Sports Law Blog
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Wednesday, May 14, 2014
New Developments in Sterling and A-Rod Controversies + Johnny Manziel and Taxes
I have a few new articles for SI.com on Donald Sterling and new revelations into MLB's investigation into Alex Rodriguez, and have also co-authored an article with sports tax guru Robert Raiola on Johnny Manziel and state income taxes:
The Potential Legal Fallout from Donald Sterling's CNN Interview (May 13, 2014)
"While these responses may reveal a man who makes sweeping generalizations about groups of people -- especially African-Americans and Jewish people—they may also signal a man who no longer processes information as effectively as he once did. Along those lines, would some owners feel uncomfortable ousting an elderly owner whose mind may not be what it was? Would they feel even more unease if Sterling is diagnosed by a physician with an actual cognitive impairment? Remember, a supermajority of NBA owners -- 22 out of 29 -- will be needed to oust Sterling. If Sterling, the longest serving owner, can find eight sympathetic colleagues, he won't be kicked out of the league."
State Taxes may compel Johnny Manziel to avoid Ohio residency (with Robert Raiola) (May 13, 2014)
"Manziel can still avoid Ohio's income tax on most of his endorsement earnings simply by making sure that he remains a Texas resident. He's thus likely to keep his Texas residency and not avail himself of Ohio tax law unless it's absolutely necessary. A local trading card show or endorsement for a Cleveland car dealer would trigger Ohio tax law, but national endorsement deals would not. Expect Manziel to avoid spending 182 days in Ohio, as doing so would risk him being classified as a "full-year nonresident" under Ohio law and having higher taxes. Although Manziel dropped in the draft, he remains one of its most marketable players. He recently signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike that will reportedly pay him at least $20 million."
New evidence released in Alex Rodriguez case, but his options are limited (May 12, 2014)
"Rodriguez and Sterling now appear to be in the same boat of league justice: both have been punished by leagues based in part on dubious evidence. Keep in mind, this is evidence that a jury would probably never hear on grounds of inadmissibility. The legal problem for Rodriguez and Sterling is two-fold: leagues play by a different set of rules for what counts as admissible evidence in their "courts" and both men agreed to these rules. The leagues run their own hearings, featuring their own procedures for admissible evidence. While Rodriguez had an opportunity to plead his case before an arbitrator, Frederic Horowitz, arbitration is not a court trial. Rules of evidence in an arbitration are much more lax and informal. There are no jurors in an arbitration. There is no public record. It is private justice."
I also had the chance to join the Dan Patrick Show yesterday and discuss social media law for pro athletes and Donald Sterling: