Posts in Contracts
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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Why the NFL Fined Jabrill Peppers $24K & Why He Could Win An Appeal

Former Michigan Football stud Peppers is a rookie for the Cleveland Browns and has looked pretty good on the field given the unfortunate circumstances of being on the Cleveland Browns. In Week 12, the Browns played their in-state rival, the Cincinnati Bengals, and because apparently no game in the NFL can finish 60 minutes of play without some controversy, the officials made a controversial call against Peppers when he made quite possibly the best hit of his career to date.

In the fourth quarter, Peppers was flagged and given a penalty for his hit on Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone. The Browns were only down 23-16 when an official threw the flag and announced that Peppers received a personal foul because he made contact with Malone's helmet. The penalty gave the Bengals an automatic first down and moved the ball 15 yards down the field. Just moments later, the Bengals scored a touchdown to seal the deal and defeat the still-winless Browns 30-16.

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A Quick-Reference Guide to the NFL Constitution & Bylaws, Article VIII

nless you have been living under a rock like Patrick Star, you know the name Roger Goodell. Goodell is the current NFL Commissioner who has reigned over the League since being the chosen one to succeed Paul Tagliabue in 2006. His name has not been able to escape media attention and public criticism since taking the position thanks to a combination of (a) the successive "scandals" by teams and individuals, (b) the increasing popularity of non-traditional news platforms like social media & online video streams, and (c) a more widespread understanding of the NFL Constitution & Bylaws outside of the League, where experts in the sports industry (e.g., me & my fellow sports attorneys!) are educating the fans on what the heck is going on with the product - the game itself and the people involved - they love.

Commissioners of professional sports leagues play an extraordinary unique role. They are known as the face of their league because they speak on behalf of their league. They are "the CEO of the league" because they look out for the best interests of the team owners and the overall operation of the business. Furthermore, they are in charge of looking after the best interests of their league as a whole. Special duties are intimately attached to the commissioner role, which is why we see them wear many hats depending on the circumstances. In short, no traditional business has a position quite like a professional sports league commissioner who (a) needs to protect the integrity of the game, (b) tackles the delicate responsibility of enforcing rules and disciplining players and/or team owners, and (c) resolves a variety of disputes, big and small.

The NFL Constitution and Bylaws forms the contractual relationship between the League and the owners, particularly, whereas the Collective Bargaining Agreement forms the contractual relationship between the League and the players. Article VIII of the Constitution and Bylaws, plainly titled "Commissioner," covers the many rules touching who the Commissioner is, what his responsibilities are, and what he is authorized to do. I know a lot of people have been asking me questions about this portion in general. Hopefully, your questions get answered, and if they do not, ask away in the comments!

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Can an Event Host Cancel a Marathon Without Refunding Registration Fees?

I am officially at the end of the final stretch of marathon prep (translation: the "stay loose and rest" part!) because the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon is only a few days away! As it stands currently, the weather for the race looks like "blah" October weather consisting of a sunrise 45 minutes into the race, mostly clouds in the morning, a 60% chance of rain that hopefully stays in the afternoon, 80% humidity, warm, and windy. That being said, this lawsuit is right within the marathon theme, and I figured it was worth discussing.

This year would have been the seventh annual Vancouver USA Marathon from September 15-17 had it not been cancelled a month beforehand. Energy Events, the marathon event's host, claimed it decided to cancel the event, which was supposed to include a full marathon, a half marathon, a 5K, a kids' race, a bike ride, and a beer festival, after "careful consideration for several weeks and reviewing the finances." Typically, the Vancouver USA Marathon has approximately 3,000 registered runners, but at the time of cancellation, only about 65% of that had registered.

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Guest Post - Alyssa Newswanger

Dealing with minor to serious consequences in the wake of another public scandal is not new territory for U.S. Women’s National Team (“USWNT”) goalkeeper, Hope Solo. However, has an errant comment, after a devastating loss, really become the possible nail in the coffin of her national team career?

Let’s take a quick walk through Solo’s history with the national team and her public incidents that have led to this drastic decision from U.S. Soccer.

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How to Watch Live NFL Games In 2016-2017

There is a laundry list of things that the NFL does wrong. Then, there is one thing the NFL does better than any other sports league: broadcasting rights, which essentially limit who can show footage of an event on the platform designated in the contract. This realization became even more noticeable after the positively lagging coverage NBC did for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games last month.

Commissioner Roger Goodell has said that he wants the league to have a "unique tri-cast on broadcast, cable, and digital platforms," and a series of insane revenue-generating tri-cast broadcasting rights contracts is exactly what the NFL has now. The NFL wants to get to more people. With this business strategy, the league is doing just that. The best part is that it will serve a fan base with a growing need for immediacy and flexibility and also a society full of more and more cable cord cutters.

Without further ado, this is how you can watch NFL games and coverage this upcoming season with or without a cable subscription:

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Reader Q&A: The Michigan-Nike Sponsorship Contract

The University of Michigan is one of the member institutions in the college athletics groups commonly referred to as the "$100 Million Club," an elite group of schools that generate at least $100,000,000 in annual revenue. A large portion of that revenue comes from athletic sponsorship deals with apparel and equipment suppliers. When the university entered into an athletic sponsorship agreement with adidas that began in 2007, it was not a member of the $100 Million Club. As the contract term progressed, Michigan broke the lofty threshold and continues to do so as its contractual relationship with adidas comes to an end. The deal with adidas was the most lucrative contract at its time, and the deal with Nike was also the most lucrative in college athletics until Nike decided to pay a bit more to the Ohio State Buckeyes.

For me, Michigan's relationship with Nike is a return to all that is good. I grew up wearing my maize and blue Michigan swag with the symbolic swoosh in some visible place. So, when the adidas contract kicked in gear my freshman year, I refused to buy new apparel adidas made with the exception of the annual football t-shirt and, eventually, my NFLPA-licensed #10 Tom Brady jersey. Nike is the big dog in the athletic apparel industry, and it only seemed right that Nike and Michigan, a big dog in college sports, work together.

You asked, and I'll answer. The fun does not stop there, though. This Question and Answer session on this significant contract can show how the sponsorship market has evolved and where changes in the current NCAA "collegiate model" could take place.

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