a Ringer for New Action Against NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) is currently defending student amateurism on several fronts across the country in legal battles with big potential monetary implications.  In one ongoing lawsuit, former UCLA basketball star Ed O’Bannon leads a class action on behalf of former and current NCAA players, alleging that the organization’s practice of licensing and profiting from student images and likenesses without their consent violates federal antitrust laws.  Elsewhere, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter organized a union movement at the school and requested that the National…
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Flag on the Play – District Court Judge Rejects NFL Concussion Settlement Plan

Last fall the NFL and 4,500 ex-NFL players reached a proposed settlement deal of $765 million to end the ongoing multi-district concussion litigation.  In the underlying case, the NFL alumni accused the league of intentionally downplaying the risks of concussions and their correlation to later-life cognitive decline.  In addition to the $765 million sum, the NFL was slated to pay out $112 million in additional funds in plaintiffs’ attorney fees. However, on January 14, 2014, Judge Anita Brody for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania officially…
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Judges’ Panel Creates New Multi-District Litigation for NCAA Concussion Cases

A panel of federal judges recently ruled that ten class-action lawsuits brought against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) will be consolidated into a single multi-district litigation in Chicago.  In essence, each suit alleges that the NCAA intentionally concealed the long term-risks of concussions sustained by student athletes in a variety of college sports.  The consolidation follows in the wake of the recent $765 million settlement of the NFL’s concussion litigation, a nearly identical action brought against the league by over 4,500 former NFL alumni.…
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“Cumulative Trauma” California Claim Dismissed by California Court of Appeal

As detailed in prior articles, click here, California has very recently passed litigation in the form of Assembly Bill 1309 an attempt to stem the tide of “cumulative trauma” type claims that have been filed in California by current or former athletes with little or no connection to that state. Although AB 1309 is not discussed in the December 2013 decision of the Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District in the claim of a former WNBA professional, it is clear that California…
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The Ugly Truth of Public Financing

Despite research showing stadiums are a poor use of tax dollars, professional sports complexes are continually financed by cities, counties, and states. In the most recent example, Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves announced the team will move to a neighboring county after being promised $300 million in public funds for a new stadium, but some politicians plan to oppose the deal. For years, economists have been telling a different story than team owners want taxpayers to believe. Owners argue that a new stadium will…
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A New Potential Area of Liability Exposure to Equipment Manufacturers

Two more tragic deaths from brain injuries on the football field were reported in recent weeks. On November 11, Hopi (Arizona) High School football player Charles Youvella died from a traumatic brain injury suffered in a game the previous weekend. On November 14, Tipton (Missouri) High School football player Chad Stover died from a traumatic brain injury suffered in a game that took place two weeks earlier. The details of these two events, and any related legal issues, are unclear at this point.…
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NCAA Litigation May Lead to Compensation of Student Athletes

It is well known that student athletes do not receive any of the revenue that their schools generate from ticket sales, television revenues, jersey sales, or similar profit-generating business transactions arising out of college athletics. However, former University of California at Los Angeles basketball player, Ed O’Bannon has commenced an action in the Northern District of California against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Collegiate Licensing Company seeking to recover damages from the licensing of his likeness to entities such as EA Sports
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Michigan Follows National Trend, Passes New Sports Concussion Law

Michigan has become the 39th state to pass a sports concussion law which went into effect on June 30, 2013. The new Michigan law applies to school athletic committees, which include organized practices or competitions and also physical education classes that are part of any academic curriculum. Pursuant to the new law, before a student athlete may participate in athletic activities sponsored or operated by the school, the school must first insure that coaches, employees and volunteers and other adults who are involved in the…
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