Tuesday, March 31, 2009

From the ZOMGWTF files

This morning Libby had a hoof trim and was taken to her new paddock. What I forgot when popping her in there was that Portia lives in a paddock diagonally across from where Libby was going. Oh dear! We have major ZOMGWTF DONKEY!!! alert going on here, *chuckle*.

It's just there, I can see it!
It's going to eat me!!!
I can still see it!!!
Someone please, take it away!
Darn it, can still see it!

Vermont Law School’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society to host two panels at annual Solutions Conference

vls solutions banner

Vermont Law School will host its annual Solutions Conference on April 3rd and 4th. The Vermont Law School Sports and Entertainment Law Society along with the National Sports and Entertainment Law Society will host two panels:

  • Alternative Legal Careers: Sports and the Law

Date & Time: Friday, April 3rd, 2009 from 10:30-12pm
Panelist:Ed Mattes, Jim Munsey, Andrew Weber, and Michael Zarren
Moderator: Michael McCann

  • Keynote Address: Topic TBA

Date & Time: Friday, April 3rd, 2009 from 5:30-7:30pm
Speaker: Reggie Hudlin

The Solutions Conference is FREE to Vermont Law School Faculty, Staff and Students. The Solutions Conference is also open to the surrounding community for $25 per person. Everyone interested in attending must register for the Solutions Conference here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

NBA Age Limit Discussion at New York Law School

Last week I joined Alan Milstein, Marc Edelman, Paul Haberman and others on a sports law panel at New York Law School. Zach Lowe of the American Lawyer was there to cover it. Here's an excerpt from his piece, which highlighted discussion of the NBA's age limit:

* * *

NBA officials have hinted they want to raise the age limit to 20 when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2011. Luckily for us, the age limit topic dominated the discussion during a panel talk Wednesday at New York Law School featuring several high-profile sports lawyers. Even better, we heard Alan Milstein, a litigator at Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky promise that he plans to mount a legal challenge against the NBA's age-limit ban, which, to put it politely, he does not like. (Milstein called the ban "outrageous," "hypocritical," and "a sham." He and other panelists who share his views--including Michael McCann of Vermont Law School and Sports Law Blog fame--wonder why hoops players have to wait while tennis players and soccer players can turn pro as youngish teens).

Milstein says he's just waiting for a player willing to challenge the rule, and he thinks he can win on antitrust grounds (among others). It wouldn't be Milstein's first attempt at taking on such an age limit. With help from McCann, he fought the National Football League's age limit on behalf of former Ohio State University star running back Maurice Clarett. Clarett, who lost that case, is now serving a 7-1/2 year prison sentence after being convicted on various criminal charges, including robbery. Milstein speculates that Clarett may have stayed out of trouble had he been allowed to enter the NFL early and earn a living.

The Clarett experience won't stop Milstein from going after the NBA's age limit. "I'm hoping to find a player to challenge it in the next couple of years," he told the panel.

* * *

For the rest of the piece, click here.

Salary cap for soccer teams in Europe?

Nowadays the financial crisis also seems to be hitting the European sports sector. Sport clubs, associations and politicians come up with different proposals to solve the crisis or at least prevent clubs to fall into bankruptcy. One of the topics in the world of European soccer is the introduction of a salary cap which should improve the financial situation of the clubs. The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is currently (re-)considering the idea of limiting clubs' expenditure on salary and transfer fees to a particular proportion of their direct and indirect sporting revenues.

Revenue would be defined as money received only from ticket sales, sponsorship, merchandise and television income. It would not include any financial investment by owners or major shareholders. Apart from creating tools to battle the financial crisis, the introduction of a salary cap tries to limit the increasing importance of (mostly) foreign investors which seem to destabilize competition. According to UEFA these foreign investors are responsible for immoral wages and transfer fees.

The UEFA is of the opinion that the United States sports system and regulators could be an example of how to maintain a competitive balance between sporting measures and regulations to ensure the clubs are properly managed. The main arguments of the critics however are the following:

- The introduction of a salary cap must be introduced at international level. If one or more national leagues refuse to introduce the salary cap, this could result into a competitive gap between capped and uncapped leagues.

- The richest (and most powerful) clubs in Europe will resist on the introduction of the salary cap as it could undermine their competitive advantage.

- There is no such thing as a European accounting, financial or auditing standard which could safeguard that the salary cap will equally applied in the different countries. The introduction of a salary cap would need to be accompanied by the introduction of (strict) financial/accountancy rules for all clubs.

There is no doubt that measures need to be taken to improve the financial situation of the European soccer teams. The financial crisis could be the ideal stimulus for the European authorities to come up with initiatives to introduce a global framework with coherent financial, auditing and accounting standards which the different teams have to respect. A salary cap could be one of those standards, but will have little effect without a global framework.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

She's here!

At about 5.45pm this evening Libby (Glencree Liberty High) was delivered by Steve (Woodville Horse Floats - These guys are just THE BEST!). She's so cute! And a little tubby but, did I mention, SO CUTE! She and Hamish are just going to make THE most beautiful music together. I can't wait until Spring but it seems such a looooooong way away! So far so good, she walked nicely off the truck and up the driveway (looking at the chickens but more interested in the grass) and went nicely into the yards and straight to her haynet. After a bit of a munch and a scratch I shoved a wormer down her throat (she was good) and then took a few photos of her. Tomorrow she gets the full beauty treatment (bath and a pedicure) and I will get to know her a little better.

Why Does Junior Suck?


There's no way around it. Dale Earnhardt, Jr. sucks. He is a popular driver. He wants to win. But he loses, and everyone can see the frustration. That leaves one thing to change--the crew chief.

Tony Eury, Jr. will not last this season with the number 88. He will get fired, and a new guy will come in to shake it up. (Ray Evernham needs a job.) But if Dale fails to deliver, he will be declared the next Kyle Petty, a moderately talented driver with a name he can't live up to. It is kinda sad.

Meanwhile, Kyle Busch is tearing shit up. A friend of mine tells me Busch and his crew chief are cheating and haven't been caught yet. It does seem odd that he wins so much, but he wins across all three series. My personal belief is that he is going to be the greatest driver in NASCAR history. He is hitting his stride and will be dominant for a long time to come. Busch is what Earnhardt wishes he could be.

I am a Kyle Busch fan though I haven't been that vocal about it. It wasn't that long ago I was shitting on the guy, but he has grown on me. He wins and speaks his mind. There is a lot of talent and heart there.


Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you.

I have become disheartened lately. Current events and watching episodes of The Wire have reinforced in me a belief that slimebags rule the world. Whether it is politics, corporate America, or even a local organization like a church or a club, Slimeworld prevails.

Slimeworld is my name for the realm of politics that exists in any organization with a hierarchy. Slimeworld has a different economy. It does not operate by notions of merit or fairness. In Slimeworld, loyalty is the coin of the realm, and the players must decide who to trust, who to swear allegiance to, and who to betray. It is sickening to behold, but it will never disappear. A reading of history shows that Slimeworld has always been there.

I hate Slimeworld, but it is what it is. Like Pericles pointed out, you either play the game or the game plays you. The real question remains. Can you live in Slimeworld and prevail with your integrity intact? I think this is possible. Seeing Ron Paul in the halls of Congress fills me with a sense of hope. Lester Freamon gets his due on The Wire.

From my dealings with Slimeworld, I have learned some lessons. Here they are:


In Slimeworld, you will have alliances, and you must also break those alliances. Slimebags do this purely on the grounds of expedience. They don't care. In time, this becomes their undoing. They give loyalty and betray it for the sake of personal gain. The reality is this works until their treachery finds them out in the cold. I have been in places long enough to see the slime wash down the drain. When a slimebag gets his or her due, no one sheds a tear.

Let principle dictate your actions. It may cost you but so does treachery. It is better to pay for having integrity because you will at least retain your sense of pride and the admiration of others even if you fall.


I regularly get trashed by people talking behind my back. I have learned to laugh at this. When people say I am a dirtbag or a slimebag, I agree with them and smile. This is because I know my reputation is not in my hands. I am at the mercy of anyone with a mouth. But self-deprecation goes a long way in mitigating the damage. I have learned to cultivate a bad reputation because it always leaves people pleasantly surprised to find out the truth. Or at the very least, they are not disappointed if you really are a piece of shit. (FWIW, I am a low down piece of shit.)


I have learned to let it all hang out. Brutal honesty is the way to go. Truth always stings a bit but only for a short while. When you live in the light, nothing creeps out of the darkness to get you. I know that whenever someone fucks me over I will simply talk about it or write about it. I don't hide anything because I don't do anything. I confront my enemies to their face, and then I tell everyone else about it. This is the value of having a big mouth. I will throw my whole life away to get back at my enemies, but my revenge is honest revenge. I make sure slimebags own their actions. Slimeworld is a world of cowards, and it will amaze you how chastened these bold people will become. Richard Nixon was bold in what he did, but he was a pussy in the aftermath. He was his own worst enemy.

Slimebags will do anything to keep their shit secret. They count on other people's shit to give them leverage for counterextortion. But never forget. The terror of evil men is the presence of honesty in their midst.


After taking a shot to the sack, it is tempting to pound on someone else's nuts. Power is the ability to fuck up the weak, but magnanimity is choosing not to do this. I will tell the truth, but I am not going to go around and fuck people's shit up. This means not firing someone because they were candid or didn't like you or going over a superior's head to shit on him or her or simply waiting in the parking lot and caving in their grill with a punch to the face. The treachery for treachery rule is how Tricky Dick Nixon got into the shit he found himself in. He always had to repay every low blow with another low blow.

I don't know if this rule would work in NASCAR, but I don't see people putting Mark Martin in the wall on a regular basis.


The love of power is what attracts slimebags into Slimeworld. It is an immoral impulse to want to rule over others. But the impulse for good people to enter this slime pit is the impulse to not be ruled over. The real challenge is being slimeproof. Being honest in a dishonest world is difficult but not impossible. Ron Paul hasn't sold out yet. There is hope.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Nrl Versus Super 14 TV Ratings

Those that still watch TVNZ, would of notice they have been comparing the TV ratings to the NRL over the super 14. Basically countrywide, the super 14 is doing better, but in Auckland the NRL is doing better.

Perhaps New Zealand sports journalist would like to compare the TV ratings in Australia.

Well its no comparison, and in fact the Under 20's (The Toyota Cup) in the NRL, have been outrating the super 14 in Aussie. While the actual NRL is on another planet.

That is amazing, an age group sports comp is getting higher ratings than the super 14.

But I guess our Journos wont mention that, they still need to tell a lie, that Union is somehow a growing global sport and is in competition with League over the Tasman. The truth is different, during the winter in Australia it has and always will be League and Aussie Rules, with Union the poor redheaded cousin that no one talks too.

Its about time our media here stops kidding themselves, but then they would actually have to do their jobs and stop being a puppet of the NZRFU.

Why the Florida Marlins now are state actors in their new stadium

The gory details of the stadium deal that my esteemed city, county, and state officials recently struck illustrate how my state-action arguments can work as to fan speech in publicly funded stadiums.

If there is anything left to the "symbiotic relationship" test of Burton v. Wilmington Parking Authority (admittedly a debatable proposition for a Civil-Rights-Era-product-of-its-time decision), this deal satisfies it. The government is paying 75 % of the costs to build a cathedral for the long-term predominant use and exclusive benefit of one private entity, in exchange for limited immediate financial benefit, hoped-for "psychic" benefits of keeping the team in town, and potential (but never-fully-realized) downstream economic benefits of a neighborhood and area revival. This is the essence of the exchange of mutual benefits and mutually beneficial relationship that Burton said triggered state action when the private beneficiary restricted constitutional rights in the course of managing that public space.

Think of it this way: The Marlins bear no serious financial burden in this deal. Why not make them bear the burden of having to respect the First Amendment liberties of the fans who are funding this boondoggle.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Weaning, day 2

The girls have worn a walking track along their fence line - I guess that was inevitable. Otherwise, they seem fine - signs of milk on their legs and swollen udders - all par for the course, poor ladies.

The 'kids' have been released from the yards and are now sharing a grassy paddock with Uncle B. Poor long suffering Uncle B is being suckled relentlessly - He's naughty as he lets them when he really should boot them off. He's clearly getting soft in his old age!

Hmmm, what's wrong with this picture?

Grazing Rorror
Hooning Aine
Here comes Aine
About as fast as Rory goes ...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Weaning Day

This is a day I always stress over, put off and generally fernaffle about over yet every year, without fail, it goes without a hitch. Today is weaning day. This morning we went over to the 'nursery' and caught Maude and Hooty and lead them to the jumping paddock. Both foals got to jump the big scary ditch. Rory, with typical gusto, launched himself over without hesitation but Aine, who is delicate you know and does not like to get mud on her pretty little tootsies, was a little hesitant. She was much better this time however and was over within a minute. Last time it took her about 5 minutes to work up the courage to do it!

Once in the paddock next to the yards we led everyone into the yards and separated the mares from the foals and Bados by shutting the centre gate. Our yards are split into two halves, which is very handy at times like this! Maude and Hooty were then led out of the yards, down the race, through the gully paddock and down into their new grassy paddock by the road. Surprisingly this year the mares have been completely nonplussed about leaving their foals behind - perhaps because I have weaned a little later than usual? (Aine is over 6 months now and Rory is coming up 6 months).

I then set about sorting out the morning feeds and took a big bucket full of NRM Evolve, boiled barley and Fibrepro up for them to share. It's so cute the way Bados lets them eat with him - in fact, he spends a lot of time standing back to make sure that they get plenty. He's just the BEST uncle and worth his weight in gold, especially at weaning!

The photos are a bit random but it is hard when they are all in an enclosed space with high walls but you will get the idea. There is a hot tape around the top of the yards and Rory and Bados have both discovered that it is currently 'live' - I am not sure if Aine knows this yet. It is just an added deterrant incase someone decides they might want to 'go over the wall'.

Mmmm, feed time (Rory sneaks a peak in his mum's direction)
Uncle B stands back and lets the kids in
Sharing a net
The kids sharing nicely

UConn Accused of Recruiting Violations for Nate Miles

Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant interviewed me for a story concerning former UConn recruit Nate Miles and possible NCAA violations committed by the university, especially by former student-manager0turned agent Josh Nichomson (who himself may soon be sued for defrauding clients, including Richard Hamilton of the Pistons). Miles would never play UConn, as he was expelled due to Miles violating a restraing order.

Below is an excerpt of Doyle's story.

* * *
The UConn men's basketball team is playing in a Sweet 16 game tonight in the NCAA Tournament, but on Wednesday things took on a decidedly sour tone off the court.

Coach Jim Calhoun was answering questions about a Yahoo! Sports report that said his program broke NCAA rules in recruiting Nate Miles. The story, posted early Wednesday, reported that former UConn team manager Josh Nochimson represented Miles as an agent and that former UConn assistant coach Tom Moore was aware of the relationship.

The story also cited phone records attained through the Freedom of Information Act that showed that five UConn coaches called Nochimson and sent him text messages at least 1,565 times during a nearly two-year period before and after Miles' recruitment in 2006 and early 2007. Calhoun had 16 of those communications, Yahoo! reported.

Miles, a 6-foot-7 guard from Toledo, Ohio, was expelled by UConn on Oct. 2 amid allegations that he had abused a female student. A restraining order was issued on Sept. 22, and Miles was arrested for calling the woman 16 minutes later. He never played a game for UConn and has since enrolled at Southern Idaho, a junior college.

The university would not say whether it has started an internal investigation, but it did say in a statement that it "takes very seriously its responsibilities of NCAA membership and will do all that is expected to follow up on any information related to possible NCAA rules violations."

UConn also would not say if it was in contact with the NCAA or whether a system exists to monitor coaches' calls to recruits. That could be an issue with the NCAA, which says that a school must demonstrate "institutional control." The NCAA also says that it expects the head coach of a program to promote an atmosphere of compliance.

At a press conference in Glendale, Ariz., Calhoun refused to respond Wednesday to the specific allegations. "[UConn] tries to live under the responsibility of the NCAA rules," Calhoun said. "The student-athlete departed UConn. And the reason I mention this prior to any competition because there is no problem now with games or what happened during those particular games, nor should there be. At least I don't think so."

Stacey Osburn, a spokeswoman for the NCAA infractions committee, said that the NCAA would not address the allegations. "We can't comment on current, pending or potential investigations," Osburn said.

Joe Linta, a sports agent from Branford, assessed the situation this way: "If it's a phone call violation, I think it will only be a slap on the wrist. If there is an infiltration with an agent who was involved in the program and is doing illegal things, then it becomes very serious."

Vermont Law School Professor Michael McCann, who specializes in sports law and writes a column for SI.com, said that the NCAA could come down hard on UConn. The NCAA could impose recruiting restrictions or take away scholarships, but it was unlikely to force UConn to forfeit games because Miles did not play.

"I think it's potentially major, certainly if Calhoun was involved or had knowledge of what was going on," McCann said. "UConn could argue that what Nochimson did was so outside the boundaries of his work with UConn or his association with UConn that he really was not acting on behalf of UConn. But I think it's a hard argument to make because his actions, if they're true, benefited UConn. I think the real question is, how high up the chain did these transgressions go?"

* * *
To read the rest of the story, click here. To read the Yahoo! story, click here. For a report on the NCAA contacting UConn about this, check out Seth Davis' piece on SI.com.

Marlins New Stadium Deal = Worst in Taxpayer History?

On several occasions, I have written about how professional sports teams use monopoly power to demand stadium subsidies from their local governments.

Yesterday, at Above the Law, I argued that the new stadium agreement just signed between Miami-Dade County and Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria will prove to be the worst ever for taxpayers.
I believe this for three reasons:

1. The specific terms of the Marlins stadium agreement skew hugely in the team's favor. Although Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria is funding only about 25% of the new stadium's costs, he will get to keep 100% of stadium revenues -- including non-baseball related revenues, concert revenues, and revenues from the sale of stadium naming rights. The county, which is paying $359 million in up-front funding, meanwhile keeps nothing.

2. Marlins ownership has never been willing to invest money into their club. Last year, the Marlins team payroll was just $22 million, which is $58 million below the league median, and by far the lowest in the league. Rather than investing in their own team, Marlins President David Samson often used the threat of keeping a low payroll as part of his strategy in demanding public subsidies.

3. This is America's first stadium deal since our economy collapsed. It cannot be overlooked that in the past year the average taxpayer has lost close to half of his retirement funds, and that, with unemployment skyrocketing, local municipalities will collect less tax money in 2008 and 2009 than in the past. This all makes this public funding to one of the county's already wealthiest citizens all the more repulsive.

For those interested in reading my full column at Above the Law, please see here. Also, my most recent law review article on publicly funded sports stadiums is attached here.

Indian Cricket League Moves Tournament to South Africa

On Tuesday, I was interviewed for the BBC World Radio Service program World Have Your Say, for the story, Is India Showing Weakness in the Face of Terrorism?. After an attack on Sri Lanka's cricket team in Pakistan earlier this month, India's government informed the year-old Indian Premier League that the government would be unable to provide security for its spring tournament due to competing security obligations in connection with upcoming national elections. Siddhartha Vaidyanathan of Forbes has good coverage of the controversy here.

Although the decision has disappointed Indian fans, it has had some interesting financial consequences. The IPL renegotiated its broadcast deal in light of the move, obtaining nearly $500 million more than it was to receive had the event been held in India as originally planned.

We've written previously about terrorism and security in connection with sports: Mike's posts FBI: Terrorism Threat Against NFL is a Hoax and Sports and Stadium Security, Five Years Later, Howard's post Fan Consent and the Constitution at the Ballpark, my post
Federal Court Continues to Bar Suspicionless Stadium Patdowns , and Greg's post Pat Downs at Sports Arenas: Necessary Precaution or Unconstitutional Search?

An Unconstitutional Tax for Traitorous Ballplayers?

Via TaxProf blog, a New York lawyer has (humorously) proposed an AIG-bonus-type tax for Manny Ramirez: The Manny Ramirez Lightbulb: Also (2 Ideas in 1 Memo) Putting Pay in Perspective.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Why oh Why Jesse Ryder

A year ago, the Barmy army made fun of the Jesse Ryder incident, by doing a spoof version of a Neil Diamond song, they called the song Why oh Why Jesse Ryder. Well what a difference a year makes, back to back centuries in the first and second test, he is unbeaten on 137 overnight and New Zealand is 351/4 after the first day of the second test.

Can we do the impossible and tie the series, if Ryder goes on and makes a double century, New Zealand should get close to 500 and will be in a great position if the pitch takes turn.

That's the beauty of test cricket, you may be down and out one day, but two sessions of a days play can turn around a career.

20 Years Ago

This single was released, and music would never be the same again.

Exciting stuff!

Well we got the call early this week to say that Gavin (Morison) was ready for Meg so this morning I dragged her abandoned backside out of the paddock, threw her on the float and drove her the 70km to Gavin and Nicole's property. Poor Meg had literally been turfed out into a back paddock after the Masterton A&P and I was very pleased with her attitude when I caught her. Not only did she whicker to me but she walked over to be haltered and walked quietly away from her friends. We had to pass one fire breathing stallion on the way which was very exciting (NOT) although Reilly thought she looked mighty fine and did his very best display as she walked past - she steadfastly ignored him and carried on - that's my girl!

She loaded exceptionally and travelled even better. I realised when I had her all loaded up that this was in fact her first trip in our own float as we took her to the Masterton A&P in our neighbour's float, after lending ours to Kim and Steve for Pippa and Amos. Once again I was reminded why I love my float so much - the young horses really seem to enjoy travelling in it. and it tows beautifully. Meg is now safely ensconced in a paddock close to the house with a very cute (and rather portly) purebred Andalusian gelding as a neighbour. I can't wait to hear how she is going.

Yesterday I had grand ideas of plaiting Reilly up for a photo shoot. I plaited him very quickly (the ugliest/fattest plaits EVER) and popped him in the jumps paddock for a run around but the sun was fearsomely bright and I was all by myself and photos did not come easy. I gave up after about 15 minutes but will share a couple of the less awful ones. He was very cute, choosing on a couple of occasions to pop himself over the small jumps that I had up. I hope he enjoys jumping with someone on board half as much as he seems to in the paddock free.

Finally, I had a nice email this morning to let me know that the last of Hamish's mares was scanned in foal yesterday. Woot! He's had a good season, successfully getting every mare he has covered in foal, bar one. I am sure, had the empty mare come to us a little earlier and had more opportunity, she too would have conceived.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Swedish Cross World Meet report at Liljeros Blog

Here is a report in Swedish from the Swedish Cross World Meet:


Even if you prefer not to read Swedish there are a lot of videos.

Thanks to Liljeros who undertook the enormous job of downloading all the films!
Thanks to us all!

New Sports Law Scholarship

Recently published scholarship includes:
Roger I. Abrams & Alan Levy, The trial of Rube Waddell, 19 SETON HALL JOURNAL OF SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW 1 (2009)

James Bamberg, Wrestling with a union: can anyone protect the 6’7”, 300-pound professional wrestler from the sports-entertainment industry?, 2 FLORIDA ENTERTAINMENT LAW REVIEW 1 (2008)

Susannah Carr, Title IX: an opportunity to level the Olympic playing field, 19 SETON HALL JOURNAL OF SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW 149 (2009)

Anita L. DeFrantz, Which rules?: international sport and doping in the 21st century, 31 HOUSTON JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 1 (2008)

Ian Dobinson and David Thorpe, What’s wrong with the Commissioner? Some lessons from Downunder, 19 SETON HALL JOURNAL OF SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW 105 (2009)

Will Hendrick, Comment, Pay or play?: on specific performance and sports franchise leases, 87 NORTH CAROLINA LAW REVIEW 504 (2009)

Andrew Lothson, A university’s implied contractual obligation to protect a student-athlete’s educational opportunity in relation to non-traditional games: a breach of contract?, 2 FLORIDA ENTERTAINMENT LAW REVIEW 113 (2008)

Wes R. McCart, Note, Title IX crashes the party in college athletic recruiting, 58 DEPAUL LAW REVIEW 153 (2008)

Matthew J. Mitten & Timothy Davis, Athlete eligibility requirements and legal protection of sports participation opportunities, 8 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 71 (2008)

Jeffrey W. Moore, How sports can benefit communities burdened by brownfields, 8 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 1 (2008)

Michael J. Nichols, Note, Time for a Hail Mary: With bleak prospects of being aided by a college version of the NFL’s Rooney Rule, should minority college football coaches turn their attention to Title VII litigation?, 8 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 147-172 (2008)

Jordan Michael Rossen, Note, The NBA’s age minimum and its effect on high school phenoms, 8 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 173 (2008)

George T. Stiefel III, Comment, Hard Ball, Soft Law in MLB: Who Died and Made WADA the Boss?, 56 BUFFALO LAW REVIEW 1225 (2008)

The Phases and Faces of the Duke Lacrosse Controversy: A Conversation (Howard M. Wasserman, moderator; James E. Coleman, Jr., Angela Davis, Michael Gerhardt, K. C. Johnson and Lyrissa Lidsky, panelists), 19 SETON HALL JOURNAL OF SPORTS AND ENTERTAINMENT LAW 181 (2009)

Jonathan Yovel, Legal formalism, institutional norms, and the morality of basketball, 8 VIRGINIA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 33 (2008)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New York Law School Sports Law Panel this Wednesday

I'm honored to be speaking this Wednesday, March 25th, at New York Law School, on a sports panel. Here is info on the event:

* * *

The Media, Entertainment, and Sports Law Association at New York Law School will host a panel on sports law this Wednesday between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. in the Stiefel Reading Room.Topics will include sports contract negotiations and the legality of age limits in pro sports.

Distinguised panelists include:

Andre Buck
(NBA agent at Creative Artists Agency in New York City; has represented first round picks in the NBA Draft, including Aaron Brooks and Renaldo Blackman)

Marc Edelman
(Visiting Professor at Rutgers School of Law; founder of SportsJudge fantasy sports dispute resolution service)

Paul Haberman
(Associate at Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach in New York City; Chairman of the New York County Lawyers Association's Sports Law Committee)

Michael McCann
(Professor at Vermont Law School; Legal Analyst and SI.com columnist at Sports Illustrated; Former Chair of Association of American Law School's Section on Sports and the Law)

Alan Milstein
(Partner at Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose; has litigated on behalf of Maurice Clarett, Allen Iverson, Eddy Curry, jockey Eddie King, and other athletes; also a nationally-recognized expert on bioethics and clinical trials litigation)

Mark Stefanacci (Chief Operating Officer and Legal Counsel for the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority)

* * *

The event will be open to anyone with an invitation, which is free -- all you need to do is contact the event's organizer, Lauren Friedberg (the Society's Vice President of Sports) at lauren.friedberg[at]law.nyls.edu and let her know that you would like to attend. For directions to the law school, click here. It should be a great event and I hope to meet any Sports Law Blog readers who are in town and able to make it.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Catching Up with Links

  • University of Illinois Law Professor John Colombo, who probably knows more about the intersection between tax and sports law than anyone, has posted a free draft of his forthcoming law review article: The NCAA, Tax Exemption and College Athletics. If you're interested in the NCAA's tax exempt status, be sure to check it out.
  • If you have HBO on Demand, be sure to check out the Real Sports feature on Brandon Jennings and his time in Itlay as he earns over $1 million playing basketball over there (instead of attending a U.S. college) while waiting to become eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft, where he's projected to be a top 15 pick. Sonny Vaccaro is interviewed by Bryant Gumbel and offers excellent analysis.
  • Nick Infante's College Athletics Clips is always worth checking out (subscription required). He has some engaging original pieces and some provocative guest pieces, including one by UNC Professor Richard Southall on the treatment of college athletes in the NCAA tournament.
  • Particularly for those of you have bought merchandise from the Coop in Harvard Square, you'll find the Associated Press's Jimmy Golen's recent piece of great interest. Jimmy examines how Harvard and some other schools are severing ties with Russell after two watchdog groups said the clothing-maker harassed pro-union Honduran employees.
  • If you are interested in sports law from the vantage point of a Connecticut attorney, Daniel Fitgerald, be sure to check out his blog, Connecticut Sports Law. Daniel has some terrifc posts up, including one on the United Football League not going to Hartford.
  • Dominic Parrelli of Sports Agent Blog has an engaging piece on players who have attendance clauses in their contracts. Ken Griffey Jr., for instance, can earn an additional $2.5 million if the Mariners' attendance reaches a certain level this season.
  • Several readers have asked if a video of the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference will be made available -- apparently a video is being prepared and it will feature some of the panels. In addition, HBO taped the panel that Sonny Vaccaro, Chris Wallace, Bob Scalise, Bob Ryan, and I were on, so there might be a separate source of footage for that one.

Justice Jackson on Umpiring and Judging

This post was written by John Q. Barrett of St. John's and the Robert H. Jackson Center; it was sent to the Jackson List and was forwarded by my FIU colleague, Tom Baker. Jackson's comments are in line with arguments I have made against Chief Justice Roberts's views of the judge-umpire connection.

On Thursday, December 13, 1951, Justice Robert H. Jackson spoke at the New York County Lawyers’ Association’s annual dinner, held at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in Manhattan. The Association and its 1,000 guests that evening honored senior federal Circuit Judges (and cousins) Learned Hand (age 79, and a judge since 1909) and Augustus Noble Hand (age 82 and a judge since 1914). To close the program, Justice Jackson delivered a “benediction” speech that included a now-famous line: “if I were to write a prescription for becoming the perfect district judge, it would be always to quote Learned and always to follow Gus.”

Justice Jackson also paid tribute to the Judges Hand that evening by drawing the analogy between an excellent judge and a baseball umpire. As Jackson put it,

the test of an independent judiciary is a simple one—the one you would apply in choosing an umpire for a baseball game. What do you ask of him? You do not ask that he shall never make a mistake or always agree with you, or always support the home team. You want an umpire who calls them as he sees them. And that is what the profession has admired in the Hands.

In recent years, the umpire-like work of judges has been described as much more mechanical than volitional. In 2005, then Circuit Judge John G. Roberts, Jr., nominated to serve as Chief Justice of the United States, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that

[j]udges are like umpires. Umpires don’t make the rules, they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules, but it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.

Chief Justice Roberts was, of course, confirmed. In the process, his description of judging as mere rule-applying umpiring became a topic of much attention and discussion. Among lawyers, law professors and judges, the consensus view seems to be that the Chief Justice knows better, and that confirmation candidate advocacy should be recognized for what it is.

Interestingly, a captivating new book, New York Times reporter Bruce Weber’s As They See ‘Em: A Fan’s Travels in the Land of Umpires (Scribner) (click here), takes direct issue with the robotic, rule-enforcer view of umpires’ work. According to Mr. Weber,

[t]hough fans and broadcasters may treat the [home] plate umpire as if he were a mere ballot counter, punching the ticket of each pitch as it crosses the plate and acknowledging its ostensibly obvious credentials, in truth he’s much more of an arbitrator, keeping the most contested area on the ball field from being taken over by one side or the other.

Mr. Weber’s account of the umpireal job is not just his opinion. He quotes from major league umpires who explain their work as involving autonomy, responsibility and opportunities for judgment that resemble the work and responsibilities of, well, judges. The author explains that during two-plus years of attending umpire school and then interviewing almost 200 umpires and other baseball people,

[m]ore than one major league umpire spoke to me of calling balls and strikes as a kind of political enterprise, an activity requiring will and conscience and a point of view.

“It’s like the Constitution,” [current Major League Baseball umpire] Gary Cederstrom said to me. “The strike zone is a living, breathing document.”

When I asked [MLB umpire] Tim Tschida why balls and strikes provoked so many arguments and so much enmity, he responded by comparing the rulebook strike zone to one of the most controversial Supreme Court decisions of the twentieth century.

“Have you ever read Roe v. Wade?,” Tschida said. “It’s very clear. What it says is very clear. And we’ve still been fighting for twenty-five or thirty years over what it means.”

It seems, at least according to these umps, that Justice Jackson (who was, by the way, not a baseball fan) had it right about both their work and his own. Indeed, Jackson in his 1951 speech about “umpires” Learned and Augustus Hand seems to have been channeling some of the wisdom of one of that era’s, and humanity’s, greatest “judges”: an umpire’s qualities must include, said Branch Rickey, “the discretion of a judge….”

Friday, March 20, 2009

Garth Brooks sings Rodeo on Leno 2009

How else do you follow up, Obama, well with the biggest selling artist in USA history, MR Garth Brooks.

Horse of the Year 2009

I LOVE Horse of the Year! We are very lucky to live a three-hour drive from Hastings, where the Horse of the Year show has been held for the last 10 (I think) years. This year was my fourth visit to Horse of the Year and I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, first helping out a friend in the Junior Sport Horse section on Thursday and following that up with a day of shopping and catching up with friends on the Friday. I did not get my camera out very much but do have some photos to share.

Shiwon Green and 'Gosh' on their way to 6th place FEI Int. II

Fresian Stallion
Homespun Assume & Kirsty Lawrence