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 […]
Thursday, October 12, 2017 – On Monday, October 16, Jeff Fannell will serve as a guest lecturer at Adelphi University, where he will speak on current developments in sports law. The lecture, coordinated by Professor Josh Liebman, will commence at 8:00 p.m. on the school’s campus in Garden City, NY. “I’m always excited to speak to students and young professionals about the sports industry,” said Jeff. “I’m particularly excited to speak to a class taught by Josh, whom I’ve known for over ten years. We met when I was lawyer at the MLBPA and he was a young intern. It’s gratifying to see how far he has come in his career, both as a professor and commercial litigator.” Monday’s lecture will cover issues relating to negotiating athlete contracts, grievance arbitration and collective bargaining. “We’ll discuss a little Ezekiel Elliott, a little Colin Kaepernick, recent NBA signings and other things,” said Jeff. “It should be fun.”
JAMAICA, NEW YORK – August 17th, Kap Misir, Senior Associate at Jeff Fannell & Associates, joins the adjunct faculty at St. John’s University School of Law. Kap will be teaching a first-of-its-kind course at St. John’s Law in Salary Negotiation & Arbitration in Sports. The course takes an in-depth, comparative look at the salary arbitration rules and procedures in Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League. Kap, and his co-professor, Ryan Lake, of the Denver-based Lake Law Group, will guide students in developing contract negotiation skills, and in the preparation and presentation of salary arbitration cases. Kap has extensive experience in MLB salary arbitration and contract negotiation, while Ryan has similar expertise in professional hockey. Kap received his undergraduate degree in Legal Studies from St. John’s University, his J.D. from Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School and his LL.M in U.S. and International Sports Law from St. John’s University School of Law. He returns to St. John’s to teach the one-credit intensive course, which will run from August 17 through August 27.
August 16, 2016 – Jeff Fannell & Associates is pleased to announce that it has signed University of Maryland Assistant Soccer Coach, Scott Buete as a client. JFA will represent Scott in all areas of contract negotiation, marketing, and endorsements. “We are excited for the opportunity to represent Scott,” said JFA senior associate Kap Misir. “Among the nation’s collegiate soccer coaches, we believe Scott is a rising star.” Scott is in his third year as the assistant coach for the Maryland Terrapins, which is widely regarded as one of the top Division-1 soccer programs in the country. In 2014, the Terps advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament; last year, they advanced to the Elite Eight. They enter this year ranked No. 4 in the pre-season coaches’ poll and are expected to be in the running to capture the NCAA national title. A graduate of the University, Scott played five years for the Terps (1999-2003), the last three serving as team captain. In 2002, Scott led Maryland to the ACC Tournament title. In his senior year, he was named NSCAA First Team All-American, and was selected to the All-ACC First Team and the ACC All-Tournament Team. Scott finished […]
On February 19, 2016, Focus Features released the motion picture Race, a biographical film about Jesse Owens, who won a record-breaking four gold medals in the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Owens was a childhood idol and later a close friend of Herbert P. Douglas, Jr., who, himself is an Olympic medalist and former corporate executive. Born on March 9, 1922 in Pittsburgh, PA, Herb starred in high school in gymnastics, basketball, football and track & field. Later, he attended the University of Pittsburgh, where he captured three AAU and five intercollegiate championships and set a Pitt long jump record that lasted for 23 years. At the 1948 London Olympics, Herb won a bronze medal in the long jump, becoming the first Pittsburgh native to capture an Olympic medal. After graduating from Pitt with a master’s degree in education, Herb began a career in corporate America working first for Pabst Brewing Company, and later Schieffelin & Co., distributors of Hennessy Cognac and Moet & Chandon Champagne. While at Schieffelin, Herb founded the International Amateur Athletic Association, Inc. and created the Jesse Owens International Trophy Award and the Jesse Owens Global Award for Peace in honor of his hero. Recipients of […]
Photo Credit: PSFK, Getty Images One of the hottest topics in sports technology today is the use of drones. Several major sports networks, professional teams and college sports programs have experimented with using camera equipped drones, or “unmanned aircraft systems” (UAS) either as part of the live production of sports programming or as a new and improved way to capture game film or practices. From a technological standpoint, there is a lot to be excited about: new camera angles to enhance viewer experience, more exciting ways to market a sporting event, closer and more expansive imaging of practices and games. Yet there are also some concerns, chief among them the security risk posed by unmanned aircraft, including the possible use in a terrorist attack. In addition, a malfunction or wrong turn could send a UAS (some of which top out at speeds of 70 MPH and weigh over 50 pounds) into a stadium crowd, causing serious injury to spectators. Flying drones over major sporting events requires a license and an exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration. Falling prices for drones, however, have made the devices more accessible to the general public and may present a looming problem, as recreational drone […]
The issue of player discipline has been one of the hottest topics in professional sports over the past several months. Recent conversations have focused on Ray Rice and the physical assault against his then-fiancée, now-wife in an Atlantic City elevator, Adrian Peterson’s child abuse charges, domestic violence charges (separate incidents involving Greg Hardy, Brittney Griner and Hope Solo, to name a few), Josh Hamilton’s drug relapse and Tom Brady’s deflated footballs. Through it all there has been ample discussion on how the system of disciplining players should operate. Recently, the Sports Business Journal asked four noted sports lawyers to weigh in on a number of issues regarding player discipline. Perhaps the most intelligent comment in an article filled with thoughtful responses, came from David Cornwell, a partner at Barnes & Thornburg. In response to the question, “What does the future hold for player discipline?” Cornwell said: “We are seeing a cultural shift take place before our eyes and we do not know it or we are ignoring it. A dirty little secret is that the growing significance of youth and amateur sports in our culture has reached the point where there is too often an inverse relationship between […]
Soccer has a long and sordid history of racism and discrimination involving fans in the stands and, more recently, on social media. The abusive conduct that has taken place during games has been well-documented: fans throwing bananas on the field at dark-skinned players, often accompanied by monkey chants; fans adorned in blackface; gay and homophobic slurs. The governing bodies have tried numerous ways to deal with the problem, including deducting points from teams with offensive fans, relegating such teams to lower leagues, taking away home games and even playing in empty stadiums. So far, nothing has seemed to work. A recent report from Kick It Out, an organization dedicated to equality and inclusion in soccer, found that this season there have been over 130,000 discriminatory posts on social media aimed at soccer players. The discriminatory posts have focused on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, anti-Semitism and more. The report found that Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli has received over 8,000 discriminatory messages this season, including over 4,000 racist posts. What will it take to bring this all to an end? Would be interested to hear from those who are fans not only of soccer, but also of decency and equality.
(Photo credit: NY Times) Whether you’re a boxing aficionado, or even just a casual fan of the sport, after last week’s huge showing you have to admit, boxing is rearing its head as a returning powerhouse- at least when it comes to the business of sports. Check out this in-depth article on Al Haymon and his plan to return boxing to the mainstream.
Tom O’Connell is Founder and President of O’Connell Sports Management, located in Tampa, FL. Tom has represented professional baseball players since 1997. Recently, we caught up with Tom to get his insights on his career in the agent business. Q. Tom, you’ve been a certified baseball agent for over 15 years, what have been the biggest changes you’ve seen in the agent business over the last decade? A. I would say the two biggest changes in the industry are the increased role sabermetrics play in assisting agents in negotiating and valuing players, and the evolution of social media, which has dramatically changed the interaction with reporters. Agents now tend to be more guarded with reporters, especially in regards to ongoing and future negotiations. Q. Over the course of your career you have operated primarily as a solo agent. Given how the player representation business has become increasingly dominated by larger agencies like CAA, Relativity, Octagon and others, how have you been able to compete in the player market? A. I learned early on that honesty and integrity go a long way into building a solid brand. I have always prided myself on being direct and frank in dealing with […]