Implications of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) on Professional Sports

I.                   Introduction 

The sports business industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. In fact, the Sports Business Journal estimates the size of the sports business industry to be $213 billion in the United States alone. [1] Furthermore, sports business law is a dynamic field of law with new issues arising on an almost daily basis due to courts decisions, new legislation, and regulation. [2] One piece of new legislation, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), [3] will have a profound impact on employment decisions in professional sports. This article discusses the implications of GINA on professional sports: specifically, part II of the articles discusses GINA in detail, part III discusses GINA’s impact on professional sports, part IV discusses GINA’s economic impact on professional sports, and part V provides some concluding remarks.

II.                The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) 

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination … Read the rest

Reorganizing the Team: Chicago Cubs File for Bankruptcy

I. Introduction

In the struggling economic climate, many corporations have sought bankruptcy relief.  Numerous financial institutions such as the automobile industry and electronic corporations have become accustomed to seeking such restructuring aid and most recently, even the sports world is no longer immune.  In October 2009, the Chicago Cubs organization became yet another victim in this economic downturn as the Tribune Company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the baseball team.  Although many companies have sought relief due to monetary struggles, “‘You don’t have to be insolvent to be in bankruptcy [. . .] All you need is a legitimate business reason.’” [1] The Chicago Cubs seek reprieve as a way to sell the organization in a tight credit market to an eager buyer, not willing to take on the debt of the parent corporation to its creditors.  Through the sale of the Chicago Cubs, the organization Read the rest

Danger: Sporting Events Can Be Hazardous To Your Rights!

I.            Introduction 

            More than 3.5 million sports-related concussions take place in the United States each year. [1] The National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research indicates that the largest number of sports-related fatalities occur at the high school level as a consequence of  heat stroke, heart problems, aorta tears, neck injuries, and Pulmonary Emboli. [2] The likelihood of injury may even be elevated at specific points during a sporting competition. [3] A study published in the Research in Sports Medicine revealed that 16 percent of injuries occur at the beginning of a football game, 54 percent during the middle, and 30 percent at the conclusion. [4] Perhaps the most shocking reality is that the majority of the legal cases which develop as a result of these sports injuries and fatalities will be dismissed in court. [5] The reason being, that on every occasion a person voluntarily Read the rest

Should Cheerleading be a Sport?

I.   Introduction

          There is an ongoing debate among the media and cheer world as to whether or not cheerleading should be recognized as a sport under Title IX.[1] A recent poll found that 60% of people thought cheerleading was a sport, while 35% did not.[2] Cheerleaders sometimes a> Opponents argue that because the primary function of cheerleading is not competition, it does not meet the qualifications of a sport.[3][4] The answer to this debate depends on your definition of a sport.[5] The NCAA, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) all have their own definition of “sport” that a competitive cheerleading squad could possibly qualify under.[6] The question also brings up other issues that would need to be addressed.  Cheerleading is an estimated half-billion dollar industry,[7] and an underlying problem to solving this Read the rest

No Starts, No Stats, No Problem

I.                   Introduction 

Virtually everyone has looked for a job and found that they just did not meet the previous experience requirements laid out in the description.  The salary looks great, but you may not have three to five years of Big Four accounting experience.  Society generally rewards those that have been through the rigors of the profession before.  However, the growing trend in the NFL is to hand over bags of money to college athletes who have not yet played a snap in the NFL or faced the challenge of competing against the world’s best. [1] The NFL does have a rookie salary cap in place, with a pool of money allotted to each team stating how much it can spend on salaries. [2]  However, guaranteed money and signing bonuses have allowed teams to continue to shell out more and more money for their new Read the rest

New Stadiums, Higher Prices, No Remedy

I. Introduction

It seems like every sports franchise is building a new stadium these days. In New York alone, four franchises (the Yankees, Mets, Giants, and Jets) will be moving to three new facilities within the next two years. [1]. By 2011, other area teams including the Rangers, Liberty, Knicks, Nets, Devils, Islanders, and Redbulls will all be playing in new or renovated stadiums. [2] The allure of a new stadium cannot be denied: more luxury seating, refined amenities, state of the art technology on and off the field, attracting free agent athletes and corporate sponsors, and last but not least, the bragging rights to say "my home town ball park is better than yours!" Sadly, with new stadiums come new costs to fans of their sports, not the least of which is increased ticket prices. Additionally, apart from increased ticket prices, there are additional costs that come with new

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Probing Spygate: Will the NFL Indemnify Key Witness?

I.    Introduction

From the moment of its initial disclosure, the National Football
League's (NFL's) so-called Spygate incident had the potential to be one
of the more notorious sports scandals in recent memory.  During the
first game of the 2007 season, a videographer on the New England
Patriots sideline was caught taping the hand signals of New York Jets
offensive coaches, a violation of Article 9 of the NFL Constitution and
Bylaws.[1]  The intrigue was apparent: the league's modern-day dynasty
had been caught red-handed, begging the question of whether the
Patriots had broken league rules at any other times during its
championship era.  The NFL's first-year commissioner, Roger Goodell,
addressed the issue quickly, fining the team and head coach Bill
Belichick a combined $750,000 and taking away a first-round draft
pick.[2]  Despite its rapid action, the NFL's handling of the situation
added to the mystery.  After announcing the penalty, the

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Wait ‘Til Next Year: When Will Comcast and The Big Ten Network Reach an Agreement?

I. Introduction

When the college footballs season kicks off in August, Midwestern
cable customers may finally get the chance to see what all the fuss
over the Big Ten Network (BTN) is about.  After over a year of tense
negotiations, published reports indicate that the BTN and Comcast are
nearing a deal to air the channel on the Midwest's largest cable
provider.[1]  Upon becoming the first conference to announce the
creation of its own cable station, the Big Ten counted on the appeal of
being able to guarantee its fans the ability to see nearly every game
played by conference teams.[2]  When negotiations commenced with
Midwest cable providers, however, Comcast and its competitors balked at
the BTN's high asking price and broad distribution demands.[3]  The
ensuing stalemate prevented most Midwest fans who do not have satellite
cable from viewing the much-anticipated Ohio State-Wisconsin football
game in November.[4]  Additionally, the Wisconsin-Indiana

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Fantasy or Reality? Major League Baseball Still Looking to Cash in on Fantasy Baseball

I. Introduction

      In fantasy sports leagues, fans draft current major
league players to create their own imaginary roster, with the success of each
team hinging on how each player performs throughout the season.[1] Internet sites such as Yahoo! and ESPN pay
several million dollars for the right to operate fantasy leagues.[2] Major
League Baseball (“MLB”), and St. Louis-based CBC Distribution and Marketing
Inc. (“CBC”) have been entangled in a legal dispute over whether MLB players’
names may be used in fantasy baseball leagues.[3] This dispute is noteworthy because the
fantasy sports industry generates over $1.5 billion dollars annually.[4] Should MLB prevail, they will hold exclusive
rights to players’ names and statistics and may withhold such, likely causing
fantasy baseball to be much less appealing to fans.[5] 

II.  Background

On August 8, 2006, a federal judge granted summary judgment to CBC and
denied summary judgment for MLB, stating that the baseball players’
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When In Doubt, Seek a Buyout: Indiana’s Solution to the Kelvin Sampson Dilemma

I.    Introduction

Parting ways with a college coach accused of violating National
Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules has become a delicate
process.  On February 8th, the NCAA notified Indiana University that
its men's basketball coach, Kelvin Sampson, had allegedly committed
five "major" NCAA rule violations.[1]  After more than a week of
speculation surrounding Sampson's future at Indiana, the school
negotiated a settlement to terminate its relationship with the
second-year coach.[2]  In exchange for a $750,000 buyout, Sampson
resigned and agreed not to pursue any legal action against the
university.[3]

On its face, the buyout seems generous for a coach who conceivably
could have been fired outright for cause.  Sampson, who was already
under NCAA sanction for prior infractions, had a clause in his contract
that allowed Indiana to terminate him for "significant or repetitive
violations."[4]  Nevertheless, Indiana was in a difficult position. 
Firing Sampson prior to NCAA hearings on

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