Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
Salary Arbitration in Sports Conference

On Thursday, November 19th a trio of veteran sports agents will host the inaugural Salary Arbitration in Sports conference at St. John's University School of Law in Queens. The SAS conference will feature representatives from Major League Baseball, MLBPA, certified agents and former players, all with comprehensive experience in salary arbitration.

Hear from salary arbitration experts and industry veterans:

  • Jason Belzer, GAME, Inc. and;
  • Gregg E. Clifton, Jackson Lewis, P.C.;
  • Jeff Fannell of Jeff Fannell & Associates;
  • Rex Gary, Turner Gary Sports;
  • Paul Mifsud, Labor Relations, MLB;
  • Omar Minaya, MLBPA;
  • Mike Nicotera, The Sparta Group;
  • C.J. Nitkowski, Former MLB Player;
  • Jay Reisinger, Farrell & Reisinger, LLC;
  • John Ricco, NY Mets;
  • Rick Shapiro, MLBPA; and
  • Matthew Swartz, MLB TradeRumors.

At the SAS Conference, seasoned participants in the art of salary arbitration will share their insights and experiences through a full day of panel discussions and question-and-answer sessions. The conference is the inspiration of experienced certified sports agents Jeff Fannell, Mike Nicotera and Rex Gary., one of the Nation's fastest growing sources for #Sportsbiz insight and education will serve as the conference's digital partner.

Reserve your seat TODAY and receive an early bird discount using code "EARLY" at Space is limited.

Monday, October 12, 2015
Baseball and Viewpoint Discrimination?

As students are aware of my baseball allegiances, I am getting many questions and comments from students about the Cubs current position in the baseball playoffs. One student shared this story from last week--a professor at the University of Illinois moved the mid-term exam for a student because the student had obtained tickets to last week's National League Wild Card game in Pittsburgh.
CQXQRj0WoAQQiVP This is the student's plea.

CQXQRj3XAAAXULZAnd this is the professor's response

Viewpoint discrimination? What about the Cardinals fans who no doubt are in the class?

Thursday, October 08, 2015
UNH Law panel on Cardinals-Astros Hack and Analytics Security for Teams

Image from the Pandora Society

You are invited to attend a panel discussion at the University of New Hampshire School of Law next Thursday, October 15, from 5:30 to 7:00 pm on the legal and technology implications of the St. Louis Cardinals alleged hacking into the Houston Astros server. The panel will also address the broader topic of analytics security for sports teams.

Here is the lineup:


Professor Roger Ford of UNH Law. Professor Ford teaches and writes in the areas of intellectual property, law and technology, and privacy. 


Mandy Petrillo, the Director of Legal Operations of the Boston Red Sox (Fenway Sports Management). 

Bob Ryan, longtime columnist for the Boston Globe and contributor to ESPN's Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn. Bill Simmons has called Bob Ryan "the best basketball writer ever."

Sean Smith, the Director of the Institute of Security, Technology and Society at Dartmouth College

Mark Szpak, partner at Ropes & Gray, where he is a member of the firm's nationally-ranked data breach and privacy group

Excellent work by students Daniel Schwartz and Amanda Ramirez-Kelmer organizing this event. 

For driving directions to UNH Law in Concord, NH, click here. Hope to see you next Thursday!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Thabo Sefolosha Trial

The New York City trial of Atlanta Hawks guard Thabo Sefolosha has begun. My Sports Illustrated legal analysis on what to expect.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015
Impact of Insider Trading allegations on legality of Daily Fantasy Sports

I have a new article for Sports Illustrated on how allegations of insider trading may impact the legal of daily fantasy sports. Also be sure to see the excellent commentary by our colleague Daniel Wallach in today's New York Times.

Monday, October 05, 2015
New Law Review Article: The Curiously Confounding Curt Flood Act

As most sports law enthusiasts are well aware, although Major League Baseball has traditionally benefited from a judicially created antitrust exemption, it does not enjoy blanket antitrust immunity across all of its operations. Most notably, in 1998 Congress passed the Curt Flood Act, a law partially repealing baseball's exemption in order to allow major league players to file antitrust lawsuits against MLB.

Throughout Congress's deliberation of the Flood Act, legislators made it abundantly clear that the legislation was intended to remain neutral regarding the continued viability and scope of the rest of baseball's antitrust exemption. Nevertheless, a number of courts and academic commentators have read the law quite differently, concluding that it either explicitly or implicitly reflects Congressional acquiescence in the exemption. This was the position recently adopted by both the district and appellate courts in the City of San Jose v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball litigation, for instance, the lawsuit challenging MLB's refusal to approve the relocation of the Oakland A's to San Jose. The implication of these analyses is that baseball's antitrust exemption has now effectively been codified by Congress, meaning that the courts no longer have the power to repeal the exemption, should they be so inclined.

I challenge this interpretation of the Flood Act in a new law review article, "The Curiously Confounding Curt Flood Act," forthcoming next year in the Tulane Law Review. In particular, my article advances a novel textualist interpretation of the Flood Act, contending that when properly read, the law neither expressly nor implicitly approves of the bulk of baseball's antitrust exemption. As a result, I conclude that the judiciary retains the power to reconsider baseball’s antitrust status, should a future court wish to do so.

The piece can be downloaded here. I'd greatly appreciate any comments or feedback.

Peter King to speak at the University of New Hampshire Deflategate course

You are invited to attend a lecture by MMQB Editor-in-Chief and Sports Illustrated senior NFL writer Peter King at the University of New Hampshire this Wednesday, October 7, from 5:10 to 8 pm in McConnell Hall, Room 240.

Peter, along with MMQB editor Matt Gagne, will speak to my Deflategate course. They will discuss the Deflategate controversy and how the controversy will impact the legacies of Tom Brady and Roger Goodell. Part of the discussion will include an experiment of sorts with footballs and air pressure. They will also address debates that have arisen in the media and on social media concerning media coverage of the controversy. Peter will field questions from the audience. He will also feature this lecture in a forthcoming MMQB column.

Seating is limited, so please email me if you would like to attend. My email is michael.mccann[at] Driving directions to UNH can be found here.

Friday, October 02, 2015
Regulating Professional Sports Leagues: A Debate

Earlier this year, the Washington & Lee Law Review published my article "Regulating Professional Sports Leagues." The article advances the case for a proposition that is admittedly unlikely to be adopted anytime soon: the creation of a federal sports regulatory agency.

Fellow Sports Law Blog contributors Geoff Rapp and Marc Edelman were kind enough to take the time to write extremely thoughtful responses to my article for the Washington & Lee Law Review's online edition. Both pieces have now been published.

Geoff's piece, "Is it Time to Give Up on Antitrust Law for Pro Sports?," is available here.

Marc's piece, "In Defense of Sports Antitrust Law: A Response to Law Review Articles Calling for the Administrative Regulation of Commercial Sports," is available here.

Both responses are terrific; I hope that everyone will check them out.

Thursday, October 01, 2015
Ed O'Bannon's victory against the NCAA upheld by Ninth Circuit

Here's my take for Sports Illustrated on Ed O'Bannon winning the appeal in the Ninth Circuit, which (in the NCAA's favor) also eliminated the proposed $5,000 per year payment to student-athletes.