Welcome to Sports Law

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Last Time. Treatment of Minorities in Sport: Cases show Sports Law is just other law applied to sport;. In Dambrot, p 89, the issue is whether use of the words used by the coach are first, ?fighting words" in the context in which they were used; and second if they would be protected under the

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Welcome to Sports Law

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1. Welcome to Sports Law

2. Last Time Treatment of Minorities in Sport: Cases show Sports Law is just other law applied to sport; . In Dambrot, p 89, the issue is whether use of the words used by the coach are first, “fighting words” in the context in which they were used; and second if they would be protected under the First Amendment because the speech related to the political, social or other concerns of the community, as opposed to the private employment rights of the faculty member . In Abdul-Rauf, p 90, the issue is first, whether the NBA is a public agency so that Rauf enjoys some sort of First Amendment rights–the NBA is not second, whether as a condition of his employment under federal law, like title VII, the actions of the NBA would violate his rights to freedom of religion, and third, whether anything in his employment agreement restricts his rights to speak in this fashion; that is, can you interpret conduct prejudicial to the NBA to prevent his conduct? Treatment of Women; Ludtke and Time, Inc. v. Kuhn, p 94 raises the same issues we have already addressed; There is no rational basis for excluding women from the locker room; (NOTE–this case would not be resolved on this basis today–the league is not a state actor); How can league deal with players who use violence against women; Could put clauses in uniform contract; Would need disciplinary structure; Education of players might also help;

3. Last Time, II Chapter 2--Constructing a Players' Market: From Contract to Antitrust Law Danny Ainge's case, p 103–breach of contract–specific enforcement is not a remedy–but enforcement of negative covenant is; Baseball Cases: Allegheny Base-Ball Club v. Bennett, 14 F. 257, 257 (W.D. Pa 1882). The court refused to use its equitable power to tie a player to a particular team or owner, even while recognizing a possible cause of action for damages. By refusing to assert equity's in personam jurisdiction, the court authorized limited free agency during a period when real competition existed.

4. Charles W. Bennett Hitter—15 years .256 Average in 1026 games 3821 AB’s, 978 hits, 55 home runs Source: http://www.baseball-almanac.com Court does not tell us why it is refusing to aid club? But, what does the court do for Bennett & other players?

5. Buck Ewing—The “Players’ League” 18 Seasons .305 batting average Hall of Fame, 1939 Source: http://www.baseball-almanac.com Called Greatest Catcher of the Early 20th Century Why does court refuse to enforce contract?

6. John Montgomery Ward The Father of the Baseball Players’ Union Pitcher-1878-1884 Infielder--.275 Average over 17 years Lawyer Source: http://www.baseball-almanac.com Why does court refuse to enforce contract?

7. Bill Hallman Major League Service; 1901 Brewers; 1903 White Sox; 1906-07 Pirates What does court do with contract claim? Why?

8. Players’ League Cases Ward, Ewing, and Hallman's 1889 contract allowed team to "reserve" each of them "for the next ensuing season" If each one of 14 players reserved, AND No reduction in prior salary; Agreements did not set out terms of 1890 contract.

9. Players’ League Cases, II Ward and Hallman--courts asked to find new agreement/ same terms; This result would include new "reserve clause;” Making contract perpetual; Team, however, could discharge player for any reason, at any time, upon ten days' notice; Mutuality problems

10. Players’ League Cases, III Ewing court looked to other cases; National Agreement—players not parties—but beneficiaries—1 year contracts—April 1—October 31; Teams could reserve 14 players if it sent names by October 10; No new contracts until October 20; Reserve Rule cannot define contract because no terms until October 20; thus only provides option for 10 days—Gives exclusive right to bargain to team for that period; Reserve Rule "a contract to make a contract if the parties can agree;”

11. Napolean Lajoie, p 105—The American League So good the Cleveland team called the “Naps” in his Honor (1905-1914) AL Triple Crown 1901 Hall of Fame, 1937 How is Lajoie’s contract different from others in this series? Why does it matter?

12. Lajoie II—Decision in Book is Appeal—and that’s important Clark Griffith signed Lajoie from National League Phila. to Philadelphia A's; Phillies sue A’s to enjoin Lajoie; Trial court followed earlier cases—refused to enjoin—lots of players jumped; With A’s Lajoie won triple crown, batting .426, amassing 125 runs batted in and hitting 14 home runs.

13. Lajoie, III—Court of Appeals Two Differences with Earlier Cases; Lajoie's contract 3 years, giving Phillies Option for 1901, ‘02, ’03; Question to court was whether to enforce an agreement "partially executed by services rendered;“ Here, team relied on Lajoie;

14. Lajoie, III—Court of Appeals, II Second, the "reserve" clause: §18 of agreement, the right to reserve was a part of Lajoie's consideration—in contract; Thus, while harsh, "the fact of this concession to the plaintiff is distinctly pointed out as part of the consideration for the large salary paid to the defendant."

15. Lajoie: National League’s Big Victory; Victory very short lived; Lajoie not prevented from playing Other players did not have Lajoie’s contract;

16. Jack Harper, Deacon McGuire, Bill Killefer (clockwise)

17. Hal Chase, p 138 (taking this out of order) “Prince Hal” “The greatest first baseman of the dead ball era” “Chase did more to dishonor the game than just about any other player” Banned in 1919 for various wrongdoings. Source: http://www.vintageball.com/HalChase.html Why does court refuse to enforce contract? What does court do with anti-trust claim?

18. Chase, II June 15, 1914, Chase gave Chicago American League team 10 days‘ written notice in writing he was leaving; Agreed to balance of season with Buffalo--Federal League; White Sox got TRO; Federal League lawyers sought to dissolve;

19. Chase III Court looks at agreements; Chicago's obligation to be 10 days' termination notice; Chase, was bound for current season, AND another season at club option; No consideration;

20. Chase, IV P 141; Is Baseball a “combination in restraint of trade?” Why or why not?

21. What’s the Point The Players won most of the cases; The cases proceeded on a Contract Theory of Specific Performance Certain and Definite Contract Unique “goods;”

22. What’s the Point, II In the baseball cases, the court generally found that Reserve Rule rendered the contract indefinite As a result, no specific performance; As a result, no enforcement of negative covenant; We are not sure about Antitrust Law

23. What’s the Point, III As a Result, What could Player Do? What were Owners Required to Do?

24. Central N.Y. B-Ball v. Barnett, p 109 In Lajoie and other cases, issue was “uniqueness;” Following Barnett, will “uniqueness” ever be an issue in a case involving an elite athlete? Why or why not?

25. Boston Celtics v. Brian Shaw A contract case in a different forum; How is it different? When will court overturn arbitration award?

26. What About the “Assignment Clause?” P 119 Does it matter that a clause was negotiated by the Union? When a player signs with a team, does the player also sign with the League? Why does the commissioner need to “approve” contracts?

27. Shaw Also Raises another Issue, p 118 The Issue of “Unclean Hands” What does that term mean? When one team bids against another—or even tries to sign a player under contract to another team, this is NOT “unclean hands;”

28. p. 120 Football draft in 1960 different from now; Problems? Why are the hands of the Giants not clean?

29. Neely, p 121 Did Neely do anything legally wrong? From the NCAA’s perspective? From a Contract Law Perspective? Are Neely’s hands clean? What problem does your answer create? Suppose Neely’s scholarship contract with OU required that he maintain eligibility. Oilers contract thus caused Neely to breach? Whose hands are unclean?

30. Bergey, p 127 This case is the “next generation” case. Why? How are facts different? Did Bergey do anything wrong? How do Rick Barry’s case and Billy Cunningham’s case, p 128 help resolve this case? How does the court view “Public Interest?” Why is this important—particularly for leagues and teams?

31. Minnesota Muskies paid Hudson to sit out season with St. Louis Hawks In terms of “clean hands,” what result; Any hint of the same in Bergey? Lou Hudson (294 F. Supp. 979 (M.D.N.C. 1969))

32. Bill Parcells/Bill Belichick Issues, p 131 Note the involvement of the Commissioner in resolving these types of disputes today.

33. Curt Flood 15 Seasons .293 Lifetime Ave. 1861 Hits in 6357 AB’s .976 Fielding Ave. in 4023 Attempts Source: http://www.baseball-almanac.com

34. Flood’s 1967-68 “El Birdos” Captains Tim McCarver/Curt Flood Diverse group “warm and close” “The social envy of the league” Golenbock, The Spirit of St. Louis, supra

35. The 1969 Holdout St. Louis owner Gussie Busch told players in spring training: Not in condition; Baseball will lose out on entertainment $$ Sacrifices of he and city leaders; Already have best pension plan Need to make fans happy; Will not tolerate ultimatums Flood’s Reaction: “We were still livestock.” (Curt Flood, The Way It Is 173 (Trident, 1971)

36. Flood v. Kuhn, p 146 Traded after 1969 season Refused to report What is basic holding in case?

37. In Light of Flood, consider Partee v. San Diego Chargers, p 158 Could Dennis Partee challenge NFL’s version of Reserve Rule under California State Law? Why or why not?

38. What’s the Point Under holding in Flood, federal antitrust law does not apply to baseball; Under holding in Partee, state antitrust law does not apply to baseball; Baseball is thus totally exempt from Regulatory control; To what, then, does this exemption apply?

39. Piazza & Tirendi MLB According to this court: To what did Flood apply? If “Rule” stare decisis were applied in Flood, what? If “Result” stare decisis is applied, what? What is the point of talking about “Markets?”

40. Curt Flood Act What does Congress think of the result in Piazza? What is baseball’s antitrust exemption following Curt Flood Act?

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