Posts in Criminal
The Case Michigan State's Tom Izzo Could Have for Defamation

Over a week has passed since ESPN let loose its detailed report stemming from Larry Nassar's sexual assault incidences. The entire situation regarding the adequacy and possible active sexual assault cover ups at Michigan State University is unfortunate because there is so much that happened in the past that cannot be sufficiently remedied beyond justice being served. Some people are beginning to speak out against sexual assault cases they personally experienced, and some people are choosing to dig deeper into the dirt, almost as if trying to take ESPN's Outside the Lines report to the next level (and that report already took things to an uncomfortable but necessary level). In doing so, this creates a problem that implicates certain Michigan State figures - at this point, are we able to separate subjective opinion and irresponsible journalism from objective facts to learn what has really been going down in East Lansing?

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Administrative Failures in Handling Sexual Assault is a Widespread Issue

In light of the horrible Larry Nassar & USA Gymnastics sexual assault matters & lawsuit, I wanted to share a piece I wrote back in 2013 (i.e., as a law student).

Keep in mind that I was a 2L at the time and did not have quite the understanding of the law as I do now 5 years later (oh my goodness, 2013 is already 5 years ago), but nonetheless, this Comment on USA Swimming is very informative and discusses the same issues as we are today within a different National Governing Body (NGB). Moreover, this Comment shows how another NGB dealt with sexual assault allegations initially and how its later dealings still proved to be insufficient. Hopefully, USA Gymnastics can learn from USA Swimming's past legislative and moral failures. Even more importantly, it evidences how Nassar and USA Gymnastics is only the latest example of administrative failures in handling sexual assault matters. It is a widespread issue across sports, and that widespread issue stretches well beyond sports at that.

In large part, USA Swimming's failures in handling sexual assault were not more widespread until 2017 thanks to an Indianapolis Star investigation. Not to toot my own horn here, but to a legal eye, this was easy to spot as a hot topic problem years before that.

Without further ado...

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2018 Sports Law Hot Topics To Watch

Per usual, I would like to make my predictions regarding what topics I believe will be extra sizzlin' in 2018, but I will do so in a slightly different way. Here are brief descriptions of what each topic is, some insight as to why I have it on my predictions list, and who you can pay attention to for the latest news, updates, and analysis throughout the upcoming year:

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Reflecting on My "2017 Sports Law Hot Topics To Watch" Predictions

If Deflategate's courtroom battles placed "sports law" into mainstream conversation in 2015-2016, then 2017 gave sports law an entire fleet of those Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tubemen [Note: If you do not understand the reference, I encourage you to click the link.] As we step - no, run - into a new year embracing all the change that is more likely than not going to occur, I would like to put the past twelve months into perspective and reflect on what I predicted would be the sports law hot topics to watch in 2017, what happened and what did not, and see whether the topics attained some means of closure. All in all, I can proudly say that my umbrella picture that 2017 would be a continuation of prevalent sports law trends was pretty accurate.

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Dissecting "the Dark Underbelly of College Athletics" & What Lies Beyond the FBI Investigation

Turns out the madness stretches well beyond March's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament. Early into the workday last Tuesday, September 27, a Press Conference Advisory from the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York went out for immediate release calling for a noon meeting time and complete with attachments, stating, "There will be a press conference today at noon to announce charges of fraud and corruption in college basketball. Federal criminal charges have been brought against ten people, including four college basketball coaches, as well as managers, financial advisors, and representatives of a major international sportswear company." Here is a breakdown of who is involved, the two distinct schemes, the laws implicated, and what we can anticipate to follow in the short term and the long term.

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A Critical Look at Michigan's Decision to Fully Reinstate WR Grant Perry

It's just about the most wonderful time of the year! I cannot speak for y'all, but I am hyped for this college football season. The media has focused a great deal on nearly finalized rosters, one of which is ranked #17 in the AP preseason poll. For example, it has drawn much attention to the University of Florida's seven football players who are suspended in their season's first game on September 2 against the University of Michigan, including top wide receiver Antonio Callaway, due to their "misuse of school funds" and a handful of players suspended for pot. While those several young men definitively will not be playing, one player will be returning to the lineup on the opposite sideline. On August 11, Michigan announced that it was granting wide receiver Grant Perry full reinstatement to the football team just in time for the Wolverines' game against Florida in Arlington, Texas. The 2017-18 season has yet to really kick off aside from a few games this past weekend, but off-field conduct could already be influencing potential outcomes of individual games and teams' end-game.

Remember hearing about the Michigan Football player who allegedly pulled a Donald Trump-style move in East Lansing on the team's Bye Week? Well, that was Grant Perry. Before diving into the story, I believe it is important to highlight that Perry is the leading receiver for the young Wolverines, having two touchdowns and 27 catches in his first two seasons.

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Comparing Two Student-Athlete Cases: Brock Turner & Cory Batey

Last Friday, former Vanderbilt football player Cory Batey was sentenced to 15 years for taking part in gang raping an unconscious female student in June 2013. In contrast, former Stanford swimmer Brock Turner was sentenced to six months in jail - half of which he can avoid with good behavior - and three years of probation for sexually assaulting an unconscious female outside a fraternity house. Here, we have two sexual assault-related stories involving NCAA athletes (both of which are horrible though on somewhat different levels of severity according to law), a number of factors taking part in each judicial system's processes, and two very different results. I want to simply compare the facts to spark conversation and inform y'all in case you missed either one.

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Important Notes on the Oscar Pistorius Case's Unanimous Reversal

Once upon a time, Oscar Pistorius was the sports hero of South Africa better known as the "Blade Runner" who fought for his right to enter the Summer Olympics, which was previously open only for able-bodied competitors, and made it to the semifinals in two races. Almost a year and a half ago, Oscar Pistorius was the boyfriend who shot his girlfriend four times through a locked door and, later, a criminal convicted of "culpable homicide" (i.e., a lesser crime than "murder" similar to manslaughter) because he claimed he did not intend to kill her and believed she was a burglar. As of today, Oscar Pistorius is, by definition under South African law, a murderer who will soon officially receive his new sentence once he returns back to court next year. Many people have questions about the foreign jurisdiction's legal system and how Pistorius' case can be played within it. So, after you skim through my previous posts about the initial verdict at his earlier trial, I encourage you to read through this brief Q&A addressing a handful of critical elements for adequate awareness on the most popular story in the South African legal system's history.

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