Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, April 06, 2011
Catching up with Links

* Dodgers Ownership Divorce, Fox TV Contract, and Frank McCourt Suing Major League Baseball?
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times discusses how Frank McCourt could sue Major League Baseball and commissioner Bud Selig if Selig rejects a TV deal between the Dodgers and Fox. The prospective TV deal between the Dodgers and Fox would potentially end the thorny divorce proceedings between Frank and Jamie McCourt, as both would get a substantial amount of money in the deal.

But Selig allegedly wants McCourt to sell the team and may reject the TV deal. That could lead to McCourt suing MLB. As I discuss in the story, I don't think the lawsuit would succeed - in the franchise agreement between an owner and MLB, the owner contractually agrees to not sue MLB. However, if a court found that Selig was somehow arbitrary and capricious in rejecting the TV deal, perhaps there would be some running ground with the lawsuit. Click here to read the story.

* Is the NFL Lockout comparable to the NHL Lockout? Not really.
John Glennon of The Tennessean explains why the NFL's decision to impose a lockout is very different from NHL's decision to do so in 2004. Here's an excerpt: " The NHL appeared to be moving toward financial crisis prior to its lockout, as a majority of the teams — especially those in smaller markets such as Nashville — were losing money. NHL salaries had jumped dramatically in the preceding decade, as player costs increased from 56.6 percent of total league revenue in 1994 to 75.6 percent in 2003, according to John Vrooman, a sports economist at Vanderbilt University.There was no salary cap in place at the time. . . " Click here for the story.

* Will a Connecticut bill that requires colleges and universities to more fully close terms of athletic scholarships pass?
Dan Fitzgerald explores this topic over on Connecticut Sports Law Blog. Click here for the story.

Bonus link from Dan: Should the Hartford Whalers return to the NHL? As a Bruins fan growing up, I recall some great match-ups against Kevin Dineen, Ron Francis and others on the Whale. Would love to see the Whalers return and more NHL hockey for New England.

* File and Trial strategy for Pre-Arbitration players
Darren Heitner of Sports Agent Blog explores that strategy for MLB teams in the Rays signing Wade Davis.

* What does the Defense need to do in Barry Bonds trial?
Paul Elias of the Associated Press explains what needs to be done -- namely, figure out how to rebut Kathy Hoskins's damaging testimony. Click here for the story.

* CNN previews tomorrow's big NFL hearing

* Coverage of Harvard Law School Sports Law Symposium and Sonny Vaccaro's Keynote Address
I was honored to participate in last Friday's outstanding symposium.

If you would like to watch Sonny Vaccaro's keynote address in its entirety, click here (the link also takes you to an excellent story by Lewis Rice on Vaccaro's address).

For a story recapping the entire day, click here.

* Sports Law Panel at New York University School of Law on Wednesday, April 13
From Bird to Brady: Collective Bargaining in American Sports

Brought to you by The NYU School of Law IPELS Sports Law Committee

April 13, 2011, 12:30 - 1:45 pm
Greenberg Lounge, Vanderbilt Hall
40 Washington Square South, New York, New York

The biggest and most challenging issue facing American sports leagues today isn’t criminality, career-threatening injuries, or even performance-enhancing drugs - it’s collective bargaining. The stakes are high - for players, franchises and most of all fans. These issues have caused shortened seasons in the NBA and MLB, an entirely cancelled season in the NHL, and now threaten to delay the most profitable sport in the world - the NFL.

What will become of our beloved national pastimes? Hear from the professionals at the negotiating table and on the sidelines who are making these tough decisions, and ask the questions that America wants to know.

James Quinn, Partner, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and outside counsel for NFL players in the Brady v. NFL lawsuit
L. Robert Batterman, Partner, Proskauer Rose LLP and outside counsel for the NFL and NBA
Russ Granik, former NBA Deputy Commissioner
Jon Wertheim, Senior Writer, Sports Illustrated
Robert Boland, clinical associate professor of Sports Management, NYU Preston
Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management

Jack Ford, CBS Legal Analyst

Please RSVP here:

* Sports Law Panel at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. on Monday, May 2
Valuing Professional Sports Franchises: An Inside View of the Purchase and Sale Process Time:

Monday, May 2, 2011 from 5:45 pm to 7:00 pm

Why are professional sports franchises such highly valued assets? Join us and hear industry experts explain 1) the metrics for determining such valuations, and 2) the legal and business issues that arise in the purchase and sale process. Then stick around for the Washington Nationals game against the reigning World Series champion San Francisco Giants!

The AEMS - Washington Nationals event has sold out the past two years. Limited seating is available, so do not delay. D.C. Bar staff will distribute the game tickets at Nationals Park the night of the event. Tickets must be picked up prior to the start of the panel discussion. ID is required for pickup.

Please Note: The program will be held in Conference Center Room #6 (behind section 201 on mezzanine level - left field side).

This Off the Record Evening Program is sponsored by the Arts, Entertainment and Sports Law Section.

Nationals Park
1500 South Capital Street, SE, Navy Yard Metro
Conference Center Room #6
Washington DC 20003
Sections Office 202-626-3463
Randall Boe, Executive Vice President, Monumental Sports*Entertainment
John Moag, Sports Investment Banker, Moag and Company, LLC
Michael Sopko, Moderator
Peter Zern, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP

To learn more about the panel, click here.
Update: from Elliot Solop of The Sports Tomato:
I wanted to let you know about a charity event I am hosting and running for Rutgers football star and Woodbridge, NJ resident Eric LeGrand. The event will be held on July 23 between 1pm-8pm and will feature a list of musical talents and influential sponsors.

Details on the event:
DATE: Saturday, July 23rd 2011
TIME: 1pm - 8pm
1 Samuel Lupo Place Woodbridge, NJ 07095

52 FEST is a benefit dedicated towards Eric LeGrand, Woodbridge Township Resident (NJ) and Rutgers University Football Star.

The benefit will feature an array of musical talents and a list of influential sponsors. Proceeds will go towards renovations to Eric’s house including a handicapped ramp, bathroom, and an additional room.

52 Fest is about progress, hope, growth, positivity, selflessness, love, and the ability to envision a brighter future. Through Eric’s journey of perseverance, he has influenced the hearts, minds, and souls of many. Our only goal for 52 Fest is to impact Eric’s life the same way he has ours.

- Elliot Solop, Joe Geis & Marisa Mendez



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