Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kidding around down on the farm

Photos from around the farm taken today.

Jet
Jet
Jet
China
On her throne
Cute
Dog & goat survey each other

Saturday Links

* I have a new column on SI.com concerning a "last second" appeal brought by the prosecution in the Barry Bonds trial, which was set to begin on Monday and now likely won't start for weeks, if not months. The prosecution wants the Ninth Circuit to reverse Judge Susan Illston's evidence rulings concerning the exclusion of various BALCO related materials. I don't think the appeal will work and because of the delay it is poised to cause, it may backfire on the prosecution. Hope you can check out the column.

* Ian Fischer of Florida Law Online has a great write-up of the recent University of Florida sports law symposium that I had the good fortune of being a part-of. The event had some star panelists, including ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen and Kevin Sullivan, who was White House Communications Director under President George W. Bush.

* Kirk LeCureux, the Managing Editor for the University of Florida Entertainment Law Review, tells me that his journal is interested in sports law article submissions. If you have written a sports law paper that is good, consider e-mailing it to Kirk at kirk.lecureux[at]ufl.edu

* The National Sports & Entertainment Law Society Blog has some good posts up, including on how the bad economy impacts on sports law and posts on Tejada and A-Rod.

* Howard and I were interviewed by Paul Elias of the Associated Press on pre-trial evidence rulings in the Bonds case.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Class of 89



On December 31st 1989, Chicago Tribune writer, Gary Graff wrote an article about country music entitled "The Class of 1989"

In the article he suggested that country music will become a major player in the music industry in the states during the 90's.

He mentioned four debut albums, Clint Black's Killin' time, Travis Tritt's Country club, Alan Jackson's, Here in the real world and Garth Brooks's self titled debut.

He wrote that these four albums fell under the mainstream's music rader, and the 90's will see a boom in country music that has never been seen before, suggesting that one of these four artists may became the biggest star of the 90's.

He thought it would be Clint Black, with maybe Garth Brooks being a dark horse.

He was partially right, country music ruled the roost in the 90's in the USA, and one man walked proud and tall over every artist from any genre, that artist being the dark horse, Mr Garth Brooks.

Its hard to explain to New Zealanders about country music, thanks to a pathetic kiwi media who either toally ignored the genre during its peak in the 90's or just wrote sterotypical articles bagging the art form as music for a bunch of redneck hicks.

Well it was country music that touched on issues such as gay rights, woman rights, racial harmony, political upheaval, while rap music was concertating on exploiting woman and rock was using violent images.

Its also hard to explain to the New Zealand media, the commercial success that country artists had in the 90's over their rap/pop counterparts, we were always told that this rock artist and rap artist were ruling the roost in music, when in reality it was your country artists who were selling out stadiums and having their albums go diamond status.

In April of this year, it will be twenty years since the now retired Garth's debut album came out.

His achievements are too many too list here. I just hope something special is done for him, he changed a whole genre during one decade, he stayed grounded, he turned around a flagging music industry and set the bar higher than any other artist had before from any genre.

When Gary Graff wrote his story, he kinda knew that country will have a superstar of its own, he could never invisioned though that, that artist would break the records he did, no one could.

As TimMcGraw once said, the whole industry owes Garth a big thank you.

Yes music did change in 1989, thanks to the likes of the brilliant writing of Clint Black, the sweet sounds of Alan Jackson, the harsh sounds of Travis Tritt, and the genius of Garth Brooks.

I just hope in April, on the 20th anniversary of the class of 1989, something is done to recognize its head boy.

He deserves it.

The Implications of Kevin Durant's Jersey Retiring

Congratulations to Kevin Durant, whose No. 35 was just retired by his alma mater, the University of Texas. Durant's time at UT was admittedly brief; he played just one season before turning pro. But it was quite the season: he averaged 26 points and 11 rebounds per game, leading his team to the second round of the NCAA tournament and earning the honor of 2006-07 National Player of the Year.

Still, it was just one season.

Should a player receive such distinction by a university when his commitment to the school would seem to have been mainly about satisfying the NBA's age limit, which requires that a player be 19 years of age plus one year removed from high school? I wonder, how often did Durant attend classes in the spring semester? What was his involvement in the university, other than his exceptional basketball play -- did he participate in any student clubs or perform any community work ? Did he at least follow the rules for living in his freshmen dorm, if in fact he lived in one? What does all of this say, if anything, about the student-athlete mission of the NCAA?

Maybe those questions don't matter. Their relevance would seem to depend on the criteria for jersey retiring. If it's all about basketball production, and if one season of play is enough, then Durant certainly deserves to have his number retired. Also, as my Vermont Law School colleague and friend Jason Czarnezki (of Empirical Legal Studies blog fame) wonders, Durant's earning of the National Player of Year might, like at UNC, automatically mean jersey retirement. Should these be the tests for an institute of higher education?

Let's think about Durant's contributions. In addition to his excellent play, Durant generated a lot of money for UT, with his jerseys selling well and with improved attendance to UT basketball games. I imagine his presence also helped with recruiting, and perhaps also in attracting alumni donations and maybe even in generating more applications from high school students (aka, "The Flutie Effect").

But for an institute of higher education like UT, which has a preeminent academic reputation in various fields, there's an argument to be had that jersey retiring should at least acknowledge the student-athlete's contributions as a student. It's not clear that happened here. In fact, for what it's worth, the official story on the University's website is entirely about Durant's basketball achievements.

As several of us have argued, these would be avoidable situations if there was no restriction on supremely talented high school basketball players being eligible for the NBA Draft. There is plenty of empirical support for letting high schoolers turn pro, be it on-court perfromance, off-court performance, or related points (see e.g., Alan Milstein's "Kobe" and "Reggie Bush Sweepstakes"). Plus, if no restriction existed, then a player like Durant who chose to attend college, and to presumably also attend college classes, would have done so without people questioning why he is there.

Sonny Vaccaro in the Hoosier State

For those of you near Indiana University-Bloomington, Sonny Vaccaro will present there on Monday, March 2nd from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. He will discuss the NCAA's treatment of student-athletes, particularly male basketball players, and the relationship between those players contributions to their universities and the income generated by those universities from sports TV contracts and related revenue sources. He will also address the NBA's age limit and the possible trend of teenage star basketball players who are ineligible for the NBA due to age going to play pro hoops abroad (like Brandon Jennings is doing in Italy).

For more information about Sonny's talk at Indiana University-Bloomington, click here. My thanks to Ryan Rodenberg, who teaches at Indiana University-Bloomington and runs Sports Law Professor blog, for the information.

For those of you near Indiana University-Indianapolis, Sonny will be speaking there on March 4th from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Details of that event are available here.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Robbie's daughter Maddie

Today I visited Madison and her owner, Lisa, with my camera. Maddie is out of a lovely little College Chapel mare and was foaled here. I have not seen her since she left us 3 months ago so it was great to catch up - Boy she has grown! Lisa is really happy with her which is great, as I told her, we love satisfied customers! Have to admit, I'm pretty happy with her myself - she's a very pretty 'little' filly!
Look at me!
Here she comes!
Posing behind her mum
Swivel ears
So pretty!
Really love this wee face
Being alert
Wondering if I have food perhaps?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

2009 Tulane Law School Moot Court Mardi Gras Invitational Sports Law Competition



Last week, Tulane Law School hosted the 2009 Tulane Law School Moot Court Mardi Gras Invitational Sports Law Competition. This year’s problem was based on hybrid of the single entity issue raised in the American Needle case and the release issue raised in the MSG-NHL case .


I want to take this opportunity to thank the students at Tulane Law School—in particular Susan Jaffer, Paul Lund, Demelza Baer, and Taryn Brown—for all of their hard work in putting this event together. I also want to thank our “celebrity” guest judges for joining me on the panel to judge the finals of the competition. The guest judges were: Don Fehr, Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association; Gary Roberts, Dean and Gerald L. Bepko Professor of Law Indiana University School of Law – Indianapolis; and Richard House, General Counsel of the New Orleans Hornets. And, of course, thanks to the students from the 37 different law schools from around the country for competing in this year’s event. All of the judges were impressed with the quality of the teams from the first round through the finals. I hope you enjoyed the competition and were able to find some time to take advantage of all that New Orleans has to offer (well, maybe not all of it) during Mardi Gras.


Finally, congratulations to the winners of this year’s competition. As always, the winning brief will be published in The Sports Lawyers Journal. Here are the results:


The winner of the 2009 Competition was: William & Mary Law School.


Semi-Finalists were: William & Mary Law School, Western State University Law School (second place), University of Virginia and Capital University.


The best brief was submitted by: Florida Coastal School of Law.


The top 5 Oralists were: 1) Sarah Grimm (Ohio State University Moritz School of Law), 2) Arpan Sura (William & Mary), 3) Mathew Spriggs (Ohio State University Moritz School of Law), 4) John J. O'Kane (William & Mary) and 5) Adam Milasincie (University of Virginia School of Law).


Here are the schools that competed in this year’s competition.
1) Florida Coastal School of Law Team
2) University of Detroit Mercy School of Law
3) Indiana University School of Law
4) University of Connecticut School of Law
5) UC Hastings College of Law
6) Florida State College of Law
7) Drexel University Earl Mack School of law
8) University of North Dakota School of Law
9) Charlotte School of Law
10) Western State University College of Law (Second Place)
11) Brooklyn Law School
12) The George Washington School of Law
13) Marquette University Law School
14) Capital University Law School
15) William & Mary Law School (Winner)
16) Temple Law School
17) Cornell University Law School
18) Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
19) Nova Southeastern University Law Center
20) Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
21) West Virginia University College of Law
22) Wayne State University Law School
23) Howard University School of Law
24) University of Maryland School of Law
25) Harvard Law School
26) DePaul University College of Law
27) Wake Forest University School of Law
28) University of Wisconsin School of Law
39) Thomas Jefferson School of Law
30) University of North Carolina School of Law
31) Emory University School of Law
32) Ohio State University Moritz School of Law
33) University of Michigan Law School
34) Villanova School of Law
35) University of Virginia School of Law
36) The John Marshall School of Law
37) The University of Toledo College of Law

Thank you India



What a great nights entertainment the cricket was, and its all thanks to the Indian community in New Zealand, walking into the Paul Kelly stand was a delight, fans were greeted by a Bollywood style dance number, that had the crowd dancing and cheering with delight, even before they got to their seats! ( New Zealand cricket should of used this dance group during the match instead of the dancers they had performing on the field between overs)

The crowd of 16 thousand people, enjoyed themselves, the home team won, there was a world record 24 sixes hit, but the highlight had to be the thousands of Indian supporters that had turned up, waving hundreds of flags, wearing their bodypaint, chanting and singing during the match.

This is an important tour for New Zealand cricket, and it couldn't got off to a better start, may the rest of the tour be as successful as last night.














Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The 22nd Sports and Recreation Law Association Conference

The 22nd Annual Sports and Recreation Law Association takes place from March 4 - 7 in San Antonio, with presentations and speakers covering a number of issues. SRLA's s conferences focus on issues of school and amateur sports, particularly questions of personal injury and risk management. The subjects may be of interest to those interested in teaching, writing and practicing in those areas of law that do not get the media publicity as legal issues of professional sports do.

Professional sports issues will be covered as well. The keynote speaker is Greg Kondritz, corporate counsel of the Houston Texans who will discuss "Life as an In-House Counsel with an NFL Franchise" on March 5th at 11:00 AM. For more information about the conference, check the organization's website srlaweb.org.

Law Professor's New Book Argues for Unionization of Minor League Baseball


Via the Workplace Law Prof blog and my colleague Joseph Slater, McGeorge Law Professor and labor arbitrator Don Wollett has released a new book, Getting on Base: Unionism in Baseball. The book argues that minor league baseball players should be organized into a union. Among the responses so far:
Great! …[I] agree … not affording collective-bargaining to minor leaguers is self-serving and outrageous. Chuck Mack, Vice President of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

Great contribution to baseball history…invaluable insights. Judge Alan Hancock.

After you’ve read Getting On Base…, you, the silent partner, may want to stand up and be heard, Duane Beeson, Esq., senior partner Beeson, Tayer and Bodine.

Don’s ideas about “members-only” bargaining for minor league players in, for example, the independent minor league teams in the U.S., and a different kind of “full services union” (complete with hiring halls) in the foreign player market, are very creative, Charles Askin, arbitrator.

New Sports Law Scholarship

Recently published scholarship includes:
Ian C.B. Davis, Note, An analysis of horse racing jockeys riding under Kentucky’s workers’ compensation laws, 97 KENTUCKY LAW JOURNAL 173 (2008-2009)

Dionne L. Koller, How the United States government sacrifices athletes’ constitutional rights in the pursuit of national prestige, 2008 BYU LAW REVIEW 1465

Raymond Shih Ray Ku, Is nominal use an answer to the free speech and right of publicity quandary?: lessons from America’s national pastime, 11 CHAPMAN LAW REVIEW 435 (2008)

Michael A. Mahone, Jr., Note, Sentencing guidelines for the court of public opinion: an analysis of the National Football League’s revised personal conduct policy, 11 VANDERBILT JOURNAL OF ENTERTAINMENT & TECHNOLOGY LAW 181 (2008)

Matthew J. Mitten, A triple play for the public domain: Delaware Lottery to Motorola to C.B.C., 11 CHAPMAN LAW REVIEW 569 (2008)

Anthony Vecchione, Comment, Fantasy sports--has recent anti-gambling legislation ‘dropped the ball’ by providing a statutory carve-out for the fantasy sport industry? 61 SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 1689 (2008)

Maureen C. Weston, The fantasy of athlete publicity rights: public fascination and fantasy sports’ assertion of free use place athlete publicity rights on an uncertain playing field, 11 CHAPMAN LAW REVIEW 581 (2008)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Blackout



In protest of Section 92A of the Copyright Act is due to come into force on Saturday in New Zealand.

Evidence excluded in Bonds case

Judge Illston's order is here Download USAvsBondsOpinion021909. Straightforward, but a good review for my Evidence class of a number of concepts--real evidence requires a chain of custody, the chain of custody requires admissible evidence, the search for hearsay exceptions, and the unreviewable discretion that district court judges have on procedure and evidence.

Only one part of the opinion gave me a pause: She excluded one of three audio transcripts of conversations--the one in which Bonds' trainer, Greg Anderson (the guy whose refusal to testify is the cause of all this) speaks with Bonds' personal assistant about random drug testing for the upcoming (2003) season and seems to suggest that he knows someone at the testing lab and he will be tipped in advance to when, if ever, Bonds will be tested. Judge Illston rejected the government's argument that this is admissible as a statement against interest, because "the government has not established that it was a criminal or civil offense in 2003 to help athletes evade
detection by professional sports associations."

But this seems a bit too quick. If a lab employee were tipping off players (or members of their posses) about upcoming tests, wouldn't MLB have some claim against the lab and the employee (fraud, interference with business expectation, something else (help me out, tort people))? And wouldn't MLB also have a claim against the posse member (in this case, Anderson) who received the tip and passed it along, also frustrating MLB's business expectations? Maybe this just was a matter of what the government brought forward on the motion. But it seems Anderson could have gotten into some trouble by receiving and passing along these tips, such that his admission of it would be against his interest.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A quick snippet of Hamish at home

One of these days I WILL get Hamish in and tidy him up for some photos and video. I am such a slacker! But, I think he still looks pretty hot au naturale :o)

WTA Fines Dubai Tournament for Ban on Israeli Player

It is a truism that sports and politics should not mix. It is an equal truism that they do. The question is in the justification. Nations have boycotted the Olympics and the Olympics have boycotted nations, such as Apartheid-era South Africa. Numerous debates as to the wisdom of boycotts and their effect on sports have gone on for years.

But sometimes there comes a political act that is so wrongheaded that it is difficult to come up any justification for it -- except obvious discrimination. Such a decision came last week when Israeli tennis professional Shahar Peer was barred from competing at a WTA-sanctioned event in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The Dubai Championship, with millions in prize money, is an attempt by the country and its rulers to create an attractive venue for premier sporting events. Touting itself as a welcoming place for people all of the world, the UAE's rulers wish to create a friendly, tolerant place for sports to flourish. Friendly and tolerant to all, except, apparently Israeli citizens.

The recent war in Gaza was the pretext for the government's actions. The organizers said that they feared fan anger over Israel's actions because the anger would spill into riots if Peer were to play. In fact, these have been tough times for Israeli athletes. An Israeli basketball team was chased off the court during a game in Turkey and the players were attacked with bottles thrown from some "Pro-Gaza" demonstrators. (Incidentally, Turkey was given credit for a "victory"). An upcoming Davis Cup match in Sweden will be played without fans because of threats.

The Sony Ericsson WTA sanctions the Dubai event and the organization initially criticized the action, but did not take any action until today. In a statement posted on their website, the Tour's board, after criticizing the UAE's action as "unjust discrimination," announced the following actions:
  • Fined of the Dubai tournament $300,000
  • Awarded $44,250 to Peer – an amount equal to the average prize money that she earned per tournament (singles and doubles) in 2008
  • Awarded $7,950 to Anna Lena Groenefeld, who was to be Shahar Peer’s doubles partner in Dubai and who was unable to compete in doubles with Ms. Peer. The amount is equal to the average prize money that she earned per tournament in doubles in 2008
  • The posting by the Dubai tournament of a $2 million financial performance guarantee
  • Shahar Peer Ranking Points - The awarding of 130 ranking points to Shahar Peer – an amount equal to the points that she earned during the same week in 2008 (week of Memphis) that she was unable to defend this past week in Dubai as a result of the denial of her entry visa by UAE. Such points will remain on Ms. Peer’s ranking until such time as she has had an opportunity to earn equivalent points at the next tournament offering ranking points equal to the Dubai tournament.
  • Most importantly, the Dubai organizers also must confirm that qualifying Israeli players will get visas at least eight weeks in advance to remain on the tour schedule for 2010.

According to the WTA, the $300,000 fine represents the highest fine ever levied against a Tour member and proceeds will be used to compensate Peer and Groenefeld.

In the wake of this criticism, the UAE decided to grant a visa to Israeli men's player Andy Ram for an upcoming tournament after the men's counterpart, the ATP had warned that future events could be in jeopardy if Ram wasn't allowed to enter.

The WTA's actions are a justified moral response to the UAE's actions and also a good example of governance control. The organization -- like the ATP -- is not a sports league in the traditional sense, but an organization representing individual players which sanctions tournaments and set forth conditions for their players. It has a detailed structure -- with more than 400 pages of organizational materials, rules and regulations.

Some would argue that the actions do not go far enough. The fine may be a drop in the bucket for the UAE and this year's tournament took place without Peer. Although some wanted the WTA to stop its sponsorship of this year's event, that would have been impractical because of the last-minute nature of the visa rejection. After being assured of a visa, Peer was about to leave to Dubai from Thailand, when she was denied entry to the country. The other players were already there, so the tournament went on. That makes their action more egregious, and the WTA at the very least put the tournament's organizers on notice.

Friday, February 20, 2009

2009 Arbitration Season Ends with Settlement

The Washington Nationals and Ryan Zimmerman settled early this morning prior to their scheduled hearing at the midpoint figure of $3,325,000. So, the players prevailed in 2 of the 3 hearings this season and that marks the first time since 1996, when the players won 7 of the 10 hearings, that the players defeated the teams in arbitration. For the record, there have now been 487 hearings, and the teams have won 280 and the players 207. Teams are ahead in percentage, 57% to 43%. That is a 1 percentage point change from last year (58%-42%).

I went 0-3 in predictions. I was just as poor at this as I was with my 2 fantasy football teams this past season.

The final tally on the 43 settled cases:

Multiyear deals - 11
Above the midpoint - 5
Midpoint - 11
Below the midpoint - 16

I watch way too many you tube videos


5697 to be exact. That is too many over a two and a half year period.
I have seen Garth Brooks and Billy Joel concerts from Ireland to Tokyo.
I have seen far too many Homer Simpson clips.
I have heard Christian Bale lose his rag.
I have see Family Guy ripping into Christian Bale for losing his rag.
I have seen the best twenty cricket catches of all time.
I have seen Arizona Cardinal fans go crazy.
I have seen the Warriors fans go crazy.
I just can't work out what the other 5000 odd videos were?!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Harvard Law School Sports Law Symposium: Sports Law in an Economic Downturn

I'm pleased to be joining Rick as a participant in this year's Harvard Law School Sports Law Symposium, which will be held on Friday March 13th and Saturday, March 14th at the law school.

The symposium, which is hosted by the Harvard Law School Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law, is in honor of Harvard Law School Professor Paul Weiler, one of the founders of U.S. sports law and the person who may deserve more credit for the growth of sports law than any other legal scholar.

The symposium's subject matter is "Resiting the Recession: Growth Opportunities for Sports in an Economic Downturn."

The event is open to the public, and details can be read at this link. In addition, Harvard Law School 3L Megha Parekh -- the sports co-chair of the Committee -- can be contacted with questions at mparekh[at]jd09.law.harvard.edu.

Here are some of the detiails:


New Stadiums
Friday, March 13, 2009 – 5 pm
Harvard Law School, Langdell North

The “New Stadiums” panel, moderated by Professor Peter Carfagna, will focus on the new stadiums that have been built recently, the difficulties teams face in financing stadiums, the use of public monies, and other issues associated with the development and leasing of sports venues.

Moderator:

Peter Carfagna

Partner, Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP (Cleveland, OH)
Lecturer on Law, Harvard Law School

Panelists:

Derek Jackson
Vice President & General Counsel
Florida Marlins

Damon Jones
Vice President / Club Counsel
Washington Nationals

Andy Lee
Former General Counsel
New York Jets

Mike Lufrano
Senior Vice President, Community Affairs/General Counsel
Chicago Cubs

Allan G. Mutchnik
Partner
Skadden, Arps (Los Angeles)


New Media

Saturday, March 14, 2009 – 10:30 am

Harvard Law School, Langdell North

The “New Media” panel, moderated by Professor Rick Karcher, will cover how sports leagues and teams exploit new media and fantasy sports to generate revenues.

Moderator:


Rick Karcher

Florida Coastal School of Law

Panelists:


Bob Bowman

President and Chief Executive Officer
Major League Baseball Advanced Media LP

Frank Hawkins
Partner
Scalar Media

Mike Mellis
Senior Vice President & General Counsel
Major League Baseball Advanced Media LP

Bryan Perez
Senior Vice President and General Manager
NBA Digital

Michael Zarren
Assistant Executive Director of Basketball Operations/Associate Counsel
Boston Celtics


New Markets
Saturday, March 14, 2009 – 2 pm
Harvard Law School, Langdell North

The “New Markets” panel, moderated by Professor Mike McCann, will cover how sports leagues choose which markets to reach, the legal challenges associated with expansion into new markets, and how leagues approach branding and marketing their sport domestically and abroad.


Moderator:


Michael McCann

Associate Professor of Law, Vermont Law School
Legal Analyst and Si.com Columnist, Sports Illustrated
Co-Founder, Harvard Law School Project on Law and Mind Sciences

Panelists:

Rob Friedrich
NBA China

Eric Nyquist
Vice President, Strategic Operations
NASCAR

Jon Oram
Partner
Proskauer Rose

Jim Renacci
Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee
Arena Football League


Keynote speakers include Andrew Zimbalist (economics professor at Smith College and rewnowed sports business expert) and Jeff Pash (NFL's Executive VP and General Counsell)

It should be a great event.

Catching Up with Some Links

* Oliver v. NCAA: Last week, Alan Milstein blogged on an Ohio state court's ruling in favor of Oklahoma State University star pitcher Andrew Oliver, who had been suspended by the NCAA. The NCAA had suspended Oliver after learning that, years earlier, Oliver had met with Minnesota Twins representatives with his attorneys while contemplating whether to retain his amateur status and attend college or turn pro after high school. A few days ago, Southern Illinois University Professor Tassos Kaburakis blogged on the same subject on the National Sports and Entertainment Law Society's blog. Alan supports the decision, while Tassos disagrees with it. I'd check out both posts (though I'd read the decision in its entirety first).

* Darren Rovell's Sports Biz on CNBC: Always a great website to check out, Darren has had some particualrly interesting posts of late, including on commissioners' salaries and the NCAA's efforts to ban certain vitaminwaters.

* National Sports and Entertainment Law Society Blog: has some excellent posts up, including on age limits in pro sports -- this blog has been generating very good content. And the Society's main website is also worth checking out.

* Free Miguel Tejada?: Aaron Zelinsky of Yale Law School and The Huffington Post makes the case that the prosecution construction's of 2 U.S.C. 192 was over-broad and should not include congressional staffers on off-site investigations.

* Crowd Noise and Refereeing: Are referees unknowingly biased by crowd reaction? Even if they try to be fair and tune out hostile and unruly crowds who are yelling at them, does statistical data suggest they often fail? The Situationist has some links on the topic.

* Training Athletes to Safely Use Guns: On Sports Agent Blog, Darren Heitner wonders if it makes sense to train athletes on how to use a gun.

* Sonny Vaccaro to speak at Indiana (Indianapolis) Law School: On Wednesday, March 4th, Sonny Vaccaro will present at Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis on the NCAA's treatment of student-athletes, particularly male basketball players, and the relationship between those players contributions to their universities and the income generated by those universities from sports TV contracts and related revenue sources. He will also address the NBA's age limit and the possible trend of teenage star basketball players who are ineligible for the NBA due to age going to play pro hoops abroad (like Brandon Jennings is doing in Italy). For more information about Sonny's talk, click here.

* Sports Law Review Article Submissions: If you have written a sports law paper that may be worthy of publication in a law review, keep in mind that there are many sports law reviews and journals seeking submissions. Just consider those listed in our "Sports Law Resources" link section on the left-hand side of our blog (and yes, we know we have to update our links). One law review that has emailed us of their interest in subsmissions is the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal. For more information, contact Lauren Paull, Articles Development Editor, at lpaull[at]virginia.edu

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Brain Hurts



I made the mistake of getting involved in a debate with a socialist, perhaps my brain is getting old, it just started hurting when I read this question of his.....

Excuse me, but again.. with some further explanation since I don’t believe you answered my question at all..

I wrote: “Civil question.. you wrote National are passing laws.. this appears to me as ‘National’ the absolute. Is this meant, if not what is ‘national’ to you?”

Politics.. government is about passing laws… the functional. Whereas my request related to structural and/or representational. I could hardly leave the context out of asking the question. Couldn’t say National are for instance.

The name Labour OTOH says what it is.

So, and perhaps the moreso significant for your change of personal views as you declare what is/are National to you. More than a promise for action surely. Given that we all have a huge external economic problem refracting through us the quality of action is most important.

Care to tackle this now….

All I could come up with was the word, HUH!

I need some sleep now.

Not a Problem or Not Enough Money to Fund the Program: Florida Ends HS Anabolic Steroids Testing Program

The Florida High School Athletic Association’s anaboloic steroid testing program, which began in July 2007 for athletes participating in football, baseball and weightlifting, has been put on the back burner, at least for now, due to the economy and the rationale that the money must go elsewhere. In a deteriorating economy, state officials apparently cannot justify spending the $100,000 needed to do the testing (or a cost of $166 a piece). Cristina Alvarez, spokeswoman for the Florida High School Athletic Association, states that in this economy the money must go to the classroom and textbooks. Moreover, of the 600 teens tested randomly at 53 schools, only one steroid user was found.

Testing was only performed on one percent of Florida HS student-athletes. Testing was administered by the National Center for Drug Free Sport, Inc, with samples analyzed at UCLA's Olympic laboratory. Testing was limited to tackle and flag football, boys and girls weightlifting, softball, and baseball, and was random (school randomly picked, thereafter, student-athlete randomly picked). Unlike Illinois' voluntary program, which I discussed on this Blog last January, submitting to this random testing was a prerequisite for membership in the FHSAA under Florida law (2007-192). A student-athlete could opt out of the testing program (no consent given), but then could not participate (practice or competition) in the aforementioned sports. Said student-athlete would be permitted to participate in non-tested sports.

Outside of the cost, reasons given for dropping the testing program is there is no problem at the high school level in Florida ("only one positive test"), it was not comprehensive enough (max out at 1% of student-athletes in grades 9-12), and the recent A-Rod scandal. While I believe the last reason is a throw-away, it certainly does not bode well for additional states to pick-up testing for anabolic steroids or other performance enhancing drugs at the high school level when in the midst of one of baseball's superstars admitting using performance enhancing drugs, his home state (starred at Westminster Christian High School in Miami and signed a national letter of intent to play baseball at "the U") drops testing.

For discussions of legality of such testing, see Board of Ed. v. Earls and Vernonia School Dist. v. Acton.

Salary Arbitration Update

There were four hearings set for today, and all proved to be unnecessary as settlements were finalized between Corey Hart and the Brewers, Conor Jackson and the Diamondbacks, Mike Jacobs and the Royals, and Josh Willingham and the Nationals. That leaves only the Atlanta Braves and both Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson and Washington and Ryan Zimmerman left for this year. Of the 40 settled cases this year, we have the following results:

Multiyear deals - 11
Above the midpoint - 5
At the midpoint - 8
Below the midpoint - 16

The 11 multiyear deals are the most for the six year period of 2004-2009. There were 10 in both 2007 and 2008. There were 5 in 2004, 8 in 2005, and 7 in 2006. This is an interesting trend, and I will comment more about this at the end of the week. This really reduces the number of comparables that can be considered.

Yale Law School Sports Litigation Panel

Next Wednesday, February 25th, Yale Law School will be hosting a panel discussion on sports litigation.

I am honored to be moderating the event, which has some phenomenal speakers.

The panel will take place from 4:10 to 6 p.m. and is open to the public.

Here are the details:

Yale Law School

Yale Entertainment and Sports Law Association hosts a Panel Discussion on Sports Litigation

February 25 2009 4:10 to 6:00 p.m.



Moderator:

MICHAEL MCCANN (Professor at Vermont Law School; Legal Analyst at Sports Illustrated)

Panelists:


HAL BIAGAS (Deputy Counsel, National Basketball Players Association; plays a lead role in collective bargaining for players and has advised Stephon Marbury in his on-going dispute with the New York Knicks)


BILLY MARTIN (has litigated on behalf of Michael Vick, Allen Iverson, Jayson Williams, and other athletes; has represented other notable clients, including U.S. Senator Larry Craig and the parents of former White House intern Monica Lewinsky)

ALAN MILSTEIN (has litigated on behalf of Maurice Clarett, Allen Iverson, Eddy Curry, jockey Eddie King, and other athletes, and also a nationally-recognized expert on bioethics and clinical trials litigation)


JEFFREY MISHKIN (has litigated on behalf of the National Basketball Association in all of the league's key litigations over the last 20 years, including in NBA v. Williams and NBA v. Motorola; formerly served as Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of the NBA)

JAY REISINGER (legal adivser to Andy Pettitte and Sammy Sosa during Mitchell Report and Congressional hearings on steroids; also represents MLB players in salary arbitrations)


MICHAEL ZARREN (Assistant Executive Director of Basketball Operations and Associate Counsel of Boston Celtics; directs Celtics in legal matters, including those concerning player contracts and endorsement and licensing deals; also plays a key role in the evaluation of players)


Special thanks to Michael Bloom, a 3L at Yale Law School and Co-Chair of the Yale Sports and Entertainment Law Association, for putting this event together. For information on attending, please contact Michael at michael.bloom[at]yale.edu

Update: My thanks to ESPN's Henry Abbott for telling his readers about the panel. Also, related point to the panel: William Rothstein of the National Sports and Entertainment Law Society and Vermont Law School has a terrific post up today on the NBA's age limit and O.J. Mayo.

Can Barry Bonds Receive a Fair Trial?

I address that question and some others in a new SI.com column. Here's an excerpt:

* * *

In addition to avoiding Bonds-haters, counsel for Bonds will seek jurors who are skeptical about the government's decision to prosecute Bonds. A libertarian-leaning person, for instance, might object to the expenditure of millions of tax dollars to prosecute baseball players who used substances to help hit home runs. While Bonds is not on trial for steroids per se, as his case concerns lying under oath, the charges against him would have never occurred but for the government's extensive investigation into BALCO and the interstate sale and distribution of steroids. Bonds' attorneys also figure to seek jurors who could believe that Bonds has been singled out among the many MLB players who used steroids (hence the desire to ask about Rodriguez).

The prosecution, in contrast, will probably try to identify jurors who are inclined to focus on the legal intricacies of the case: the arguably compelling evidence that Bonds knowingly lied under oath, as detailed in each of the 10 perjury counts. Such jurors might be particularly beneficial if prosecutors are only able to prove Count 10, which alleges that Bonds knowingly lied about being injected by personal trainer Greg Anderson. Indeed, Kathy Hoskins, the sister of Bonds' longtime friend/business manager Steve Hoskins, is expected to testify that she saw Anderson inject Bonds. Bonds could thus be found guilty for committing perjury without the government proving that he knowingly took steroids, since the lie would involve the injection itself, rather than its contents. If that is all the prosecution could prove, prosecutors would want jurors who would be willing to find Bonds guilty on that one and only count, as opposed to jurors would be tempted to let an otherwise-exonerated Bonds walk free.

* * *
For the rest of the column, please click here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

When they say they don't want to politicize sports, . . .

Shahar Peer of Israel, the # 48-ranked women's singles player, was denied an entry visa to the United Arab Emirates to play in this week's Barclays Dubai Tournament, citing security fears of having an Israeli playing in Dubai in the wake of the recent military conflict in Gaza. The denial, by the way, came on Saturday night, with Peer's first match scheduled for Monday. The Tennis Channel refused to broadcast the tournament following the UAE's decision.

The tournament organizer, Dubai Duty Free, said Peer's "presence would have antagonized our fans." The statement then added "We do not wish to politicize sports, but we have to be sensitive to recent events in the region and not alienate or put at risk the players and the many tennis fans of different nationalities that we have here in the UAE."

Sorry, folks; you cannot have it both ways. Shahar Peer is neither an Israeli political official nor a member of the Israeli military; she played no role in the events in Gaza and those events have nothing to do with her--and certainly nothing to do with her as a tennis player. You have banned an Israeli player from the tournament (the country, actually) explicitly on the ground that her mere presence as an Israeli (playing for herself, not even on behalf of her country) would "antagonize" and "alienate" people and be insensitive of recent (political) events. By definition, you are politicizing sports; you are incorporating socio- and geo-political considerations having nothing to do with sport into decisions decisions about who gets to participate in a sporting event. And it is insulting and dishonest to claim otherwise.

This is not necessarily to criticize politicizing sport. If you believe that the actions of Israel are such that its citizens should not be permitted to participate in international competitions, make that argument; but acknowledge that you are being explicitly political--and take the hit when others respond to those political positions, as by (perhaps) pulling the event off the WTA schedule.

Interestingly, this whole thing might be repeated at next week's men's tournament. Andy Ram, an Israeli doubles specialist, still is waiting for his visa.

Buzz buzz buzz - Brought the boy back in...

and I still love him to pieces! I just can't get over how laid back he is. Nothing phases him and never has. He's Mr Cool through and through, even when the neighbour chooses to fertilise the boundary paddock as soon as I get back on him after he's had a four month break serving mares! I am perched up on him all paranoid that he's going to freak out and he's like 'Whatever!'.

I only rode for about 10 minutes today as there is no point in pushing it. Lots of walk to halt, halt to walk, walk to trot, trot to walk and a few rein backs to make sure he remembers - he does :o) And one little canter at the end just to mix it up a bit (and see what he would do).

As you can see he is still in with Aine and Maude and Aine was absolutely fascinated by the proceedings and followed us around quite a lot. Very cute. We gave her feet a quick trim while we were there - only her second trim and she was excellent so we are very pleased.

I have a few photos of today's ride and a boring little video that I will add later for anyone who wants to check out the boy. My only real concern today is that I am still convinced he is really far too small for me. I know I still have a lot of weight to lose (and watching the video just reinforces my determination to lose it) but I can't help but feel he would look a lot more aesthetically pleasing with someone about, oh I dunno, a million kg lighter on his back :o(

This is the time when I wish I had the money to pay someone to campaign him for me. I want to keep him here for me to ride and enjoy but also want to see him out and about really strutting his stuff and, lets face it, I aint the rider to get him out there doing that. I guess that I just have some soul searching to do.


Walking in the hay paddock
Aine 'helping'
Watching the fert going on
Aine is very interested!
Aine, take notes please


Big Money is Out



Big Money is out.

A couple of posts ago, I wrote about how Vettori and other cricket players are rich, thanks to 20/20 cricket tournaments that were started by Allen Stanford.

Well that has all changed overnight, thanks to the FBI who have now arrested Allen Stanford for fraud . He was the man who was going to make cricketers some of the richest sportspeople on earth, but that has all changed.

Don't get me wrong, 20/20 is still alive and well, there will still be a world cup, there will still be 20/20 tournaments, they just wont be the mega cash tournaments run by Allen Standford.

Perhaps this will be a good thing in the end for cricket, time will only tell. I just hope the several players who said they were over their injuries and ready to play , wont now say they are unavailable for test cricket because of injury, yes I'm talking about you Jacob Oram.

ABA Teleseminar this Thursday

This Thursday, the ABA Section of Antitrust Law Trade, Sports & Professional Associations Committee, Section of Intellectual Property Law, The Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education are sponsoring a 90-minute teleseminar and live audio webcast titled, Whose Home Run is it Anyway? Practical Advice on Intellectual Property Issues in Sports.

The teleseminar will explore the ownership and use of intellectual property by sports leagues, their member teams, player associations, and other entities. The panel will focus on the efforts of professional sports leagues and player associations to control the intellectual property activities of both teams and third-parties, including:
  • The burgeoning fantasy sports industry
  • The efforts of individual teams to gain increasing control of their own intellectual property
Fantasy leagues have existed for decades, but prior to the internet age participants in those leagues typically cobbled together statistics from the sports section of local newspapers. Most leagues however consisted of small groups of friends. The growth of the internet spawned an explosion of interest in fantasy leagues, making participation more efficient and allowing firms to monetize what had once been a private system. In recent years, attempts to profit from the use of players' statistics have caused disputes between player associations, sports leagues, and third-party fantasy sports purveyors.

Panelists will also discuss disputes that have also arisen regarding intellectual property among some professional teams and the leagues of which they are members. Some teams have sought to manage and profit from their intellectual property in ways not sanctioned by the leagues, leading to legal disputes, including--most prominently--the New York Rangers' recent lawsuit against the National Hockey League.

Program Time
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM Eastern
12:00 PM- 1:30 PM Central
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Mountain
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM Pacific
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM London
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM Brussels

Panelists
Program Moderator: Scott Walker, Counsel, Lowenstein Sandler PC
Glenn Colton, Partner, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati
Annette L. Hurst, Partner, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP
Rick Karcher, Director, Center for Law and Sports, Florida Coastal School of Law
James Keyte, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP
Andrew Lee, General Counsel, New York Jets

This is a great way to pick up CLE credit because you can listen to the seminar right at your desk. To register, click here.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Family Guy's take on Bale

"Highlight has to be "Your going to owe a fortune to the swear jar"

Did the Australian commentators go to far?



During the 20/20 match between New Zealand and Australia the channel nine crew hooked up Vettori and Bracken with a microphone so they could speak to them during the game.

When talking to New Zealand's captain Daniel Vettori they asked him the usual questions, how he was feeling? How he thought the game was getting on?, Had he been happy with things so far?

The questions changed when it came to talk to Australian bowler Bracken, instead of asking him how the game was going , they gave him advice on what what type of ball to bowl to the kiwi batsman, telling him a yorker would be good now.

IMHO this amounts to cheating and shouldn't be allowed, in fact if this was any other sport, I would say there would be a scandel, but once again the New Zealand media is asleep at the wheel, I only hope the Blackcaps are going thru footage of the game and the apporiate action taken.

Short Meg photo video

The song, 'Carter's Fair' is written and sung by Kate Bramley from 'The Bad Pennies'. Kate and Jez Lowe recently played at 'The Lounge' in Carterton and Nick was the support act for the performance. The song is kinda perfect really.

The Michael Phelps Saga

We've somehow ignored the much discussed Michael Phelps situation concerning a certain photo, for which he has apologized. I was recently interviewed by Ed Berliner on Stone Cold Sports to discuss it. Here are my comments can be heard at this link.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

92A - This is pretty scary!

New Zealand's new Copyright Law presumes 'Guilt Upon Accusation' and will Cut Off Internet Connections without a trial. CreativeFreedom.org.nz is against this unjust law - help us

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Robbie - Sire of Champions!

Just had the best morning at the Masterton A&P. The weather was on our side and the sun shone brightly for our classes. Meg was an absolute super star and I could not be happier with my sensitive little girl's behaviour.

We had a last minute near disaster when I took her float boots off after we arrived only to find that the BLACK dye in them had leaked all over her lovely white stockings!!! All those weeks of painstakingly preparing her only to be foiled by the very things that were put on to try and keep the darned things clean! Fortunately Dazzle Dog came to the rescue and I managed to scrub it all off but it set us back a bit time wise. I had offered to turn out Kim's mare as well as Meg so was rushing around like a bat out of hell between the two of them primping and preening like a thing possessed. We squeaked in on time by a whisker helped by the fact that our judge was a little late (last minute things like picking out of hooves was thus attended to in 'over time').

Meg thought the showgrounds and other horses were out of this world but never let the atmosphere get to her and stood perfectly for her plaiting. I was worried she would fidget when we were putting the sprigs in but no, stood like a rock and soaked it all in. She even trotted out nicely in the filly class which was the one thing I was a bit worried about. The judge commented very favourably on her trot too.

After our classes were finsished we took her on her very own grand parade around the show grounds and she LOVED it. She marched out with her ears pricked taking it all in. She drew lots of admiring comments too, which was nice. We're not surprised of course because we think she looks rather gorgeous. She'll be even better in a few years time when she is a mature horse.

Results:

Best presented - 1st place
Filly 2yo and under - 1st place
Best walking - 1st place
Best footed - 2nd place (stupid sand crack!)

CHAMPION Registered Clydesdale - Rosemarkie Silver Tray and WJB Potts Trophy for overall points.

and RESERVE CHAMPION went to little Amos who behaved himself most admirably for such a baby. So, well done Robbie - you are now a sire of Champions!

Meg with her pretty purple sash and my matching hat, haha! Meg and her proud Dad Check out that tail!Bein' judged
Best walking clydesdale

Champion
Champion
Before the turnout
A neckful of pretty ribbons
Poser

Vettori is freakin Rich!!!!



New Zealand's greatest ever cricket captain has every reason to be happy, he might be a multi Millionaire come the end of May.

The Blackcaps will be invited to a pre twenty twenty world cup tournament in England, the prize is meant to be a whopping $18 Million dollars, winner takes all.

So those 11 players in the winning team are set for a hefty payday, the other three teams will be The West Indies, Sri Lanka and England.

Im guessing those players who normally put out because of nigglying injuries will be fit and ready.

IMHO its good for the game, if players keep on playing in this 20/20 they will have to make themselves avaaible for real cricket, Test Cricket, so if we can see the likes of Vettori still playing well into his 30's, then we will own a Texan Billionarie a big thankyou.

The Inflated Value of a College Education

Before I begin, I would like to make one point clear. I believe in learning and education. I believe that knowledge makes the world a better place and people better persons. I also believe that learning is a lifelong practice. With that caveat, let's begin.

The college degree is becoming more and more suspect as time goes on. Granted, degree holders on average earn more than non-degree holders, but this probably has less to do with the learning than it does with the signal that a degree confers. A college degree tells potential employers that a.) You can read, and b.) You can devote yourself to a long term project and show up. What it also tells employers is that you have a bunch of student loan debt and are probably desperate for a job to make those payments.

Here are the problems with a college degree and a college education:

1. LACK OF RETENTION.

Imagine taking a fresh college grad and then giving them a random question from the stat course they took in their sophomore year. Unless they were a stat major, I'm betting they won't know it. This would be an interesting study to undertake, but speaking from personal experience, you can ask me just about anything from fifth grade, and I will blow it. Jeff Foxworthy knows what I know. You either use it or lose it.

2. DATED MATERIAL.

If I offered you a deal on an encyclopedia set, you might be interested. But once you discovered they were published in 1952, you would realize that all you got were an expensive set of doorstops. No one buys dated encyclopedias. Yet, they will buy dated college degrees. Nowadays, people are still making payments on education that is no longer relevant.

When you add up the costs and consider the value, a college degree is a bad deal. So, why do people get degrees?

I tend to divide the world into two groups on this issue. There are those who are into continuous learning, and there are those who aren't. I have lived long enough to meet brilliant people with no sheepskin and stupid people with the sheepskin. The ones without simply loved learning and reading and had an insatiable curiosity about things. They were open to new things and new experiences. The others were averse to new things and change. For them, college was a chore to get the paper, and they are glad the experience is over.

Speaking from personal experience, I can say that the bulk of my knowledge came from outside of a classroom. This is because I read and that reading got supercharged by the advent of the internet. I am way smarter today than I was in 1994 when I got my sheepskin. I am smart enough to know I would have been better served learning a good trade and keeping my library card in use. Most jobs are actually dull repetitive tasks and this runs the range from auto mechanic to ditch digger to surgeons. When you meet a guy who does nothing all day but repair torn ACL's, you wonder how much brainpower that takes. It's not much different than an auto mechanic that rebuilds starters all day.

Aristotle made a distinction between work and leisure, but I think we have lost the original meaning of what Ari was getting at. Work were the things that were necessary to be done. Being free from that labor to pursue philosophy (education) was the goal. For us, leisure is watching TV or going bowling or getting drunk as hell. More motivated types might go climb Everest or something. But for Aristotle, free time was meant to be devoted to the cultivation of learning and the mind. This might seem like a waste until you consider that the welder sipping his beer after a long work week wouldn't be drinking that beer if it wasn't for Aristotle.

Work and education are loosely related. They are separate spheres. If you doubt this, ask my employer if he cares about the "A" I got in History 101. It was always my dream to see my love of learning and my love of work meeting at some point. But it never has. I have learned things from work, and I have worked at learning. But they tend to be separate fields. They complement each other.

But I digress. . .

People get college degrees because they expect to make big money with them. Nevermind that their practical value is nil. But degrees, standardized tests, exams, and licenses are all signals to potential employers that you know something. The reality is that these people know less than they pretend to, but we can take heart in the fact that you don't really need to know a whole lot to be successful or at least gainfully employed. And if you are a smart guy, I can tell you that no employer wants your brilliance on anything. I have never worked on any job where I was not both praised and ignored. I have talked with others who have similar experiences. It might be different at Google or Apple.

In conclusion, I had a conversation with a non-degree person who derided some college educated people as "educated idiots." I had to agree with him. They were idiots. But I also noted that he said it with a tinge of bitterness and envy. The value was social. The guy with a degree was a "somebody" while he was a "nobody." And so it goes. . .

Two Arbitration Hearings Postponed

The Associated Press reported yesterday that the arbitration hearings for Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Ervin Santana and Tampa Bay Rays infielder Willy Aybar were postponed. I cannot remember a postponement of a hearing in recent years, but the general consensus is that the Angels and Rays are close to a settlement with Santana and Aybar. That leaves 11 players and teams scheduled for hearings next week as salary arbitration will come to an end for 2009.

New Article: The Truth about Collusion in Baseball

For those interested in the history of baseball collusion and its implications on the game today, here is a link to my newest article -- "Moving Past Collusion in Major League Baseball: Healing Old Wounds and Preventing New Ones."

This article discusses the history of collusion in Baseball, as well as explains how Baseball collusion in the 1980s led to more recent allegations of collusion (A-Rod, Bonds) and other troubling aspects of Baseball's labor-management relationship (for example, drug testing disagreements).

Here are a few highlights from the piece:


(1) Selig's Documented Role in Collusion: Although MLB Commissioner Bud Selig continues to deny any role in collusion, Arbitrator George Nicolau in his Collusion II ruling cited testimony from Philadelphia Phillies president William Giles that Selig -- in the capacity of Milwaukee Brewers owner -- called him to discourage the Phillies' signing of catcher Lance Parrish (p. 619-20).

(2) George is the Good Guy: Although often maligned for other reasons, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner was probably Baseball's least culpable owner during the Collusion Era. In Arbitrator Thomas Roberts' Collusion I ruling, he cites an offer Steinbrenner made for catcher Carlton Fisk as the only bona fide free agent offering during the 1985-86 season. (p. 615).

(3) The Smallwood Plan: Major League Baseball continues to criticize Barry Bonds's collusion allegations as being unrealistic and fanciful. However, the idea really can't be that off-the-wall. On September 1, 2006 -- long before Bonds was out of baseball -- Philadelphia Daily News reporter John Smallwood wrote an editorial piece explicitly suggesting that clubs collude against his services (p. 630).

(4) The Solution: Want to keep future allegations of collusion out of Baseball? The answer involves four steps: (i) returning the game's oversight to a neutral, outside commissioner; (ii) separating the role of Baseball CEO from Baseball Commissioner; (iii) allowing union lawyer oversight of Major League Baseball's off-season meetings; and (iv) providing full disclosure to players and fans about past collusion (p. 635-639).

(This article is cross-posted at SportsJudge Blog).