Now that the United States Supreme Court has struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection ACT (PASPA), a federal law that (with a few exceptions) prohibited state-authorized sports gambling, several states are lining up to enact legislation that allows sports wagering within their borders. And why not? There is huge money in sports betting. Last year, Nevada raked in nearly $5 billion in sports wagering. States like New Jersey, New York and others all want a piece of the action. States are not alone in this regard. Sports leagues, many of which opposed efforts to get rid of PASPA, also have their hands out looking for a quick buck. Having sensed that they were losing the PASPA battle, the NBA, NFL, MLB and others came up with the ingenious idea that if the Court were to strike PASPA leagues could cash in on the new legal landscape by imposing “integrity fees” on those states that enact new gambling laws. What are integrity fees? Some say it’s a nice way of saying “extortion.” The leagues and governing bodies say integrity fees are necessary to maintain the integrity and public confidence in their respective sports. The rationale goes like this: once […]
Sadness has gripped the sports world, and beyond, following the death of legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt. Tributes have and continue to pour in from those who knew Summitt, played for her and admired her. I did not know Pat Summitt personally, but she nevertheless had a meaningful impact on my life. To begin, I began watching women’s college basketball because of Summitt. I recall randomly coming across a women’s game on television some years ago and being struck by the strong, determined and passionate coach on the University of Tennessee sideline. I didn’t know who she was, but I could tell I was witnessing something different. There was an aura about her; a confident air that was at once impressive and appealing. From that day, I began to follow and root for Summitt and the Lady Vols. In time, Summitt’s significance for me extended beyond the hardwood and spoke to me on a much deeper level. As I learned more about her career and accomplishments, and watched her teams consistently compete for, and often win, national championships, Summitt’s unparalleled body of work became an inspiration. Here was this woman, competing in a space not created for […]
Real quick, because a brother’s gotta run. I come from a union household. My father was a member of D.C. 37 in New York City for over 30 years. A roof overhead, clothes on the back and food on the table were all courtesy of a union job, paying a decent wage. After law school, I worked three years for the AFL-CIO, the umbrella organization for organized labor in the United States. After that, I spent 10 years as a labor lawyer for the Major League Baseball Players Association, widely considered among the most powerful unions in the country. For the past five years I have continued to work on behalf of labor, assisting labor organizations, athletes and the agents who represent them in various capacities. So no one needs to check my union card. When an NLRB regional director ruled in March 2014 that Northwestern football players were employees within the meaning of the National Labor Relations Act, and therefore could unionize, I (of course) … disagreed with the decision. Union sensibilities aside, I simply could not accept that the athletic scholarships the football players received equated to wages or compensation given in exchange for working for the school. […]
“The tide is turning. … Players are going to be paid. Now whether it happens in five years or 10 or 15, I have no idea. But there’s no way we’re going to make this kind of money and never pay the players.” So said ESPN’s Jay Bilas regarding compensation for college athletes. Should college athletes be paid? What say you?
The NCAA cited UCONN for a secondary violation of its rules after reviewing women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma’s congratulatory call to 13-year-old Little League star Mo’Ne Davis. “There’s guys playing college basketball driving around in cars that cost more than my house and we’re worried about a phone call that I made?” So said Coach Auriemma. What say you? Let us hear from you. We’ll post the top response next week.