Archive - August 2014
- Column: Little League Is Big BusinessAugust 25, 2014
Despite her tender age, Mo’ne Davis, the 13-year old pitcher for the Taney Dragons Little League team in Philadelphia, qualifies as sports’ latest superstar. In the past two weeks, Davis has appeared on live TV pitching in the LL World Series in Williamsport, PA, graced the cover of Sports Illustrated (yes, the cover jinx is alive and well as Davis’ team was eliminated by Nevada), was interviewed by ESPN’s Karl Ravech, made the rounds of the morning talk shows and the evening news, and watched her autograph value soar into the hundreds-of-dollars per item. Whether all that exposure is healthy for a 13-year-old is debatable.
- Column: No Longer a Man's WorldAugust 15, 2014
“This is a man’s world; this is a man’s world…” It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World, by James Brown That may have been the case in 1966, the year James Brown recorded his hit single that reached No. 1 on the Billboard R & B chart. But two recent female hires in the sports world suggest that, almost fifty years later, the world has changed. On July 28 the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) elected Washington, D.C, attorney Michele Roberts as its new executive director, marking the first time a women has headed up a Major League sports union. A week later the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs named Becky Hammon, a 16-year veteran of the WNBA, as an assistant coach. The moves were unrelated, except that combined they served to place an exclamation point on the concept of competence over sexual persuasion.
- Column: O'Bannon DecisionAugust 11, 2014
When I first began practicing law, a seasoned attorney gave me some sage advice. He said if the law was on my side, argue the law; if the facts were on my side, argue the facts; if neither the law nor the facts were on my side, pound the table. Apparently, the attorneys representing the NCAA in the Ed O’Bannon case received the same advice as they repeatedly pounded the table throughout the trial in June because they had neither the law nor the facts on their side. Therefore, it was no surprise when presiding Judge Claudia Wilken announced her decision last Friday, a mere six weeks after the conclusion of testimony. And it was even less of a surprise that she found for the plaintiffs, ruling that the NCAA violated federal antitrust laws by restricting student athletes from earning money from their likeness and image rights.
- Column: Orioles & Nats Spar Over Rights FeesAugust 4, 2014
During the recent MLB All-Star Game in Minneapolis Commissioner Bud Selig, in response to a reporter’s question, emphatically said that Montreal would be a viable market for a Major League team. Despite those comments, the odds of MLB returning to Montreal range from slim to non-existent. Selig has made it clear that he is opposed to relocating existing franchises and the league has repeatedly said it has no plans to expand. But Selig has good reason to lament the 2005 move of the Expos to Washington, D.C. where they became the Nationals. In order to facilitate the Expos’ relocation to what the Baltimore Orioles claimed as their territory, MLB and the Nationals were forced to make a number of concessions to Baltimore owner Peter Angelos. The feisty, unpredictable and litigious Angelos threatened to sue MLB until Selig and company sweetened the offer to the point where Angelos couldn’t refuse. One aspect of the resolution included the formation of the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) for the purpose of broadcasting both Orioles’ and Nationals’ games.