Basketball

News & Analysis as of

March Inevitableness? Considering the Legal Consequences of Pay to Student-Athletes

As of this writing, it has been over 850 days since UConn women’s basketball team has lost a game. When the Huskies last tasted defeat (in an overtime thriller to Stanford on November 17, 2014), football players at...more

Remember – “March Madness” is a Trademark

We are in March. The minds of many turn to March Madness as the NCAA hosts its annual tournament to crown college basketball’s national champion. Of these, many want to take advantage of the tournament to promote their...more

March Madness for Employers: Embrace the Fun and Enjoy the Party?

With the announcement of teams this week for the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, there will be the inevitable dour reports that bracket filling, live streaming, and fun (or even higher stakes) wagering will cost...more

Does March Madness = Workplace Madness? Some Thoughts on the Legality of NCAA Bracket Pools, the Tournament’s Effect on the...

This time of year usually marks the sports netherworld between the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament, which is better known as March Madness. This lull provides employers with an excellent...more

Don’t bet the farm on March (legal) Madness

March is upon us, which means spring is near and the sweet smell of tournament brackets will soon fill the air. For many, the month is synonymous with March Madness, the NCAA’s annual tournament that crown’s college...more

It’s a Game Winning Shot but Far from a Slam Dunk: Michael Jordan Obtains Partial Victory in Chinese Courts over Use of His Name

In December 2016, China’s Supreme Court held that a Chinese manufacturer named Qiaodan Sports Company, could not continue to produce athletic shoes, clothing and gear bearing the trademark (see article), which is the Chinese...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

Michael Jordan Wins Back Name In Chinese Trademark Dispute

Former NBA basketball star Michael Jordan has won back the rights to his last name in China, as written in Chinese characters. On December 8th, a Chinese high court determined that Qiaodan Sports, a sportswear company with...more

Seventh Circuit Agrees: Student-Athletes Are Not Employees Under the FLSA

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Gillian Berger, et al. v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, et al, 16-1558 (7th Cir. 2016) has affirmed a district court's decision that...more

Appellate Court Determines that Student Handbook is not a Contract

In Mulvey v. Carl Sandberg High School et al., a family sued its school district and various district officials and coaches alleging breach of contract for the District’s alleged failure to enforce the anti-bullying policies...more

California Court Upholds Environmental Impact Report for Golden State Warriors Arena - Ruling Finds That CEQA Doesn't Always...

The California First District Court of Appeals issued its decision on Nov. 29, 2016, in Mission Bay Alliance v. Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure et al. The Court of Appeals decision affirmed the July 18,...more

NCAA’s System of Amateurism

Former UCLA basketball star and NCAA champion Ed O’Bannon was the lead plaintiff in a 2009 class action lawsuit that was the first serious challenge to the lifeblood of the NCAA’s very existence: all of its players are unpaid...more

Off the Record? Workplace Perils of Video Recording and Social Media

By Scott Rabe and Samuel Sverdlov Seyfarth Synopsis: With seemingly every employee having access to a smart-phone or other recording device, employers without strong social media policies may be placing themselves at greater...more

More Money, More Problems? – The Rise of Compensation and Expectations for College Coaches (Employment Matters)

This is the second installment of a series regarding legal issues affecting college athletics that Employment Matters will run during this year’s NCAA basketball tournament. It is no secret that the salaries of coaches...more

Is it a Gamble for Employers to Permit Office Pools During March Madness?

The American Gaming Association estimates that Americans will bet a total of $9.2 billion on March Madness brackets, pools and contests this year, an increase of approximately $200 million from last year. While estimates...more

The Final Four – Do Employers Care?

Much time will be spent this week in person and online trying to make money on the NCAA tournament. There’s the blog hook for today. Online technology, and social media in particular, have made it much easier for employees to...more

College Basketball Players Can Bring Sexual Orientation Claim Under Federal Law, And Why Employers Should Pay Attention

In the months since the EEOC’s landmark ruling in Baldwin v Foxx, the looming question has been: Would federal courts adopt the Commission’s position that claims of sexual orientation discrimination were cognizable under...more

Title IX Implications of the O'Bannon Decision

The recent federal appellate decision in O'Bannon v. NCAA may have profound implications for colleges obligated to ensure gender equity in athletics under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 (Title IX). In the...more

Court Rules NCAA Can Block Colleges from Paying Student-Athletes, But Allows Scholarships for “Full Cost of Attendance”

In a partial victory for the NCAA, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned in part a permanent injunction issued by the District Court for the Northern District of California, which had required the NCAA to allow...more

NLRB Punts on First Down: Declines to Exercise Jurisdiction in Northwestern University Football Players Union Representation Case

The NLRB’s decision is limited to the facts presented by the Northwestern case, and the Board may assert jurisdiction in another case involving scholarship athletes at a later date. On August 17th, the National Labor...more

July 2015 Independent Contractor Compliance and Misclassification News Update

This July was another month where independent contractor compliance and misclassification was a topic that made front page news. Hillary Clinton placed independent contractor misclassification in the national spotlight when...more

Pay to Play? How States Handle Signing Bonuses for Athletes

Non-CPA sports fans (and athletes themselves) increasingly appreciate the tax aspects of luring the best free agent athletes to their teams. One recent example is the whopper of a contract that agent Scott Boras cooked...more

Michael Jordan Denied Summary Judgment on His Right of Publicity Claim against Illinois Grocer

In 2009, Michael Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. To commemorate Jordan’s career, Time Inc. published a special Sports Illustrated Presents issue that included congratulatory “advertisements” from several...more

Sacramento Kings – 2, Opponents – 0: Court Rules that the Downtown Arena Satisfies Environmental Review Requirements

In Saltonstall, et al. v. City of Sacramento, No. C077772 (Cal. Ct. App. 3rd Dist., Feb. 18, 2015), the Third Appellate District affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court in holding that the City of Sacramento did not...more

Court Blocks Opponents’ Shot at Halting New Kings Arena

The court of appeal recently upheld legislation modifying several deadlines for CEQA review of a project that includes a proposed new arena for the Sacramento Kings, rejecting a claim the statute violates separation of...more

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