I love sports and follow professional and collegiate football pretty religiously. I went to the University of Southern California (USC) for undergrad, where I got to enjoy our football team before everything turned dark for the Trojans. I now attend the University of Illinois for law school and, let’s face it; the football team leaves something to be desired. I’m a Chicago Bears fan and a San Diego Chargers fan and November 28, 2010 was basically my favorite day of football ever; the Bears beat the “unstoppable” Eagles 31 – 26 and the Chargers manhandled the Colts 36 – 14. Even though USC is now on a two year bowl ban and I’m not living in Los Angeles, I still have a special place in my heart for USC and the Pac-10, as I’m sure most people do about their alma mater. Therefore, I’ve been … Read the rest
The Supreme Court is expected to release its decision in American Needle, Inc. v. NFL in the near future after hearing oral arguments on January 13, 2010.  In this case, the National Football League (NFL) is arguing that its teams operate as a single-entity and therefore cannot be held in violation of anti-trust laws. Law professor Marc Edelman suggests that, “[i]f the court adopts the NFL’s single-entity concept, it would change everything.”  The view portrayed in Professor Edelman’s statement is shared by many as the result of this case is likely to have its impact on other major sports leagues as well. While many of the implications for the NFL have been discussed through coverage of the case, this article suggests specifically how those changes would affect fans of the National Hockey League (NHL). … Read the rest
Personal Seat Licenses (PSLs) have pit owners and stadium operators against the fans since their inception. The idea of paying for a right to buy tickets in a specific seat, is repugnant to some, and good business sense to others. This issue has come to the forefront recently as one of the most successful franchises in professional sports, the New York “Football” Giants, have started selling personal seat licenses to fund their new billion dollar stadium. This new stadium will be home to the Giants and neighbor New York Jets. This article outlines why owners would use such a system, arguments against the practice, and a quick look at potential alternatives.
The Chicago Cubs are the highest drawing baseball team in the Arizona Cactus League  and earn nearly $52 million for the state of Arizona annually.  The team’s current deal with Mesa, Arizona allows the Cubs to buy out of its agreement to play in Mesa after 2012.  As a result, the Cubs have received pitches from groups in both Arizona and Florida trying to persuade them to choose their state for the site of their new spring training facility. In January, the Cubs and the city of Mesa, Arizona signed a memorandum of understanding which gave the city the exclusive right to negotiate an agreement for a new Spring Training facility for the Cubs.  Initially, an Arizona House committee proposed legislation that would approve a $1 surcharge on auto rentals in the Phoenix area and … Read the rest
For the past decade Major League Baseball has been forced to deal with the fact that at least one hundred of its players have been linked to steroid use, with the actual number probably far greater than that.  The Mitchell Report, an independent investigation into the illegal use of steroids in Major League Baseball done by George Mitchell of DLA Piper, alone uncovered forty seven players who have used steroids.  Surprisingly, steroids were not added to Major League Baseball’s banned substance list until 1991, and testing of major league players did not begin until the 2003 season.  While the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs may be inherently wrong to some because of baseball’s almost holy status of “The American Pastime,” their use may also have strictly economic implications for players and Major League Baseball alike.
Steroid Use and the Economic Impact on Players… Read the rest
In late 2006, Congress challenged the NCAA’s tax-exempt status, questioning the organization’s lucrative commercial contracts and alleged lack of emphasis on higher education.  Some point out that Division I football and basketball are looking more like minor leagues for the pros that benefit only a tiny portion of a university’s student body and may actually be more “detrimental to the overall education of the athlete given the amount of time they consume, and so forth.” Smith College economist Andrew Zimbalist claims that “college sports has grown into a standard commercial enterprise — with only a tip of the hat to the academic environment they exist in.” This article will first provide background to clarify the manner in which tax rules are applied to organizations such as the NCAA, an analysis on whether the NCAA is actually fulfilling its tax-exempt status, and some possible solutions for tax-exempt compliance. … Read the rest
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Favorite Pastime: Adding up the Stats for a Fantasy Success
As pitchers prepare to report to training
camp, America’s favorite pastime is gearing up for the 2010 season. While players begin competing and vying for a
coveted spot on the team roster, many Americans participating in fantasy
baseball leagues are preparing to draft their own “dream team.” Each year fantasy baseball leagues gain more
attention and participation, with an average of 29.9 million active users
spending over $800 million dollars directly on fantasy sports products as well
as $3 billion of sporting goods.  Within this lucrative field, the Major
League Baseball Association (“MLB”) as well … Read the rest
Since the first online hand was dealt on January 1st, 1998, the online poker business has exploded in popularity.  “Research from Christiansen Capital Advisors says online poker revenues have grown from $82.7 million in 2001 to $2.4 billion in 2005.” Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker, and Titan Poker represent the three largest poker sites, and alone these three sites serve more than fifty thousand cash players a month. In the past three months, the numbers of cash players on these three poker sites has increased 6-10%.  On these, and on the hundreds of other poker sites, U.S. players generate an estimated $85 million in revenues monthly for these sites.  From 2004 to 2007, the online poker industry recorded a 72% growth rate.
Why Is Online Poker Becoming So Popular?
The success of the online poker industry can be attributed to a … Read the rest
Level the Playing Field: Consider State Taxes when Developing Salary Caps in the Major Sports
States and cities tax professional athletes in multiple ways. A traditional method, which applies to athletes and non-athletes alike, is income taxation by the state in which an individual resides. A second method, utilized by twenty states, is to tax athletes when they participate in games other than in the state they reside.  This second method is commonly referred to as the “jock tax.” Since the inception of the jock tax, inequality from state to state has been a prevalent issue. The combination of the jock tax and differences between how states tax its residents may make some cities in the United States and in Canada more attractive than others. “Although a player may have contract offers from different teams for the same … Read the rest
We hear the debate all the time. Some sports writer will call for college athletes to be paid. Another will rebut that they are given hundreds of thousands of dollars in college tuition, books and housing. This debate is surely to drag out as long as there are intercollegiate sports, no matter what the rule on the NCAA’s books is either way. As it stands, the NCAA and its member schools profits by selling the publicity rights of its athletes to video gaming companies, as well as market their likenesses themselves even long after the player has graduated or moved on from intercollegiate sports. This article focuses on the recent athlete initiated cases regarding this problem, as well as a potential solution.
II. The Issue of the Use of Player Likenesses and Publicity is Finally Being Brought to … Read the rest