Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Sports Law Links

* Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder is suing the Washington City Paper for libel, claiming that the paper used "anti-Semitic imagery, half-truths, and innuendo to smear or defame him." Andrew Beaujon and Erik Wemple of TBD have a good analysis of the lawsuit. Libel is frequently hard to prove given that libelous statements can't be mere opinions and truth is always a defense; the hurdle is only elevated for public figures (like Snyder) who have to show actual malice, which means intentionally trying to defame as opposed to merely doing so. With these hurdles, Beaujon and Wemple conclude that Synder's claim is unlikely to prevail. The original Washington City Paper article that sprung this litigation was titled The Cranky Redskins Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder. My thanks to Alan Milstein and Bill McCann for these links.

* I recently blogged about Robert Burton, the UConn donor who wanted his $3 million back because he felt ignored by UConn's athletic director as the school interviewed prospective football coaches. After meeting with UConn athletic officials, Burton has decided to let UConn keep the money without a fight (and it was a fight that he likely would have lost, since the $3 million donation was apparently made without conditions). Marc Isenberg had a funny line about this: "Good move by UConn to repair some of the fallout. In related news Burton will call the offensive plays from a headset installed his suite."

* Daniel Fitzgerald of Connecticut Sports Law has a terrific article on sports car law in Connecticut. I also think Dan gets credit for coming up with the phrase, and possibly new section of sports law, now to be known as "sports car law".

* The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit recently dealt a defeat to a group of retired NFL players who had sued the league and the National Football League Players Association, for negligence, negligent misrepresentation and breach of fiduciary duty. Ashley Trent of Inside Counsel has the story on Atwater v. NFLPA.

* The College Sports Council is challenging the National Women's Law Center over a more rigorous--or more exclusionary, depending upon how you see it--application of Title IX to high school sports.

* Elliot Solop of the The Sports Tomato has an excellent piece on whether an NFL lockout would impact the publishing of Electronic Arts' John Madden Football, which has an exclusive deal with the NFL and NFLPA.

* Zak Kurtz of Sports Agent Blog explains why the NFL seems to have won a mediation decision by University of Pennsylvania Law Professor and NFL special master Stephen Burbank on whether the league can keep television revenue during a lockout. Both the NFLPA and NFL are claiming victory, but the numbers suggest that the NFL largely won.

* A reminder that Seton Hall Law School's sports law symposium is on Tuesday. I'm looking forward to it.