Wednesday, February 9, 2022

MEDIA APPEARANCE: WGRZ Buffalo To Discuss NY Launch Of Mobile Sports Betting

WGRZ (Jan. 7, 2022) -- I appeared on 2 WGRZ NBC in Buffalo, NY, in January 2022 to discuss the launch of mobile and online sports betting in New York state. See the segment here.

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Thursday, January 13, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: NFL Concussion Deal Masters Say Atty Fabricated Evidence

Law360 (July 13, 2021) -- A Florida attorney accused of swindling NFL players out of their life savings also "engaged in a wide-ranging, long-standing, and brazen pattern and practice of manufacturing evidence" for concussion settlement payout claims, the settlement's special masters found in a recent decision to disqualify the lawyer and his former firm.

In the decision, a copy of which was obtained by Law360 and independently authenticated, the special masters found that attorney Philip Timothy Howard, who often goes by Tim Howard, and his firm Howard & Associates fabricated medical reports, directed doctors to falsify medical reports and altered other material facts as part of claims to be submitted for payouts from the uncapped concussion settlement fund.

The decision, dated June 22, has not yet been disseminated publicly but was referenced by the claims administrator, BrownGreer PLC, in court papers.

MY STORY: High Court Says NCAA Can't Limit Athlete Education Pay

Law360 (June 21, 2021) -- The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a ruling that struck down NCAA rules restricting education-related compensation and benefits for college athletes, finding that the organization should not get special treatment under antitrust law.

The justices ruled unanimously that the lower courts properly applied antitrust scrutiny to the NCAA in striking down rules restricting education-related benefits. The top court said the NCAA cannot rely on the 1984 Board of Regents v. NCAA  case to avoid such scrutiny.

The decision upholds a May 2020 Ninth Circuit ruling that opened the door for schools to provide athletes more benefits, such as reimbursements for computers and musical instruments, free tutoring, internship stipends and cash academic achievement awards. Such benefits have been closely monitored and limited under NCAA amateurism rules.

ANALYSIS: Justices Send NCAA Message: Change Or Face More Suits

Law360 (June 21, 2021, 9:51 PM EDT) -- By rejecting the NCAA's arguments that its amateurism system should get blanket protection from antitrust challenges, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday made clear that the organization must allow athletes to profit from or share in the revenues of college sports — or face an uncertain future of litigation.

The justices unanimously agreed with a lower-court ruling that found the NCAA rules restricting the education-related pay and benefits schools may give college athletes, including cash academic achievement awards, were unlawful under federal antitrust law.

The court's opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, stuck to the specific question of the education-related payments, but it stripped away the NCAA's argument that it has or should be given some special deferential treatment, leaving it exposed to future legal attacks.

Thursday, April 1, 2021

NCAA Goes To The Supreme Court To Defend Amateurism

The U.S. Supreme Court in December agreed to hear the NCAA and major college athletics' conferences bids to overturn a Ninth Circuit ruling that struck down NCAA rules capping education-related benefits, teeing up a potential landmark case that could answer long-simmering questions about the NCAA's authority to enforce its system of amateurism.

The case comes amid a broader debate about the treatment of college athletes and their right to profit from the use of their names, images and likenesses.

Oral arguments were held on March 31 with the justices skeptical of the NCAA's arguments that courts should defer to NCAA rules seeking to maintain its "revered tradition of amateurism." I broke down all the issues in the long-running case in a series of recent Law360 articles below:

Podcast: "The Term" NCAA Struggles To Make Case Against Athlete Pay
Law360 (April 1, 2021, 9:18 PM EDT) -- The spirit of spring has the justices cleaning out their docket this week with decisions on Florida's oyster fisheries, Facebook's class action liability and long-lived media ownership limits. The Term breaks down all the action — including the NCAA's very bad day at the high court over its "amateurism" rules. Listen here...

Justices Skeptical NCAA Amateurism Deserves A Pass
Law360 (March 31, 2021, 11:00 PM EDT) -- The justices of the U.S. Supreme Court were skeptical during oral arguments Wednesday that NCAA rules meant to keep college players from being paid should get broad deference from courts, but also raised concerns about a potential flood of litigation challenging amateurism in college sports depending on the outcome of the closely watched antitrust case.

Top Court's NCAA Matchup: WilmerHale Vs. Winston & Strawn
Law360 (March 30, 2021, 5:32 PM EDT) -- Wednesday's U.S. Supreme Court oral arguments in a closely-watched antitrust case challenging NCAA amateurism rules will pit a prominent high court litigator against one of the most recognizable names in sports law, not to mention the acting solicitor general's first appearance in that role.

NCAA Amateurism Under Microscope In High Court Args
Law360 (March 26, 2021, 10:41 AM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Wednesday on what role courts should play in reviewing the NCAA's amateurism system, teeing up a potential landmark decision answering long-simmering questions about the organization's legal authority to narrowly define the rights of college athletes.

Century-Old MLB Antitrust Carveout Looms Over NCAA Case
Law360 (March 29, 2021, 7:28 PM EDT) -- The NCAA is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to keep judges from meddling in its amateur college sports system, but legal experts warn the case could result in a federal antitrust exemption similar to the high court's oft-maligned carveout given to Major League Baseball nearly a century ago.



Monday, October 19, 2020

My 3-Part Series On Allowing NCAA Athletes To Be Paid For Their NIL

With state legislation opening the door for NCAA athletes to be paid for sponsorships and endorsements, college sports and the NCAA's amateurism system are undeniably changing. But questions remain as to whether Congress will step in, whether the NCAA will face continued legal challenges and to what extent athletes will be allowed to be paid while in school and from whom. 

Here is my three-part Law360 series on how proposals to allow college athletes to be paid for use of their names, images and likenesses, or NIL, are playing out in legislatures, courts and campuses...