When In Doubt, Seek a Buyout: Indiana's Solution to the Kelvin Sampson Dilemma

by Thomas Paschalis February 28 2008, 17:25
I. Introduction


Parting ways with a college coach accused of violating National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules has become a delicate process. On February 8th, the NCAA notified Indiana University that its men's basketball coach, Kelvin Sampson, had allegedly committed five "major" NCAA rule violations.[1] After more than a week of speculation surrounding Sampson's future at Indiana, the school negotiated a settlement to terminate its relationship with the second-year coach.[2] In exchange for a $750,000 buyout, Sampson resigned and agreed not to pursue any legal action against the university.[3]


On its face, the buyout seems generous for a coach who conceivably could have been fired outright for cause. Sampson, who was already under NCAA sanction for prior infractions, had a clause in his contract that allowed Indiana to terminate him for "significant or repetitive violations."[4] Nevertheless, Indiana was in a difficult position. Firing Sampson prior to NCAA hearings on the alleged violations would have likely spurred a wrongful termination suit in which Sampson could potentially recover the remaining $2.5 million on his contract.[5] Allowing the embattled coach to remain a Hoosier until the NCAA's final determination in July would prolong the program's instability as the NCAA tournament and recruiting season approach.[6] Faced with this dilemma, Indiana decided it was well worth the buyout to get Sampson out the door immediately. [More]

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Sports

College Football Coaching Carousel

by Charles Ochab February 24 2008, 01:17
I. Introduction



Both the National Football League (“NFL”) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (“NCAA”) have endured their fair share of high profile coaching defections either from one university to another, university to professional franchise, or professional franchise to university.[1] Among the high profile coaches who have abandoned their respective clubs under contract are Nick Saban, formerly of the Miami Dolphins and currently with the University of Alabama, Bobby Petrino, head football coach at Arkansas via the Atlanta Falcons, and Rich Rodriguez, the freshly minted coach at the University of Michigan.[2] The defections by Saban and Petrino received a fair amount of attention. However, the Rich Rodriguez situation may be enough to scare other high profile coaches from jumping ship too soon. [More]

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Labor | Sports

Basketball in Brooklyn: Taking it to the . . . Courts?

by Alicia Filter February 9 2008, 01:35
Recent news concerning the NBA's New Jersey Nets imminent move to Brooklyn has met with protest from residents of the neighborhood where the proposed arena is to be built. In particular, a community group composed of neighborhood organizations and individuals who live near the proposed development site called Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn is leading the court battle against the proposed Barclays Arena and Atlantic Yards development that would bring new life to the open-air storage facility for buses and rail cars, but will also require the destruction of currently occupied residential and commercial spaces. [1] The Atlantic Yards development is a $4 billion, eight million square feet project spanning 22 acres along Brooklyn's Atlantic Avenue which includes a basketball arena for the New Jersey Nets' move to Brooklyn, office buildings, thousands of apartments and condominiums (a significant portion of which will be "affordable" as opposed to market priced), as well as parks, overall dramatically altering the Brooklyn landscape with 16 total skyscrapers planned. [2] On-going litigation in the case of Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn v. Empire State Development Corporation [3] pits the community mobilization group against the high-powered developers who are backed by both New York Governor George Pataki and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. [4] The issues in debate concern environmental inspections, public safety concerns, as well as disqualification of counsel arguments. [5] However, it seems likely that despite this litigation, the Atlantic Yards development will go forward with the planned opening of the arena in time for the 2009-2010 NBA season. [6] [More]

Sonic Boom or Bust: Franchise Relocation in the NBA

by Charles Ochab November 21 2007, 01:14
I. Introduction



This past National Football League ("NFL") off-season, four Pro Bowl-caliber defenders were eligible for free agency in some form. [1] Two received contracts that guaranteed approximately $20 million each, while the other two agreed to contracts that guaranteed less than half this amount. [2] The four defenders were linebackers - Adalius Thomas and Lance Briggs and corner backs - Nate Clements and Asante Samuel. [3] All of them hoped to sign lucrative contracts with a significant portion of that contract guaranteed. While Clements and Thomas cashed in, Briggs and Samuel were not as lucky - they were designated with the franchise tag. [4] Accordingly, Samuel and Briggs threatened to hold-out until deep into the season to voice their disgust with the stigma of franchise designation. [5] By holding out, a player refuses to take the field until his contract situation is remedied. [6] In light of this summer's high profile protests, the current system of franchise designation is crying out for reform. [More]

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Sports

The Legal Attack on Fantasy Sports

by Thomas Paschalis November 9 2007, 18:32
In the last thirty years, fantasy sports have evolved from a little known hobby into a $1.5 billion industry.[1] While historical accounts differ, CNN claims that the first fantasy league began in 1980 and involved the use of baseball statistics.[2] Fantasy sports grew drastically during the 1990s, as internet technology gave rise to services that could conduct quick statistical updates and provide fantasy managers with up-to-the-minute league scores and standings.[3] By 2005, there were more than 12.6 million Americans competing in fantasy sports leagues, spending nearly $500 per player.[4] The rapid growth of the fantasy sports industry has spurred litigation that threatens viability of the industry as a whole. In this article, I will discuss a recent case in which a federal court was asked to declare fantasy sports to be a form of illegal gambling. [More]

Chicago 2016: Let The Civic Battles Begin

by Thomas Paschalis October 12 2007, 19:06
When the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) announced that Chicago would be the country's bid city for the 2016 Olympic Games, Chicago's political and business leaders rejoiced in their joint victory.[1] Nearly a year after Chicago Mayor Richard Daley formed the Olympic exploratory committee, and nine months after being named one of the U.S. finalists, the USOC threw its support behind the city that has quickly achieved front-runner status in international phase of the selection process.[2] Like most sporting events, the modern day Olympic Games are big business. As such, Daley and Chicago 2016 Chairman Patrick Ryan created a comprehensive bid detailing the financial and logistical components of a potential Chicago Olympics.[3] Yet, while public support of Chicago's bid remains high, some community groups are voicing opposition to elements of the plan.[4] Specifically, political (and potential legal) clashes are being waged concerning the proposed use of public funds, public land, and a local nature preserve. [More]

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Sports

Veto Power In The Sale Of The Cubs

by Thomas Paschalis September 14 2007, 19:24
The Tribune Company’s opening day announcement that it would divest itself of the Chicago Cubs began the process of what could be the most scrutinized sale of a professional sports team in history. While the prospect of a change in ownership has been the subject of speculation ever since the team’s off-season spending spree and the parent company’s decision to put itself up for sale, the news that one of Major League Baseball’s (MLB's) marquis franchises would change hands by early 2008 made waves throughout sports and business communities.[1] Forbes Magazine estimates the value of the Cubs to be $592 million, a substantial appreciation from the $21 million the Tribune Company paid for the team in 1981.[2] As further enticement to potential investors, the sale will also include Wrigley Field and the team’s twenty-five percent stake in the Comcast sports channel in Chicago.[3] To date, much of the attention has been focused on the list of high-profile bidders, fueling speculation that the sale price could exceed one billion dollars.[4] Despite the possibility of a bidding war, MLB’s procedural rules for the sale of a franchise ensures that dollars alone will not be the decisive factor in determining who will be the next owner of the Cubs. [More]

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Sports

The Application of EU Competition Law to Professional Soccer: Should the EU Regulate Professional Soccer? (Part II)

by Krikor Meshefejian April 9 2007, 16:25
As one of the primary aims of the EU has been to establish a common market and foster competition, and as soccer has increasingly become a large economic enterprise, the EU's regulation of soccer is simply not surprising. Legal scrutiny of sports rules and regulations has grown as the EU has expanded its involvement in the regulation of Member States. The realm of professional soccer has perhaps been the most publicized and hotly debated area of sports in the EU. What was once thought to be immune from the scrutiny and regulation of EU institutions such as the European Council, the Commission, and the ECJ, is no longer afforded such protection. That is, the governing bodies of professional soccer can no longer rely on the past deference afforded to them. A brief discussion of the inherent purposes of the EU helps explain why this is so. [More]

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Sports

Don't Franchise Me! The NFL's Emerging Dilemma

by Charles Ochab March 12 2007, 01:13
I. Introduction



This past National Football League ("NFL") off-season, four Pro Bowl-caliber defenders were eligible for free agency in some form. [1] Two received contracts that guaranteed approximately $20 million each, while the other two agreed to contracts that guaranteed less than half this amount. [2] The four defenders were linebackers - Adalius Thomas and Lance Briggs and corner backs - Nate Clements and Asante Samuel. [3] All of them hoped to sign lucrative contracts with a significant portion of that contract guaranteed. While Clements and Thomas cashed in, Briggs and Samuel were not as lucky - they were designated with the franchise tag. [4] Accordingly, Samuel and Briggs threatened to hold-out until deep into the season to voice their disgust with the stigma of franchise designation. [5] By holding out, a player refuses to take the field until his contract situation is remedied. [6] In light of this summer's high profile protests, the current system of franchise designation is crying out for reform. [More]

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Sports

The Application of EU Competition Law to Professional Soccer: The Impetus for EU Involvement (Part I)

by Krikor Meshefejian March 5 2007, 16:26
This installment focuses on Part I of the article: The impetus of European Union (EU) involvement in professional soccer. The following sections discuss two important aspects of the issue. First, a description of the organization of professional soccer in Europe will be provided. Second, readers will be introduced to the Bosman case, which signified the beginning of the EU's interest in the regulation of professional soccer in Europe. [More]

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Sports

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