Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pessimism in a Sea of Optimism

I must confess to a secret. I feel depressed. This started around the day Obama entered office, and it has steadily become worse. Meanwhile, the rest of the country is optimistic about Obama probably because they see a government check in their future. Ahhhh, the new American Dream. We all get to be on welfare.

The American people are idiots. Currently, I am thinking over material for a book I am going to call Libertopia. The book deals with one issue and seeks to answer one question. Why do people reject freedom in favor of tyranny? So far, my overall answer is that people are programmed for slavery. People exhibit reliable and repeatable behaviors that lead them to sacrifice their freedom. Barack Obama taps into this, and this is why he succeeds.

At some point, Obama will be seen for the fraud that he is. My personal assessment of the man is that he is an utter Machiavellian who speaks out of both sides of his mouth. He is the product of Chicago politics which has to be the most cynical pit in the USA. The man has not one ounce of sincerity in his whole body.

I am repulsed by the man, and I cannot fathom the love affair the public and the media have with him. But I remember when past presidents enjoyed surging popularity only to see it crash later. Obama's great talent is in avoiding any shit getting splattered on him. But sooner or later, people notice the smell and the brown stain on the back of the pants.

With Arlen Specter's betrayal of the GOP, Obama is going to get just about all of what we wants. Some moderate Democrats may say something, but the only thing now is to decide between Left and Far Left. Socialized medicine is a given along with higher taxes and a hostile environment to business. And I mustn't forget gas. Between inflation and the new gas tax that is coming, five dollars a gallon will probably come to pass.

There is hope. Midterm elections usually bring a backlash, and the GOP could be resurrected. But I have a sinking feeling that Republicans are down for the count. Small government folks are the minority though they are a vocal minority. Packaged the right way, there isn't a big government welfare program that the American public hasn't wanted. We are the next France.

I will stick to my guns, but I believe that freedom is a losing battle. A survey of history shows that humanity loves to be in chains. Liberty is an exception in a long story of tyranny. We are truly fucked.

National Sports Law Student Writing Competition

Marquette University Law School has announced a new writing competition open to students from any law school. Winners get published in the Marquette Sports Law Review and get to attend the National Sports Law Institute fall conference for free. The deadline for submission is July 17, 2009. The announcement is here.

Budget Options for Everyday Bicycles

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

"Tort Law and Journalism Ethics"

That's the title of my new law review article that will be published in Loyola University Chicago Law Journal. It can be downloaded from SSRN. You'll appreciate this paper if you're tired of a 21st Century press that disregards individual privacy, infiltrates the news with sensationalized stories, and blames their inaccurate reporting on "getting the story out there first" (in particular with respect to participants in the sports and entertainment industries).

I advocate that the justification for the First Amendment privilege becomes less compelling as the press continues to lose credibility and journalists fail to adhere to ethics principles they were taught in journalism school. The paper provides an in-depth analysis of Supreme Court precedent and explains how journalism ethics codes can be incorporated into tort defamation and privacy law standards without compromising the First Amendment. Journalism ethics and the First Amendment go hand in hand; they must co-exist in order to serve the social policies and objectives that support the First Amendment privilege.

A Lovely Bicycle for Everyday Cycling

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I am constantly amused when the tools of power are applied to a capitalist environment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Specter blows.

The 'common good' of a collective--a race, a class, a state--was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by the disciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men's hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. They believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing for themselves. But observe the results.
AYN RAND, The Fountainhead

Monday, April 27, 2009

Vendors in Boston

Local Sellers of Traditionally Styled Bicycles


After much research, I am happy to report the following vendors of hard-to-find, relaxed-style bicycles in the Boston area:

Dutch Bicycle Company (Somerville)
. Gazelle
. Velorbis
. Soegreni

Jolly Bike (Arlington)
. Gazelle (while remaining stock lasts)

Cambridge Bicycle (Cambridge)
. Batavus
. KHS Green
. Biria Classic Dutch Series
. Gary Fisher

Harris Cyclery (West Newton)
. Pashley
. Electra
. Gary Fisher

Ace Wheelworks (Somerville)
. Electra
. Gary Fisher

There are several other manufacturers, including Raleigh, Specialized, Bianchi, and Trek, that produce commuter models in styles similar to the classic relaxed bicycle. I do not list shops that sell these, because most local bike shops carry them. Simply walk into an independent bike shop in the Boston area and ask. Attractive and relatively inexpensive Raleighs (pictured in the photo above) seem to be particularly abundant.

Whoever said laughter was the best medicine never had nut cancer like Lance Armstrong.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Big week for babies

Today was supposed to be branding and gelding day - Yuck! BUT, the weather came to the party at last and it is raining - bad timing really but I refuse to complain because boy do we need this rain! Bree took a tumble in the paddock a few days ago and presented with a very swollen gaskin and lower hind. I put her on bute for a few days and the swelling subsided markedly but she still has a popped out area around her inner thigh/gaskin so I have spoken to her owner and we have agreed to get John to take a look at it. I doubt there is much more than rest/flat paddock and anti-inflammatories but I would prefer to be safe rather than sorry. I'm very fond of the old dragon and have had her here longer than some of my own horses!

This week I made a really tough decision which I know is for the best and the only decision I could make really but still, it sucked to have to make it - More on that later.

Laura left us yesterday. It has been so nice having her here to help - just a shame that Rory managed to break her thumb on the first full day of her stay with us! Naughty boy! We have a new girl arriving soon - from the Netherlands this time. It's a bit like Grand Central Station here but we love it! Hopefully we will have Meg home soon so it will be great to have someone help me with getting her out and about a bit.

Aine had her second equivac injection on Tuesday (Rory has had his course of three already) and has finally decided that apples don't bite back. Rory on the other hand could not possibly eat an apple as his big silly Uncle Bados doesn't like them and what he says, goes! We have dozens of wild apple trees that line the road that we live on with many different old varieties of apples. It is this time of the year that I go and 'harvest' the crop. So far we have about 20kg but I have a lot more to pick but need the help of a special loop on a stick to get those apples that are out of reach up high. A job for Bernou and I in the coming week or two, I think!

Early in the week I had an email from Claire who bought Rafferty (TF Hamish x Future [Maude by Kingsway Diamond) off me a couple of years ago - He has just gone to Gavin's for breaking in so I should be able to see him when we go to collect Meg - I am VERY excited and will be taking my camera!! She loves him to bits and says she already misses him dreadfully. Another very satisfied owner of a Hamish baby.

Not much to report other than that - The Vet has postponed until tomorrow but I don't fancy our chances with more rain forecast!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jeremy Tyler: High School Junior Basketball Phenom to Play Professionally in Europe

The NBA's one-and-done rule requires that a player be 19 years of age plus one year removed from high school (with "from high school" meaning having graduated from high school or one's class having graduated) in order to be eligible for the NBA draft. It's presumed that a player will attend college in that "one year removed" and save for Brandon Jennings, it's held true. Jennings, in contrast, has opted to play professionally in Italy while waiting to become eligible for the 2009 NBA Draft (he's likely going to be a top 10 pick). In addition to living in a rent-free luxury apartment in downtown Rome, among enjoying many other perks, Jennings is reportedly earning around $1 million this year, after tax, between basketball and endorsement income (in fact, he stands to earn more in endorsement income this year than any pick from the 2008 NBA Draft, save for the top three players selected, Michael Beasely, Derrick Rose, and O.J. Mayo).

Pete Thamel of the New York Times reports that high school junior Jeremy Tyler, thought to be the best young big man since Greg Oden, has also decided to play professionally in Europe. But Tyler plans to play in Europe a year earlier than his "one year removed." Indeed, he intends to spend what would be his senior year in high school playing professionally in Europe, most likely in Spain. Tyler's decision is consistent with the NBA's age limit, as his high school graduating class will graduate in June 2010 and thus Tyler will be eligible for the 2011 NBA Draft, where he's projected by some to be the top pick.

Tyler has apparently decided that he'd like to earn income off of his talents as soon as the market lets him, rather than waiting for an artificial two-year delay, during which time he could get hurt. Some may worry about whether Tyler's emotionally "ready" to turn pro, though I hope those same folks worried about Freddy Adu and Michelle Wie turning pro at younger ages, and I hope they are equally worried that many European pro players are younger than Tyler -- Danilo Gallinari, the Knicks' first round pick last year, was a pro in Europe at 15; fellow Celtics fans may remember Jiri Welsch, he too was a pro at 15 in Europe. Similarly, we don't hear people too concerned about Dakota Fanning and the Olson Twins and the many other child stars earning income off of their talents.

Here are a couple of excerpts from Thamel's story:

* * *

Tyler, 17, would become the first United States-born player to leave high school early to play professionally overseas. He is expected to return in two years, when he is projected to be a top pick, if not the No. 1 pick, in the 2011 NBA draft.

Tyler, who had orally committed to play for Rick Pitino at Louisville, has yet to sign with an agent or a professional team. His likely destination is Spain, though teams from other European leagues have shown interest. A spokesman for Louisville said the university could not comment about Tyler.

“Nowadays people look to college for more off-the-court stuff versus being in the gym and getting better,” Tyler said. “If you’re really focused on getting better, you go play pro somewhere. Pro guys will get you way better than playing against college guys.”

His decision is perhaps the most important one since Kevin Garnett jumped straight to the N.B.A. from high school in 1995.

* * *

But Brandon Jennings, a point guard from Los Angeles, became the first player to graduate from high school, skip college and play professionally in Europe. (Whether Jennings would have qualified academically to play at Arizona, where he had signed a letter of intent, is unknown.) He is in his first season with Lottomatica Virtus Roma in Italy and is projected as a high pick in the N.B.A. draft in June.

Tyler took Jennings’s path and added a compelling twist, perhaps opening the door for other elite high school basketball players to follow.

Sonny Vaccaro, a former sneaker company executive, orchestrated Jennings’s move and has guided Tyler and his family through the process.

“It’s significant because it shows the curiosity for the American player just refusing to accept what he’s told he has to do,” Vaccaro said. “We’re getting closer to the European reality of a professional at a young age. Basically, Jeremy Tyler is saying, ‘Why do I have to go to high school?’ ”

Vaccaro said he was unsure how much money Tyler would make, though it will most likely be less than the $1.2 million Jennings made in a combination of salary and endorsements this season. Vaccaro said Tyler would make a six-figure salary, noting that the economic crisis in Europe could hurt his earnings.

Vaccaro made his name by signing Michael Jordan to Nike in the mid-1980s and has advised numerous elite players over the years. “I believe he’ll be a 10-time All-Star with his ability,” Vaccaro said of Tyler.

* * *
For the rest of Thamel's story, click here. For additional perspectives see The Week and Money Players.

For empirical research on high school players and the NBA Draft, see
my law review article Illegal Defense: The Irrational Economics of Banning High School Players from the NBA Draft and my study NBA Players That Get in Trouble with the Law: Do Age and Education Level Matter? and my research on points/boards/assists as featured in ESPN The Magazine. Also be sure to see Alan Milstein's comments from a New York Law School sports law symposium a month ago about a Taylor-like situation happening and the legal fallout.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Twinky Dink


Poor wee Twinkle has been looking a little unloved so, with Laura's help, today she came in for a makeover and photo session. Twinkle's name is 'Kingcroft Tickled Pink' and she is a 3 year old NZWB filly by Trakehner stallion Holme Park Flute out of a lovely TB mare by Kenfair and came to me from her breeder, Nicky Wolstencroft, back in 2007. Twinkle will be bred to Hamish this Spring. She's an absolute delight, in every way and had what I think was her very first hose down/shampoo today and was an angel. I was very pleased with her and she absolutely loved the fuss and attention. As the photos show, she already has a good dose of the winter woollies but she is unrugged and out on hills so she needs that lovely covering for the winter ahead.





Catching Up with Links

* Joshua Knipp and Michael Miller -- two students at Wake Forest University School of Law -- have posted on SSRN a draft of their interesting paper Finding a Balance: Advocating a Long-Term Solution to the NCAA's Battle with Technology in Recruiting.

* The annual Sports Lawyers Association Conference is coming up on May 14 in Chicago. For more information, click here.

* Max Eppel of Sports Agent Blog has a good feature piece on soccer agents and transfer windows.

* Jason Peck of Sports Agent Blog reports on the recently-held College Sport Research Institute conference (Day 1, Day 2).

* National Sports and Entertainment Law Society Blog has a number of good posts up.

* Marc Isenberg at Money Players writes about the NCAA reducing the time period underclassmen basketball players can test their NBA market value.

* I'll be at the NFL Draft this weekend -- if any Sports Law Blog readers are there, please let me know, it would be good to meet you in person.

This blog needs an overhaul.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Local News "Seeks the Truth"

I want to commend the Louisville Fox affiliate, WDRB-41, for its decision not to air, or even report on, its interview with Karen Sypher, the woman Louisville coach Rick Pitino asserts has attempted to extort him. According to an ESPN report late last night:
Karen Sypher recently did a lengthy interview with the Louisville Fox affiliate, WDRB-41, but the station reported Saturday night that it "has decided not to relate details of her claims at this time."

WDRB news anchor Candyce Clifft, who conducted the interview with Karen Sypher, said the station has chosen not to air it because "we couldn't substantiate the claims she was making." Clifft said the claims against Pitino were "of a personal nature, not related to his recruiting or coaching. That's all I'm at liberty to say."

Clifft said Sypher approached WDRB with the information.

Clifft said she interviewed Sypher for nearly two hours on-camera, in the presence of WDRB's general manager and news director. Afterward, the station had an independent polygraph expert administer a lie-detector test to Sypher -- a test she agreed to do before the interview.

Clifft said that the polygraph test could have any of three results: pass, fail or inconclusive. She said Sypher's test fell into the inconclusive range. Clifft said there were some questions she asked that Sypher did not answer conclusively or convincingly, which heightened the station's concerns about the veracity of her information.

Coupled with the fact that there were no criminal complaints filed or charges
levied, the station decided not to air the interview.

"I don't know if we'll ever air all or any of the interview," Clifft said. "Right now there
are no plans to do that."
The local Fox affiliate, and the reporter who conducted the interview, made journalism ethics a priority over national publicity in being the first source to reveal questionable allegations involving Rick Pitino that are unrelated to his coaching responsibilities. Since Pitino is a public figure, the Fox affiliate could have easily hid behind the First Amendment, which certainly would have protected them from a defamation lawsuit.
Another news source will gladly put journalism ethics aside in favor of profiting from tabloid journalism and feed the public with a sensationalized story, probably even before the day is over....

State action and the Yankees Lawsuit

In writing and speaking about fans' speech rights, the speech part always has seemed, to me, easy--of course someone can wear a t-shirt reading "Yankees Suck" and of course someone can jeer a player for making an error. And of course someone cannot be compelled to participate in a patriotic ritual such as singing "God Bless America." The harder part (at least at professional sporting events) has been whether the First Amendment is even in play when the controlling actor--the teams--are not obviously state actors. The lawsuit by the fan who was kicked out of Yankee Stadium in 2008 spends a lot of time in the Complaint trying to deal with, and overcome, that problem.

Two preliminary issues make this case both easier and more difficult than others. First, old Yankee Stadium was owned by the City of New York (the Complaint alleges the City bought it in the early 1970s) and rented to the Yankees, on (as usual) fairly favorable terms. This does not resolve the issue, but it makes for less gray area than if the stadium were privately owned but publicly funded or owned by hybrid entity. Second, this case involves three groups of defendants, each subject to different rules of state action and liability: a) the Yankees, who promulgated the forced-patriotism policy); b) the officers who removed the plaintiff from the park; and c) New York and Police Commissioner Kelly, who obviously acted under color of law, although the theory of liability is not entirely clear from the complaint.

Let's consider each in turn:


The Yankees:

Eight paragraphs are devoted to the connections among the City, the Yankees, and the Stadium. It describes the costs that the City has incurred in operating the old Stadium and building the new Stadium, the benefits the City has received (in terms of either rent or percentage of revenues), the favorable terms of the lease to the Yankees, and the close involvement of the City in managing the stadium, including (relevant here, although not mentioned in the Complaint) providing the security that enforced the policy, and in helping procure funds for the new stadium. All of this goes towards establishing the Yankees as a state actor under two theories: symbiotic relationship or entwinement.

Under the former test, a private entity may become a state actor when it shares a "symbiotic," mutually beneficial relationship--where the government incurs some costs and obligations, the government and private entity both benefit, and the "integral connection" suggest a degree of state involvement in the private entity's unconstitutional conduct. The key here is whether Burton and symbiotic relationship has any vitality left (Mike Dorf has suggested it doesn't, I remain somewhat optimistic). Burton famously involved a privately owned whites-only restaurant operating in a city parking facility. In those pre-Civil Rights Act days, the Court used this test to hold that the restaurant was was violating the Fourteenth Amendment, because, essentially, the city was benefiting from private discrimination (because rents were tied to profits and the restaurant was profitable because it discriminated) and the restaurant was benefiting from using public property to discriminate. Here, those mutual benefits come about not because of race discrimination, but because of rules that arguably violate the First Amendment--but the same idea applies. Rents are tied to attendance and attendance depends (at least somewhat) on keeping most fans happy by not forcing them to be confronted by counter-speech that offends them, thus the team's decision to limit some fan speech by making fans remain in place during GBA

Under the second test (which is new, but created in the First Amendment context), courts look to entwinement between government and private entity in carrying out the conduct. So it may be relevant, for example, that uniformed police officers (who appear to be on duty) are enforcing the Yankees' rules in this public space (more on that below).

The Officers

The two Doe officers were in uniform, although their precise duty status is unclear. According to the Complaint, they were hired through the NYPD's "Paid Detail Program," through which private entities (and several other New York sports teams have used this program) are able to hire NYPD officers to provide security at events. Such officers are in uniform and carrying their service firearms, and subject to NYPD regulations, although there apparently are no specific guidelines about officer conduct while working under the program. The officers also are subject to control by the private entity and are deemed to be "working directly for the vendor." So there seems to be public/private entwinement in the supervision and control of the officers assigned to work the game.

The Complaint also alleges that the officers at least "appear" to be on duty and thus clothed with the authority that comes with being police officers, perhaps a greater authority (and thus a greater ability to enforce Stadium rules) than an off-duty, non-uniformed officer or a private security officer. In fact, the Complaint alleges that the purpose of the Paid Detail Program is to provide a "highly visible police presence" at such events--presumably with the goal of ensuring greater control; in other words, to make it appear that the authority of the NYPD was behind the enforcement of the team's speech-restrictive policies. That suggests the officers were working at the game in their roles as police officers and thus did act under color of law in removing the plaintiff from the park.

New York City and Commissioner Kelly

State action is easy here--New York City always acts under color of law and Kelly is being sued for establishing (or at least signing off on) the Paid Detail Program that put the officers in place to enforce this speech-violative Stadium policy, an official act as the policymaker for the NYPD. The Complaint is a bit under-developed in alleging conduct by the City or Kelly (as a supervisor) that could establish liability, but a knowledgeable reader (the court and opposing counsel) will understand that, because the officers were present at the Stadium and acting pursuant to a policy, that pulls the policymaker and the City into the case.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A nice letter

Yesterday in my inbox I received the nicest email so I want to share and, if the person who sent it to me reads this, I hope you realise it helped make my day, thank you!

Hi Lou, I just wanted to let you know that I had a good catch-up with my friend ***** last night and she is simply thrilled with her Hamish youngster *** ***. He's become a firm favourite with everyone on her farm because of his personable, incredibly social nature, and he's gorgeous to boot! And he's going to be a HORSE! She just can't speak highly enough of him, which I just thought I'd pass on, because I'm sure breeding can feel like a thankless task at times and certainly have it's lows. Have a great day :)

Breeding certainly can have its lows but things like this are so much a part of why we do what we do and it is just the greatest feeling to know that you have been responsible, at least partly, for bringing such happiness and joy into the lives of others.

That's all :o)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

09's first outdoor session

Saturday 18th
Jerk
oa 16kg: 5/5
2x16kg: 10
oa 24kg: 5/5

2x24kg: 5, 34 (5rpm, 7min)
2x16kg: 3x 10reps (made 2nd dips as deep as I could)

34 reps is a pb, but it was with my "easy" powermax bells. Maybe, the day I can do 40 with these, I can do 30 with comp bells.

After training, I took a nap in the sunshine at the lifting ground. Good!


Thursday


Snatch
20 kg: 5/5
24kg: 5/5
20kg: L48(4min)/R40(3:50), 20/20
24kg: 10/10, 5/5

Oa swing 24kg: 5/5; 32kg: 5/5; 36kg: 3x5/5

Some oa pulls w rolling 42mm handle 35-61kg
Some gripper

I wanted to snatch for 8 mins with the 20kg, one switch. I fell 10 secs, or so, short of that ambition. The right hand oh-grip just died. But I am getting there and there is no hurry.

Reaction to Thomas among FIU factulty

Not surprised this is happening: The director of women's studies at FIU is organizing protests against the hiring of Isiah Thomas as men's basketball coach, relating to Thomas having been found liable (along with the Knicks and the team owner) for the sexual harassment of a Knicks employee.

I was surprised we did not hear more from these faculty members early in the week, from when the rumors of the hiring began on Sunday until the press conference on Wednesday. But it all happened so quickly, no one had time to get a statement or protest organized. But this is a legitimate objection to the hiring, one I mentioned initially and one that I hope gave the administration genuine pause before making this move. This is the one element of risk (more than Thomas' ability as a basketball coach and recruiter, where he cannot be much worse than recent past coaches) that could come back to bite the university.

Women's studies is planning to hand-deliver a copy of the FIU Sexual Harassment Policy to Thomas at the men's basketball office--a cute, but somewhat in-your-face, publicity stunt if the goal is genuinely to engage Thomas on this issue. They also want to organize a teach-in on sexual harassment and discrimination, with the hope that Thomas, athletics department administrators, and the new FIU president (who will be announced in a couple of weeks) will participate.

DVD-The Wire



I first got interested in The Wire from reading a post about in on a libertarian blog. I doubt that the producers of the show are libertarians, but you can't watch this show without getting a libertarian viewpoint on a lot of things. Needless to say, The Wire is one of the finest television shows that I have ever watched. I cannot praise it more highly or recommend it enough. You need to watch all five seasons of this one. You will not be disappointed.

The show is set in Baltimore and concerns cops and drug dealers but in a way you've never seen before. It covers all angles and is unflinching in its viewpoint. Sometimes, you want to laugh. Other times, you want to cry. The plots are involved. The characters are deep. The dialogue is unforgettable. The scenes are explosive. It watches the way a novel reads.

For me, the characters are what make it worth watching. You have McNulty, the drunken maverick detective. You have Lester Freamon, the "natural police" who makes doll furniture and is the finest cop on the show. You have Omar, the shotgun wielding robber of drug dealers. Then, there is Stringer Bell, the Adam Smith reading drug kingpin. You can't decide whether to loathe him or admire him.

The show covers every facet of Baltimore--the police department, the street, the ports, city hall, the schools, and even the newspaper. There are so many layers to this show that you will be dizzy keeping track. And there are surprises. The show develops organically, and you will be surprised where it takes you.

The only flaw in the show is that it doesn't provide any answers, but it does hint at them. Drug legalization is one. Cops involved in their communities is another one. Segregating thugs from students in our schools is another.

Like I said, I can't recommend this show enough. If you want to watch something quality, The Wire is your ticket. It is a crying shame this show never got any Emmy awards or more viewership. But it does have a cult following, and I think it will grow as time goes on.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter in Tampere, Telia

My house is changing internet provider to the company Telia. Thus, I have no Internet connection at the present and this blog has been silent. Today I am at the countryside, where there is Internet connection.


Lovely Tampere Easter

Easter was spent with Antti at FKA in Tammerfors. Antti was kind enough to lodge me at his home and I had the possibillity to meet his very nice family.

We did several training sessions at my host's gym - for me it was very good to get a profound technique review of my snatch and jerk.

Especially, I have some technical points to improve with the snatch. Physically, my speed could be a lot better as well. We also had the time to work on some general stuff such as deadlift variations, OH-squats.

Antti also did some very inspiring sets with the 32s, where I had the possibillity to catch some points. You learn a lot working out with someone good in a calm stress free environment, no time limits, and where you can ask questions over and over.

Moreover, I trained with the new Leoko competition bells. Good stuff. Smooth quality and very well made. Good proportions and balance. Competition sports equipment quality level (I am bored of the misused term "pro" :-). But, more on Leoko later on.

When not training there was Antti's wife's good food, sightseeing, slacking. A bit like paradise in other words :-).

I also had the possibility to try the mustamakara, black sausage, of Tampere. That food is very strengthening and probably explains some of the recent Finnish GS-evolution.

As I got a quite heavy Easter gift from my Tampere hosts, I had to return to Sweden with ferry. The nature of the gift was not books, neither rocks, but something else. The crossing of the Baltic sea was quite a memorable travel too. Carrying the gift back made me quite sore, so I took some back off days this week.

To sum up, I think this turned out to be one of the best I Easters I have ever had.

Cats are cool until they piss on something.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Pain in the Butt?

After riding around all day on the KHS Green, I noticed something, ahem, interesting. I've no idea how to put this delicately, so I won't even try: My bottom hurt like hell the next morning! It did not seem to be a muscle pain, but rather a pain from the imprint of the seat.



When returning the rental bike, I gingerly asked one of the Cambridge Bicycle employees about this. He replied that the sore butt is a natural side-effect of the relaxed-style sitting position: Because the seat is so much lower than the handle-bars, the body's weight gets distributed predominantly to that part of the body. The butt gets pressed into the seat, eventually becoming sore (especially after hours of riding).

This explanation makes sense. But why is this "feature" not mentioned on any of the reviews and weblogs that praise Dutch bicycles and relaxed-style riding?... I wonder whether the quality of the seat might have something to do with it as well. Either way, I thought it would be useful to provide this tidbit of information!

Just coz ...

I was out with my camera on the driveway this morning, with some of the menagerie so, photos ...

Laura and Rosco
Rosco and stick
Kruger
Jet
Jet
OK, not on the driveway - Last night's dinner
Amy, Laura and Rosco

Two Sports Law Talks at Mississippi College School of Law

If any of you are in the Jackson area, I'lll be giving a talk today at Mississippi College School of Law from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on recent sports law issues and careers in sports law. It will be in Room 251 and directions to the law school can be found here. There is also a Facebook page on today's event. My thanks to Madeline Hankins and the rest of the law school's Sports and Entertainment Law Society for putting this together.

Tomorrow I'll be giving the key note address at the law school's alumni and reunion weekend from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the TelCom Center in downtown Jackson. My topic will be "What Recent Sports Law Developments Can Teach Us About Legal Professionalism." The event costs $35 to attend. For more information, click here.

Hip Hop Law Blog

The West Virginia University College of Law Sports and Entertainment Law Society is proud to announce the launch of a new blog that will add texture and content to the entertainment law and interconnected sports law space: HipHopLaw.com. Go to:

http://hiphoplaw.com


A recent post by Professor D. Aaron Lacy suggests that the NBA Dress Code, adopted back in 2005, might constitute race discrimination in the workplace. See:

http://hiphoplaw.blogspot.com/2009/04/is-nba-dress-policy-pretext-for-racial.html



Comments, commentary and reasoned disagreements are welcomed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Finally! Fan challenges speech restrictions at publicly owned ballpark

A lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York yesterday by a baseball fan named Bradford Campeau-Laurion, who alleges that he was kicked out of Yankee Stadium last summer by two uniformed NYPD officers for trying to go the men's room during the Seventh Inning Stretch and the playing of God Bless America. (H/T: One of my civ pro students). He thus violated a Yankee/Yankee Stadium policy, enacted explicitly because the Yankees and others purportedly found people stretching during the Stretch "disrespectful."

Named defendants include New York City, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, three Doe officers, and the Yankees. The complaint is loaded with allegations designed to establish that the Yankees are a state actor, primarily through the symbiotic relationship test and the exchange of benefits between the team and the city in ownership and usage of both the old Yankee Stadium and the new one. Campeau-Laurion alleges violations of the First and Fourth Amendments and their state constitutional equivalents, federal and state public-accommodations laws, and various state torts. Interestingly, the plaintiff is represented by the NYCLU and two students at NYU's Civil Rights Clinic (I might have done a clinic in law school if I could have gotten a case this interesting).

You all know that I have argued ad nauseum that such a claim should succeed and that restrictions or regulations of fan speech, including forced participation in rituals such as GBA, violate the First Amendment. So I buy everything the complaint is putting forward. The Yankees should be deemed a state actor, at least for purposes of operating a publicly owned ballpark over which they have near-exclusive use and control; in any event, here you have the NYPD (through an official program that provides uniformed officers for stadium security) directly involved in enforcing the policy, so state action is pretty obvious. As for the First Amendment argument, people in a public forum cannot be forced to participate in patriotic and symbolic rituals by having to remain in place during that ritual; they necessarily have the right to "symbolically counter-speak" against that ritual by getting up and walking out.

This could be fun to watch.

Renting the KHS Green

Earlier this spring, I was delighted to discover that the KHS Green can be rented from our local Cambridge Bicycle. The cost is $25 per 24 hour period. My darling Co-habitant and I rented a men's and a ladies' and took them along the Charles River, as well as through some streets of Cambridge, Somerville, and the center of Boston. We went to some of the places we usually frequent, to see what it would be like to get there by bike (it was great!). And I intentionally wore a skirt, to determine whether this would present any problems (it did not!).

Renting a bicycle similar in style to the one you plan to purchase is something I very much recommend. It has certainly helped me hone down my preferences. For one thing, the 3 speeds were just barely enough for Boston, and we did not even go to the particularly hilly areas. So now I know that 3 speeds are a minimum for me, and that a single speed bike is out of the question.

I have also discovered that I love the coaster brake. Despite never having ridden a bicycle with this braking system, I got used to it immediately and found that, especially when riding through the city, it gives me the optimal degree of control. It is also somehow less stressful to use than the hand-brakes, especially if you are a person who panics easily when other bikes or cars are close to you. Though it was comfortable to have the front-wheel handbrake there, I barely used it and relied mostly on the coaster brake.

Another pleasant discovery was that, after 12 years of not touching a bicycle, I was not as out of practice as I feared. I had tried other bicycles in bike shops over the past year, but did not feel sufficiently comfortable with any of them to ride them on the street. The KHS Green is the first bike I've tried that has made me feel okay with actually riding it "for real".  And as soon as I started riding the bike, it all came back to me naturally. The upright sitting position was an absolute joy, as we breezed past the ridiculously picturesque blossoming cherry trees.

After riding the KHS Green for an entire day, I would describe it as a good bike. When going over cobblestones, the ride can be a little bumpy and it is missing some components that my bike would ideally have, such as the dress guard and a full chain enclosure, but for the price it is a great deal. If my budget does not allow me to splurge on the likes of Gazelle, the KHS Green may be my bicycle of choice.

Michigan's Contractual Liability if Paulus "Transfers" to Play QB


It certainly has been a rough year for Michigan football. The team was simply handled by a then-underrated Utah, embarrassed by mid-major Toledo, all the while beset by its coach's messy divorce from his former school. The latest news from Ann Arbor is that, in spite of its recruitment of heralded quarterback Tate Forcier, the team may be led next year by Greg Paulus.

Paulus is well known as a three-year starting point guard (and fourth year bench player) for the Duke Blue Devils. While considering a move to Michigan, he is also reportedly being evaluated for an NFL contract by the Green Bay Packers. That a player's choice is between playing college football for a new school or NFL football for a pro team certainly seems to undercut the NCAA's much ballyhooed notion of amateurism. That said, were Paulus to enroll at Michigan as a "graduate student", say in the one-year M.S. in Kinesiology, NCAA rules might allow him to play one season of football.

Under the NCAA's "five-year rule," an athlete may compete in college athletics for no more than four seasons in a single sport for the first five years after graduating from high school. Paulus has no remaining basketball eligibility, but could compete in another sport for one more year. And under Rule 14.1.9.1, the "One-Time Transfer Exception," a graduate student may under some conditions use any remaining eligibility at a new institution without sitting out the year ordinarily required for college transfers.

A liberalized version of Rule 14.1.9.1 was at one point overridden in part by Division I schools. The one-time transfer rule is limited by Rule 14.5.2.2.10(a), under which a player can only compete in bowl subdivision football, if transferring from an institution that offers that level of football, when the player has at least two years of football eligibility remaining.

Does Paulus meet that test? Although he has four years of football eligibility remaining, the five-year rule would cut off three of those years (even if he remained at Duke), so under the five-year rule it would seem like he has only one actual year remaining and would thus not qualify for the one-time transfer exception. However, if the 5-year rule were ignored or viewed separately from the four-years-of-eligibility rule, then I suppose he would have four years remaining.

Let's assume that, as most media coverage suggests, Paulus would in fact qualify to play for the Wolverines next year (or that he received a waiver from the NCAA). Though possibly permissible under NCAA bylaws, allowing his transfer would certainly be cynical. In addition it could potentially expose the Michigan Wolverines to a (perhaps challenging) breach of contract or fraud claim. The "mission statement" of the Michigan Athletics department contains the following provision under the theme "integrity":

We follow the intent and the letter of each rule by which we have agreed to abide. We are honest in our dealings with student–athletes, coaches, staff, opponents, and governing bodies.

While the team might be complying with the letter of the rule, could it be said that it would be following the rule's intent? No school has an obligation under NCAA rules to comply with the intent of an eligibility mandate; but UM may have voluntarily assumed such an obligation.

If the NCAA's basic purpose is to maintain athletics as an integral part of the educational mission of universities, the intent behind any of its rules has to be interpreted in that light. For a player to select a new school after participating in top-tier athletics for four straight seasons seems contrary to the intent of the NCAA's amateurism ideal. Players at Michigan who have competed to play quarterback -- including new recruits -- might have a legitimate claim to having been the victims of fraud or breach of a representation made as part of the student-athlete contract.

Isiah Thomas, FIU Basketball Coach?

Beginning when I was around 16, I wanted to be a college basketball coach. I was a student manager in college, worked as a coach at summer basketball camps throughout college, and my first job after college was as assistant coach at a D-III school in Chicago. Basically, I was trying to set up the career trajectory that Nets Coach Lawrence Frank followed about 10 years later--short Jewish kid from NJ becomes manager at Big Ten school, parlays it into coaching career. It seems to have worked out slightly different for him than it did for me.

This biographical detour is to say that, 15-20 years ago, I was perfectly happy with the notion that D-I basketball coaches made (at a minimum) five times as that of the ordinary humanities professor--in fact, I was hoping to have one of those paying-five-times-as-much jobs. I noted how out-of-whack coaches' salaries were, but bought the now-largely-challenged economic arguments about the real financial value college sports brings to the university. Of course, I never envisioned an economic downturn this severe that would affect universities (particularly mine) this severely. Nor did I envision my life at a small, underfunded public university in a state with no income tax and no significant commitment to higher education.

All of which is to express genuine bafflement and uncertainty at the news that FIU has hired Isiah Thomas to be its men's basketball coach, with a press conference to announce the hiring today. In no particular order, a jumble of thoughts:

1) It certainly is putting FIU on the college-sports map, at least for now. We lead PTI last night. The last time FIU was part of a national college-sports story was after the brawl with Miami during a football game.

2) I do not know right now how much Thomas is making, but I imagine there was a premium to get him and his name down here--not U-Conn/Jim Calhoun territory, but certainly more than Thomas' predecessor and probably more than the average coach at this level. This seems troubling at a university that just eliminated entire departments and has spent the past several years (and likely will spend the next few years) slashing its budget, including the budget of the College of Law. True, if we are serious about college sports, we have to spend money--but is this the right time.

3) More important is the question of whether this is worth the money, no matter how much Thomas is making. Thomas has not been a good coach (with the Knicks and Indiana Pacers) and his record as GM/Owner suggests that he is not a particularly good judge of talent, although he did make some good draft moves. He also ran the old CBA out of business, so his management skills are questionable. The school has hired his name. But the 17-year-olds he will be recruiting know him only as the guy who ran the New York Knicks into the ground, not as a Hall-of-Fame, championship-winning college and NBA player. So what are we getting for this money? No one knows for sure.

4) Then there is the fact that in 2007 Thomas and the Knicks were hit with an $ 11 million punitive-damages verdict for Thomas' sexual harassment of a female Knicks employee (the case settled before compensatory damages were determined). FIU AD Peter Garcia's response to that (in the ESPN link above) was, basically: I know Thomas and he is a wonderful husband and father, it's in the past, and everyone makes mistakes (although some mistakes are larger than others). This seems like an awful lot of baggage to carry into the job. And it calls into question how well he can or will control his program and his players, especially on the always-dicey issue of relations between student-athletes and the rest of the student body.

If it sounds as if I am rooting against this, not at all. I hope Thomas turns FIU into a mid-major power--the Gonzaga of the South; it would be psychically, if not financially, good for us. I am not optimistic right now, but I can be convinced. And I certainly will go to some games to check it out. But this is a tremendous financial--and legal--risk for the school to take and a bad time to be financially risky.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Few Good Links

* Darren Heitner at Sports Agent Blog has a good breakdown of how sports bloggers might be impacted by the Associated Press' new strategy to crack down on lengthy excerpts of AP stories on blogs.

* William Rothstein of National Sports and Entertainment Blog has a good write-up on Professor Erin Buzuvis' recent talk at Vermont Law School on Title IX. Professor Buzuvis is the author of Title IX Blog and we're grateful to her for her time at our law school.

* Kyle Veazey of the Jackson Clarion-Ledger interviews me on former Mississippi State football coach Jackie Sherrill's defamation lawsuit against the NCAA.

Ooopsy daisy!

Well, it had to happen. Today Amy had her first fall - she is a bit of a run before she can walk little girl and today it bit her on her little bottom, hard! I feel like a bit of a bad Mum for putting her in the position but she is a pretty tough nut and coped remarkably well. She had been going great guns walk and trot on the lunge and she begged me to let her jump Maxi and I gave in. I popped Maxi over the cross pole half a dozen times before putting Amy on him to go over but unfortunately he put in a very big one and jumped her clean out of the saddle. Nick was taking photos ...
Happiness
is riding your pony
Heels down, look up!
Uh oh!
Look at their matched expressions!!!
This is why we wear a helmet! (note the very careful pony!!)
Splat!
No long term damage done - a few tears then back on to walk back to the paddock and she even threw in some flying angels (at walk) as we went. Maxi was horrified and took her VERY carefully back home, bless his heart.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Edwin Valero: Would an Exception Knock Out the Rule?

Whether it Would be Smart for New York State to Lift Its Medical Suspension of Lightweight Champion & Knockout Artist Edwin Valero



In 2004, undefeated Venezuelan junior lightweight prospect Edwin (El Inca) Valero applied for a license to box in New York State after scoring 12 first round knockouts in his first 12 professional fights. On the strength of his knockout streak, Valero was then becoming one of the hottest prospects in boxing. Valero, however, had a skeleton in his closet: a head injury sustained in a 2001 motorcycle accident. Evidence of Valero’s head injury went undiscovered, or was otherwise ignored, before three bouts in California and nine in his native Venezuela, but was revealed during a MRI that he underwent for his New York State license. Valero was subsequently denied a license to box in New York and, until April 4, 2009, had not fought again in the United States. Undeterred, Valero continued his boxing career in both Japan and South America, becoming an international sensation in the process.

At the end of March, Valero, now 25-0 (25 KOs) and a junior lightweight and lightweight world champion, was granted a license to box in Texas in advance of his April 4, 2009 bout with Antonio Pitalua for the vacant World Boxing Council lightweight title. That Texas granted Valero a license was not entirely surprising to boxing cognoscenti as Texas has a history of thumbing its nose at the suspensions of other states’ commissions. Indeed, Texas was the same state that granted former undisputed heavyweight and cruiserweight champion Evander Holyfield a license to box after New York State placed him on administrative suspension in 2005. However, in light of Texas’ decision to license Valero, the question is begged as to whether a boxer such as Valero, who at age 27 is an undefeated two division world champion and seemingly entering into the prime of his career following a second round stoppage of Pitalua, should have the denial of his license reversed by the New York State Athletic Commission (hereinafter the “Commission”) or otherwise be permitted to box in the United States by other influential commissions...

See full article at: http://www.8countnews.com/news/125/ARTICLE/1535/2009-04-13.html


Paul Stuart Haberman, Esq. is an attorney at the New York law firm of Heidell, Pittoni, Murphy & Bach, LLP. He is also a New York State licensed boxing manager and the Chairman of the Sports Law Committee of the New York County Lawyers Association. ©

KHS Green: The Loveliest Budget Bike

[Edited to Add: There is now an updated review of this bicycle here]

One stumbling block in the purchase of a classic step-through city bicycle, is the shocking price tag. Be prepared to spend upward (in some cases very much upward) of $800 USD for a quality Dutch-style bicycle with 3 or more speeds.

Refreshingly, there is one alternative. During my trips to local shops, online research, and chats with surprisingly bike-knowledgeable acquaintances, I came across the "Green" bicycle made by KHS.


Made especially for stylish and safe commuting, the KHS Green features the relaxed-style frame and handlebar construction and comes fitted with fenders, a rack, and a partial chain-guard. It is a 3-speed, with a Shimano hub. It has both coaster brakes and a hand-brake. And it is priced at $350 USD! As one reviewer put it (I paraphrase, unable to find the original text): This is the least expensive bike worth buying.

The bicycle on the photo above is the KHS Green, ladies' frame, that I rented from Cambridge Bicycle (more on this later).

Sick happens.

Florida Coastal Symposium

This Friday, we are hosting our annual sports law symposium titled, “NCAA Coaches’ Contracts: Diversity and Negotiating Value in the 21st Century”:

FRIDAY, APRIL 17, 2009
10:30 am - 2:30 pm
Room 405

Opening Remarks: Stuart Herman, President of Sports Law Society at Florida Coastal School of Law

10:30 a.m. - noon: Maximizing Value for the Coach

Panelists will discuss the various issues that arise in negotiating and structuring college coaches contracts from the perspective of both the university and coach, including compensation and the various types of compensation, for cause termination, tax ramifications, and liquidated damages/buyout clauses.

Moderator, Rick Karcher - Assoc. Professor of Law and Dir., Florida Coastal School of Law Center for Law and Sports
Robert H. Lattinville - Partner, Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP
Terry Don Phillips - Athletic Director, Clemson University
Randall W. Spetman - Athletic Director, Florida State University
Bennett H. Speyer - Member, Eastman & Smith LTD

Noon - 1:00: Lunch provided

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.: Ethnic and Gender Issues in NCAA Hiring

Panelists will discuss the topic of diversity in the hiring of college coaches, including the following issues: (1) Does the Rooney Rule have application in college to increase minority football head coaches at NCAA's highest level? (2) How does the NCAA view the challenges and solutions regarding minority and gender equity? (3) Are boosters unduly influential in hiring and firing coaches to the disproportionate detriment of minority coaches? and (4) Is Title VII a viable remedy?

Moderator, Roger Groves - Associate Professor of Law, Florida Coastal School of Law
N. Jeremi Duru - Associate Professor of Law, Temple University, Beasley School of Law
Kristen Galles - Civil rights attorney and Title IX expert
Floyd A. Keith - Executive Director, Black Coaches and Administrators

For speaker bios click here.
The event is free and open to the public.
To register, please email rkarcher@fcsl.edu.
CLE credits approved.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gazelle Bicycles in Boston!

Until recently, it was nearly impossible to buy a Gazelle bicycle in the US, but I have learned that the Dutch Bicycle Company in Somerville, Mass. has begun to import them this year (further evidence substantiating the rumor that Somerville is the center of the universe).
Immediately I paid them a visit, and for the first time in 12 years got on a bicycle -- a black Gazelle "Basic" model, which I gingerly rode around their warehouse in a state of ecstatic awe. Ideally, my lovely bicycle would not be all-black, and I was glad that the catalog also showed white and lilac models for the Basic, as well as black-and-white for the Toer Populair model.


At some point, Jolly Bikes in Arlington, Mass. also sold Gazelle, but they have now closed. When I checked, they still had several bikes available (two violet and one red), and I paid them a visit as well. The (gorgeous) remaining bikes are single speed, with coaster brakes only. I was not sure whether these configurations would be right for me, but the real problem was that all the remaining bicycles were the largest-sized frames, which are too large for my preference (I need to be able to touch the ground with both feet).

My introduction to Gazelle left me extremely pleased that the sort of bicycle I was looking for was not a fiction, but readily available in my local area.

2009 Scholarly Conference on College Sport

Robert Hayden and Che Mock of the University of North Carolina pass along the following message. We wish Richard Southall and everyone else at the College Sports Research Institute the best for this year's conference, which looks to be a great event.

* * *

The College Sport Research Institute, with support from the University of North Carolina Sport and Entertainment Law Association will be hosting the 2009 Scholarly Conference on College Sport at the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education at UNC-CH, this Thursday through Saturday.

The Scholarly Conference will provide an open forum for independent, organized and focused cross-disciplinary research on college sport in the United States. Attendees will be presented with completely unique information and experiences through prominent keynote speakers, panel discussions, and two days of juried academic presentations.

The Issues in College Sport Symposium will be held on Thursday, April 16th from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and will feature three panel discussions and a keynote speech about relevant issues in college sport. In addition to the chance to hear the panels, attendees will have the opportunity to talk with lawyers and panelists such as Jay Bilas, Of Counsel at Moore & Van Allen Law Firm of Charlotte, NC and Jeremy Bloom, who famously pursued an injunction against the NCAA to allow him to continue his college football career while receiving endorsements for freestyle skiing (Bloom v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, No. 02CA2302, 2004 WL 964322 [Colo. App., May 6, 2004]).

There are multiple legal presentations that will be taking place on Friday and Saturday, including "The Tax Exempt Status of the NCAA," "Title IX and Sexual Harassment," and "Recognition on a College Athlete's Right of Publicity."

Details about scheduled presentations and information about the conference can be found on the conference website at www.csriconference.org. The conference program can be found in its entirety at http://www.csriconference.org/docs/Program.pdf.

For those unable to attend this year's event, next year's edition of the conference is scheduled for April 14-17, 2010, at the Friday Center.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Gazelle Bicycles: First Glance


As I discovered, that first lovely bicycle that caught my eye was the Dutch brand Gazelle. Described as a "Dutch legend," Gazelle has been manufacturing bicycles since 1892.

[image from: www.gazellebicycles.com.au]

Holland is well known for being a cycling nation, where riding a bicycle is a way of life and persons of all ages can be seen happily riding while wearing suits and high heels, carrying groceries, talking on their mobile phones, and transporting children and significant others. Dutch bicycle producers have a reputation for manufacturing high quality commuter bikes in traditional designs, and Gazelle is one of the leaders of this industry.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Colts Redux? Can the Preakness be Seized?

Many remember the ill-fated attempt in the mid-1980s by the city of Baltimore to utilize eminent domain to seize the Colts under a law passed by the Maryland Legislature. Colts' then-owner Robert Irsay moved the team in the dead of night to take a deal offered by Indianapolis. In an eerie echo of this, the Governor of Maryland is seeking legislature to seize the Preakness, the second jewel of horse racing's triple crown. An excellent blog by the Wall Street Journal's law blog outlines the difficulties of the case in detail and links to a number of newspaper articles giving background on this dispute.

The issue is not a relocation. Rather, it is the effect of a bankruptcy filing by the race's owner, Magna Entertainment Corp. and potential of a sale of its assets, including the race track and the intangible property of the race itself. Assuming that the legislation is passed and eminent domain is utilized, the question is what effect the action would have in the Chapter 11 filing in the bankruptcy court. That is a more complicated matter than the attempt to seize the Colts as pre-emption issues could be paramount (assuming that the seizure is constitutional).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Virginia Law Softball Tourny

The 26th Annual Virginia Law Softball Invitational tournament was held last weekend. The series of softball games, featuring both men’s and co-rec divisions, raised $20,000 for Children, Youth and Family Services, a Charlottesville-based nonprofit. Out of the 112 teams that participated in the tournament from 46 law schools across the country, Florida Coastal won the championship in the men's division and Appalachian School of Law won the co-rec division. Congratulations to the members of the winning teams and to all of the law students who participated in the tournament and raised that money for such a worthy cause.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Today has been craptacular.

New Sports Law Scholarship

Recently published scholarship includes:
Mark R. Bandsuch, The NBA Dress Code and other fashion faux pas under Title VII, 16 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 1 (2009)

Kimberli Gasparon, Comment, The dark horse of drug abuse: legal issues of administering performance-enhancing drugs to racehorses, 16 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 199 (2009)

Scott Hollander, Note, Super Bowl hero to bank account zero, 26 CARDOZO ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 899 (2009)

Michael Huntowski, Casenote, Blades of steal? The fight for control of sports clubs’ websites and media rights in Madison Square Garden, L.P. v. NHL, 16 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 123 (2009)

Andrew Imbriglio, Trading future health concerns for a cortisone shot today: informed consent and the need for regulation of cortisone in professional sports, 12 QUINNIPIAC HEALTH LAW JOURNAL 141 (2008)

Gene A. Marsh, A call for dissent and further independence in the NCAA infractions process, 26 CARDOZO ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 695 (2009)

Mitchell Nathanson, The sovereign nation of baseball: why federal law does not apply to “America’s game” and how it got that way, 16 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 49 (2009)

Hayden Opie, Survey: a global perspective on the most important cases affecting the sports industry, 16 VILLANOVA SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT LAW JOURNAL 99 (2009)

Gustavo A. Otalvora, Note, Alfonso Soriano is getting robbed: why the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals made a bad call in [C.B.C. Distrib.], 2008 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS JOURNAL OF LAW, TECHNOLOGY & POLICY 383

Jennifer M. Recht, Note, Performance enhancement: what the Israel Baseball League can learn from the agreement between Major League Baseball and Japan, 32 SUFFOLK TRANSNATIONAL LAW REVIEW 191 (2008)

Michael Ryan, The European Union and fan racism in European soccer stadiums: the time has come for action, 20 FLORIDA JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL LAW 245 (2008)


Monday, April 6, 2009

Professor Alfred Yen on UConn Scandal

Boston College Law School Professor Alfred Yen has a terrific piece on Madisonian.Net concerning the alleged recruiting violations at UConn. Here's an excerpt.

* * *
Instead, Connecticut appears to have completely flouted important rules in a way suggesting that such behavior was routine. How else could those involved have failed to stop and consider the wrongfulness and consequences of their behavior? Could they have done something like this only once, and “by accident”? It is only too easy to suspect that Calhoun and his staff knew exactly what they were doing, that it was wrong, and that is was necessary to maintain Connecticut’s long record of competitive success. Perhaps even more disturbing is the notion that Connecticut presumably did not have to do this to succeed. Its basketball program is one the most successful in the entire country, one to which top recruits would presumably flock in exchange for a valuable college degree. Did Connecticut correctly think that it would take “something extra” to get the best young basketball players to enroll?

For years, baseball treated allegations about steroids as a problem of individual miscreants. Baseball officials maintained that the sport was generally clean, and that drastic action wasn’t necessary to clean things up. Even after baseball declared steroids illegal, the sport did not take systemic, forceful action until prominent players made fools of themselves in front of Congress unsuccessfully denying their use of steroids. The public now generally believes that steroid use was the widespread, tarnishing the competitive integrity of the entire sport and devaluing the achievements of players who did not break the rules. Indeed, nothing has confirmed this suspicion more than the recent revelation that Alex Rodriguez, who (like Connecticut) did not have to cheat, somehow felt it necessary to do so.

* * *
For the rest of the piece, click here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Ponies out on lease

Some of you may not know the story behind how Bella came to me so, since she is the first horse featured in today's blog, you can check out her story HERE.

This weekend just been, Nick and I went to the wedding of Sarah Cresswell and Jonathan Richardson. Sarah has leased Bella off me and she is in foal to Reilly, due next spring. I took the opportunity, whilst there to give Bella a cuddle - Hopefully that explains the posh frock, lol!

And today, in my in box, were some photos from Aimee, the young woman who has been leasing Lagan for the last year (or thereabouts) - The old bugger is clearly still firing on all cylinders.

Bella et moi
She wanted to eat my bag
Pretty girl
Lagan & Aimee



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Better let the secret out - I have buns in the oven!

Amy and 'friends' (with lovely cat scratch chair in background)

Easter buns that is, hehehe! Here is the recipe, thanks to Karen for the inspiration!

25grams fresh yeast
1 Tablespoon castor sugar
50ml warm milk

450g bakers flour (assume high grade flour here)
pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1-2 teaspoons mixed spice
85grams caster sugar
85grams butter
225-300ml tepid milk
85grams currants
2 eggs

50g sultanas
25grams chopped peel

Garnish
Egg wash to glaze ( milk egg yolk and sugar)
shortcrust pastry

Preheat over to 220 degrees C

In a measuring jug dissolve the yeast with the tablespoon of caster sugar in the 50ml of warm milk.

In a large wide mixing bowl sieve the flour then add salt, cinnamon, nutmeg,mixed spice and 85grams of sugar.

Rub in the butter.

In a bowl whisk the eggs and remaining warm milk. Pour this into the measuring jug with the yeast mixture.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet mixture.

Combine to a soft dough.

Leave for about 10minutes.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, then add the currants, sulatnas and peel. Continue to knead until the dough is smooth and shiny.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise in a warm place until it doubles in size.

Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knock the dough back and leave to rest for a few minutes.

Divide into 16 pieces, shape into buns. Place them on a baking sheet, egg wash and mark each one carefully by putting a cross of shortcrust pastry on each bun.

Allow to rise for an hour and egg wash again.

Bake in a preheated oven for 5 minutes then reduce heat to 200 degrees C and bake for a further 10minutes or until golden.

Cool on a wire rack.

Last Post for a while?

This will be my last post for a while, I'm too busy with work and other things.

I may post again in a few months or maybe not.

Seeya!

Yearning for a Lovely Bicycle

Before all of this began, I had not been on a bicycle since my teenage years in the 1990s. Back then, my trusty beat up bike felt simply like an extension of my body -- I rode it everywhere, wearing anything I wanted. Riding did not require any special preparations. The bike was easy to operate and it gave me a sense of independence.

[image: from an advert of Triumph Cycles, early 1900's]

Somehow in adulthood, things became different. It seemed impossible to simply buy an attractive, comfortable bicycle and ride it. There was a bike culture, where cycling was positioned as a formalised, athletic, and often political act. This culture has done a great deal to keep me away from bicycles.

My associations with bicycles from seeing them ridden in American cities included hunched-over postures,  blotchy, sweat-stained faces communicating a curious combination of misery and self-righteousness, commitment to a wardrobe of lycra or t-shirts with anti-car slogans, and constant risk of collisions with motor vehicles... none of which appealed to me. Combined with the bicycles themselves - aggressive, awkward monstrosities that I wouldn't begin to know how to physically negotiate - bike culture was not something I found compatible with my ideas of dignity and aesthetics. If it were possible to ride a bicycle with grace and without the need to sacrifice my personal tastes - perhaps I might want one again. But what I had seen on the streets and in bike shops was not encouraging.

[image from http://sellwoodcycle.com]

Only on vintage posters and in old art films did I see the bicycle portrayed in a manner that made me long to cycle again. The relaxed style exuded by the fictional ladies of yore was alluring and enticing; it made cycling seem feasible. But did such bicycles still exist in today's world?


On a sunny Spring day in Somerville, Massachusetts, I found my answer. Chained casually to a parking meter, it was the first bicycle I had seen on the city streets that I would describe as lovely. It had a beautifully shaped ladies' frame and gracefully curved handlebars. It was fitted with all sorts of fascinating components including a chain cover and a basket rack. It was decorated with flowers.

I jotted down the name: Gazelle, and did some research. And suddenly, an entire new world had opened up: a world of relaxed-style urban bicycles that are very much in production today using the same traditional design elements that I so admired on the vintage posters. These bicycles were most definitely lovely, and I immediately began my search for one to call my own.