Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Delayed Justice: Jury verdict in "The Hillsborough Disaster"

The top Sports Law story in the world today?

No, not the awful ruling by the Second Circuit reinstating the suspension of Tom Brady for, more probably than not, conspiring to deflate a few footballs contrary to the laws of physics.

A far more significant event occurred across the pond where justice was actually served.

After two years of hearing evidence, a jury in Liverpool has found that soccer fans were “unlawfully killed” in what became known as the Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. The event was a match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium. Police and stadium personnel had set up pens without adequate turnstiles to prevent fans from confronting one another. The result was chaos as 96 died from crush injuries and 796 lay injured. Originally, the authorities blamed the fans and circulated false stories about individuals acting in a manner justifying police actions.

The jurors concluded the fans were in no way responsible for the incident and that the police, stadium personnel, and emergency responders were entirely to blame for the tragedy. When the verdict was announced, tears were shed and those in attendance rose and applauded the jury.

Justice may have been delayed after nearly 30 years but it was not denied. The same cannot be said for what happened at Foley Square in a case of far less importance to the world of sports, since it was literally, like the show Seinfeld, about nothing.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016
University of New Hampshire Summer Sports Law Institute

This summer at the University of New Hampshire Durham campus we will be offering 4 outstanding sports law courses--taught by leading experts--as part of our 4-week UNH Law Summer Sports Law Institute from May 23 to June 17. The UNH Law Summer Sports Law Institute is part of the highly-acclaimed UNH Law and Franklin Pierce Center for IP's Intellectual Property Summer Institute. Here is more information on the courses:

Week 1, May 23 to 27 

NCAA Division I Legislation and Compliance, taught by Professor Katherine Sulentic, the Associate Director of Enforcement on the NCAA enforcement staff and Chair of the Academic Integrity Unit. This class is ideal for those who intend to practice law in the college sports industry and those who seek a mastery of NCAA compliance and enforcement issues.

Week 2, May 31 to June 3

Sports Law and Investigative Reporting, taught by Professor B.J. SchecterSports Illustrated's executive editor and editor of Campus Rush, and me. This class is ideal for law students and attorneys who want to gain a better understanding of journalism and investigative reporting and for journalists who want to gain a better understanding of the legal system.

Week 3, June 6 to 10

Fantasy Sports and Gaming Law, taught by Professor Daniel Wallach, a shareholder at Becker & Poliakoff, P.A. and a leading commentator on all things legal and business related to the fantasy sports and gaming industries--Professor Wallach is the gaming law guru. This course is ideal for those who want to gain a better understanding of the growing and transformative body of law in the fantasy sports and sports gaming industries--two of the fastest growing industries.

Week 4, June 13 to 17

Sports Ethics and Bioethics: Playing Fair and the Law, taught by Professor Alan Milstein, a shareholder of Sherman Silverstein and Chairman of the Firm's Litigation Department and also a leading commentator on sports law and bioethics and the law. Professor Milstein has litigated on behalf of Allen Iverson, Carmelo Anthony, Eddy Curry, Allen Houston, Maurice Clarett and other sports figures. This class is ideal for those who want to learn more about connections between sports, law, health and bioethics. You will hear first-hand from the attorney who represented Eddy Curry in his DNA test dispute with the Chicago Bulls.

A few quick but important items:
  • Each class is 1 credit, at a cost of $1,370 ($1,233 for NH residents), and each class is open to law students, attorneys, compliance officers, graduate students, journalists, businesspersons and many others. You can take all or any of the courses.
  • For those coming from out of town, housing and meal plans are available at a very low cost.
  • You can take the class physically on the UNH Durham campus or virtually on the UNH Concord campus.
  • If you're interested in taking a class for credit, click here; if you're interested in taking a class but not-for-credit, click here.
  • New Hampshire--which Politico Magazine recently ranked as the #1 state in terms of such factors as education, health, income and employment--usually offers amazing weather over the summer and there are tons of fun things to do while you're up here.
  • If you have any questions, shoot me an email at michael.mccann[a] Hope to see you this summer!

Oregon Law Summer Sports Institute

I'm excited to be back teaching in the Oregon Law Summer Sports Institute, which will run from July 6 to August 5, 2016 in Eugene, Oregon. I'll be teaching on the intersection between media law and sports law--including in the context of Deflategate--and I'll be presenting on NCAA legal issues as well.

Run by Oregon law professor Robert Illig, the Oregon Law Summer Sports Institute is a terrific program and includes a wide variety of sports law classes and outstanding faculty members. Be sure to check it out.

Great Lake Sports and Entertainment Law Academy

If you are interested in studying sports law, check out the Great Lake Sports and Entertainment Law Academy, hosted by Cleveland-Marshall College of Law and Case Western Reserve University School of Law in Cleveland, Ohio from May 16 to June 3. It is led by the legendary Peter Carfagna and top professor Craig Nard, and the program offers an impressive list of courses.

Sunday, April 17, 2016
Not an infield fly

On Sunday, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler* intentionally failed to catch an infield pop-up with a runner on first and none out, in order to get a force out at second base on a speedy runner at first, replacing him with the batter, a slower runner. (Video in the link). After some initial confusion, the runner at first was called out and the batter was on first base.
[*] Apropos of nothing, Kinsler is Jewish, so this ties back to the ongoing fascination with the presence/increase of Jewish athletes.
Some comments after the jump.
Read more »

Saturday, April 16, 2016
New Law Review Article Addresses How to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports

It is my pleasure to announce the acceptance for publication in Indiana Law Journal of the third article in my fantasy sports trilogy, entitled "Regulating Fantasy Sports: A Practical Guide to State Gambling Laws, and a Proposed Framework for Future State Legislation."

This article analyzes how U.S. states currently regulate the fantasy sports marketplace, and proposes a framework for future state laws to effectively regulate both traditional fantasy sports and "daily fantasy sports."  The final section of this article proposes a comprehensive framework that would allow for states to effectively regulate both traditional fantasy sports and 'daily fantasy sports' in a meaningful way, in conjunction with existing state gambling laws.

With the upcoming publication of "Regulating Fantasy Sports" in Indiana Law Journal later this year, the full trilogy for full-length fantasy sports articles now include the following.

1.  A Short Treatise on Fantasy Sports and the Law (Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law, Winter 2012)

2. Navigating the Legal Risks of Daily Fantasy Sports (Illinois Law Review, Winter 2016).

3.  Regulating Fantasy Sports: A Practical Guide to State Gambling Laws, and a Proposed Framework for Future State Legislation. (Indiana Law Journal, Fall 2016).