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  • Bonds That Tie: The Cooperstown Reformation Project

    Something that we knew was likely coming for a decade finally happened this week, as Barry Bonds was left out of the Hall of Fame by voters from the BBWAA. The baseball media controls who enters Cooperstown via the most traditional path. Writers who have spent ten consecutive years involved in the BBWAA receive a HOF vote and are able to vote for a decade even once they are no longer active. This means that some people who aren't tuned into the game are able to cast ballots on what enters the museum...and that's what this is really about. The Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a museum. The Hall claims that it's all about "the relationships forged, stories shared, cherished memories created..." Who amongst us hasn't joked about the fact that Barry Bonds was regularly walked even when it would put runners in scoring position? Or even more hilariously when the bases were loaded. Aren't stories (positive and negative) shared about Bonds' efforts in the Pirates' loss to the Braves in the 1992 NLCS? The Pirates' last winning season for two decades? About the fact that Bonds had more intentional walks than the Tampa Bay Rays' entire franchise in several thousand fewer at-bats? Don't cherished memories of Bonds exist in San Francisco, where he saved the Giants' franchise and helped them build their beautiful ballpark downtown? Didn't we forge relationships rooting for or against Bonds? Here are the facts: Barry Lamar Bonds is by far the greatest player ever based on bWAR at 162.7 wins above replacement (WAR), even better than his Godfather, Willie Mays (156.1). In an era that was tainted by performance enhancing drugs (which were largely ignored by the powers that be at the time), Bonds was far superior to his colleagues. Hitting a baseball is near impossible, and Bonds was the best at that skill. But Bonds was more than who he was at the plate. He was a marvelous athlete, winner of eight Gold Gloves. Young Barry was a terror on the basepaths. He's the only player to belong to the 500/500 home run/stolen base club. The case against Bonds is simple in its scandalous nature and lack of ability to process context. The guy was alleged to use steroids, he wasn't nice to the media, and he had a huge ego. I won't touch the last one because these are professional athletes, and ego is a driving force for a lot of them to achieve great things. It's not good, but it's everywhere. The first point, I understand. It would be one thing if that were a consistent rule, though. At this point, there is almost certainly an inductee who used performance enhancing drugs. Whether that's anabolic steroids, or amphetamines, or they were spitting tobacco juice to affect the rotation of the ball. That happened, and the Hall is in the perfect spot to be able to give context to the achievements of those players. If necessary, they could put the Steroid Era guys in their own wing. It's just an improper use of the Hall to tell half the story and leave players who are otherwise deserving out based on suspicion. Also bothersome in relation to steroids is that there's a lack of consistency that is particularly evident this year. David "Big Papi" Ortiz, the jovial giant who broke the Curse of the Bambino with his clutch hitting against the Yankees in 2004 and proceeded to win three more World Series' in Boston while clubbing 541 Home Runs, was elected on the first ballot this year. Most notably, Ortiz rose to be a leader in Boston, helping to heal the city after the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings. Ortiz was always friendly with the media in Boston and nationally. His easygoing nature, hearty laugh, and thousand watt smile are disarming, charming, and endearing. Kenan Thompson plays a friendly caricature of the heavily accented Ortiz on Saturday Night Live. Ortiz is part of the media analyzing baseball now, appearing on FOX and on a podcast with Barstool Sports. Papi is almost universally liked. I like Ortiz. I think he's one of the most lovable characters in baseball during my lifetime and was a fearsome slugger. I think he belongs in the Hall for the exact reason that you can't talk about baseball history and the curse-breaking Red Sox without discussing Ortiz's prowess for the clutch hit. The thing is that Ortiz registered a positive PED test when MLB finally attempted to reign in the steroid issue, beginning with an effort to recognize how widespread the issue was with anonymous submissions in 2003. The failed test became public knowledge in 2009. Ortiz never tested positive once MLB implemented a formal testing scheme in 2004. Bonds was alleged to have registered positive tests in 2000 and 2003 that became public knowledge during a perjury trial. He never tested positive under MLB's formal testing scheme. Bonds ultimately had his conviction of obstruction of justice overturned in 2015. So where is the biggest difference here? Is it that Bonds wasn't friendly with the media? It certainly can't be that Ortiz was a better player than Bonds. Ortiz's WAR counter places him in the bottom five of all inductees. In fact, Bonds nearly achieved Ortiz's entire career WAR (55.3) in just his seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates (50.3). Bonds has 7 MVP awards to Ortiz's zero. In fact, if you just took Bonds' achievements prior to the alleged November 2000 positive test, Bonds would be the only member of the 400/400 home run/stolen base club. Bonds had 3 MVP awards before he was ever alleged to have cheated. We have to do better to fulfill the missions stated by the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. With that in mind, I have a handful of changes that I'd like to see. First, I'd like to see all ballots be made public after the results are announced. In 2016, the BBWAA voted by a significant (80-9) margin to publish all ballots publicly by 2018. The Hall of Fame refused to do so. The results of private vs. public ballots may surprise you. Bonds appeared on 77% of public ballots, which means that he would have surpassed the 75% threshold required for induction. However, he only appeared on 53% of private ballots. That is a 24% difference. On the other hand, Omar Vizquel, who allegedly sexually assaulted a former batboy, benefitted from secret ballots, outperforming his public ballots by 28%. Second, I think we should go back to a 15 year tenures for possible inductees. I believe that as younger members of the BBWAA achieve voting power, they may let their positive memories, connections, and stories about great players of the Steroid Era like Bonds or Roger Clemens guide them. We have already seen anger over the players in the Steroid Era dissipate. An additional five years may very well allow passions to be relaxed and time to provide context. Third, I think that expanding the number of votes per year beyond the cap of ten players is a good idea. In crowded years, that could allow good players like Johan Santana to receive additional consideration. Fourth, lower percentage thresholds may provide players deserving of additional consideration like Nomar Garciaparra with valuable time to be discussed. A one percent threshold to stay on in the first three years, and then a five percent threshold to stay on the ballot beyond year three is something that I've seen proposed and makes sense. Finally, I believe that some players should vote. One idea is to allow players who achieve at least 10 years of service time at the Major League level the opportunity to vote on their colleagues. If some of these proposals are adopted by the Hall, I believe we can make Cooperstown more representative of the game and more likely to achieve its stated goals. Tarun Sharma is a current 3L at the University of Minnesota and former Baseball Operations Professional for the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks. He is an occasional co-host on the Conduct Detrimental podcast and handles some social media and legal research for the Conduct Detrimental Group, as well. You can find his thoughts in the weekly Sports Law Review Newsletter by Conduct Detrimental or on twitter @tksharmalaw. Sign up at conductdetrimental.com to get the week’s biggest sports law news in your inbox!

  • NWSL CBA Negotiations Are Headed For A Dramatic Turn

    Image via Chicago Red Stars To say the world of sports and labor law often intersect would be an understatement, and in its current state, you may think the MLB lockout is the biggest story sitting at this intersection. But by the beginning of February, you may be incorrect. The NWSL preseason is set to start on February 1st, and it now appears the players will not report to their clubs if a Collective Bargaining Agreement is not in place. If this were to occur it would be the league’s first work stoppage. The Player’s Association hopes that with less than two weeks before the preseason starts, this will help push the league to figure out the details. The NWSL was established in 2012 and had its first game on April 13th, 2013. Interestingly, the league has operated for nine years without a collective bargaining agreement to this point. CBAs are usually an integral part of any sports league, from the WNBA to the NFL. So, it is evident that the player’s frustrations about not having an agreement are not without merit. Negotiation of the league’s first collective bargaining agreement was first announced in April 2020, but over a year later, there is still no agreement. Without such an agreement, the players feel as though they are being left in an uncomfortable and insecure position. So, the players rightfully want to ensure the league takes steps towards improvement before providing their labor. Especially after a tumultuous 2021 season in which the league saw consistent, valid criticism. A point of further frustration stems from the fact that through October, none of the twelve-team owners had attended a single bargaining session, according to the Executive Director of the NWSL Players Association, Meghann Burke. Meanwhile, players have participated in every bargaining session, with one session having more than 25% of the players attend. To this point, there has been agreement on certain issues, but certain major points remain in contention. With neither side claiming to have reached an impasse withholding their labor or striking is the next option on the table for the players. The league is young, and some may fear that the league would be unable to recover from a strike properly. But there are three reasons why now may be the players and the players association’s best opportunity to pressure the league through a strike. The public support for the players is at an all-time high. So, if they strike, the “court of public opinion” would likely be in their favor. With a long preseason ahead of them, there would still be hope that a deal could be made, and the strike wouldn’t affect the regular season, which doesn’t start until May. In a more recent development for the league saw that the U.S. Soccer Federation would no longer be paying USWNT players NWSL salaries. Because of this, USWNT stars such as Megan Rapinoe are allowed to join the NSWLPA for the first time in league history. Opening the strike to have stars and new players alike join together. Both sides likely prefer to get a deal done without disrupting the 2022 season. But the point remains that this may be the player's first opportunity to profoundly change what it means to be an NWSL athlete—ultimately creating an unprecedented opportunity to put pressure on the league for a meaningful change!

  • Women’s College Basketball Players Love NIL. So Why Doesn’t Women’s Basketball?

    Image via The Spun A lot remains unclear in the NCAA athlete name, image, and likeness (NIL) space. States are unsure how their laws interact with NCAA policy. Schools remain confused in the role they play in brokering these deals between athletes and third parties. The NCAA has requested Congress to step in and provide uniformity, but so far their begs have gone unanswered.[1] Despite all this uncertainty, one group has emerged to reap the benefits from NIL – women’s basketball players. Haley and Hanna Cavinder are members of the women’s basketball team at Fresno State. The twins share a backcourt and lead the Bulldogs in points and assists. But even more impressive than their on-court work is their off-court following. Their joint TikTok account @cavindertwins has nearly 4 million followers. To place that into perspective, two-time NBA MVP Steph Curry’s TikTok account has 2.2 million followers. These sisters are social media superstars. The Cavinder twins have pounced on the opportunity to profit from their name, image, and likeness more than any other college athlete. They were the first college athletes to sign an NIL deal with Boost Mobile on July 1. Since then, they have signed deals with Champs, Eastbay, the WWE, and even had their images plastered onto a billboard in Times Square. The old guard at the NCAA must be sick to their stomach. The Cavinder twins aren’t the only women’s hoopers growing their brand while also lining their pockets. Paige Bueckers, the UCONN superstar and widely considered best player in the country, has inked NIL deals with StockX and Gatorade. Bueckers, the former Gatorade Player of the Year in high school, joins athletes such as Michael Jordan, Zion Williamson, and Serena Williams representing the brand.[2] Brands have taken notice of the obvious – women’s basketball players are marketable. They can reach a young following through social media that not even the best men’s basketball players on the planet can accomplish. Women’s college basketball players are bigger digital media stars than their male counterparts, and the numbers back it up. Since the NIL floodgates opened this past summer, women’s basketball trails only football in compensation for deals signed. There could be a variety of factors as to why women’s basketball comes in higher than men’s when it comes to NIL. First and foremost is the social media presence mentioned above. But the chart above also reveals a lot about the current landscape of men’s basketball. The combination of the one-and-done era and the rise of alternative routes to the NBA has resulted in men’s college basketball players not having the same national star power they once had. If Zion Williamson stayed four years at Duke, he likely would have been the first collegiate men’s athlete to sign with Gatorade. Instead, stars like Zion are on campus for a couple months and then sign their lucrative endorsement deals once they hit the NBA. Conventional logic would follow that the sport of women’s basketball must be benefitting from this added exposure to their athletes. Well, not so fast. NIL goes against everything that the NCAA has always stood for, so they are refusing to embrace the benefits while simultaneously placing unnecessary roadblocks to halt progress. Likewise, schools seem afraid of breaking the law or NCAA policy and are also missing out on valuable opportunities. Fresno State has a strict Intellectual Property use policy when it comes to athlete NIL deals: As a result, the Cavinder twins can’t promote the school or their conference in any fashion through their brand deals. You would think Fresno State would love the free publicity that comes with their famous backcourt’s exposure. Apparently not. The Cavinder twins recently signed a groundbreaking NIL deal with the sport apparel company Baseline Team, making themselves co-founders and granting themselves a 25% ownership stake. Baseline Team’s main business focus is developing retro basketball shorts. Due to Fresno State’s NIL policy, even after Baseline Team acquired a license to use Fresno State’s logo, as student-athletes the twins must black out the logo when promoting their merchandise.[3] Below is the home page of Baseline Team’s website found at: https://baselinecpg.com/ If companies are investing in these athletes to grow their brand exposure, why isn’t Fresno State or the NCAA utilizing the same methods to grow the sport they play? The social media engagement could go a long way in increasing the popularity of women’s basketball. It doesn’t take a marketing genius to think that the Cavinder twins or Paige Bueckers should be all over NCAA social media accounts and other media outlets. Women’s basketball has constantly battled with the NCAA for equal treatment with the men’s game. NIL is an area is where the women’s game has growth potential even over the men’s game. Just recently the NCAA surrendered to mounting pressure and changed its Final Four logos and social media accounts to separate the men’s and women’s game. Previously, the logos were the same and the twitter account @FinalFour called it’s itself the “official” feed of the NCAA Final Four but only tweeted about the men’s sport with no updates about the women’s tournament.[4] NIL is commonly thought of as a groundbreaking mechanism that allows players to take power back from the NCAA and profit off their own brands. But NIL also provides opportunities for schools and the NCAA to grow their sports. The NCAA needs stop being hesitant and start developing plans to embrace NIL to grow women’s basketball. The players are becoming superstars – Why not grow the game alongside them? Matt Netti is a 2021 graduate from Northeastern University School of Law. He currently works as an attorney fellow at the Office of the General Counsel for Northeastern University. You can follow him on twitter and instagram @MattNettiMN and find him on Linkedin at https://www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-netti-ba5787a3/. You can find all his work at www.mattnetti.com [1] Dan Murphy, Everything You Need to Know About the NCAA’s NIL Debate, ESPN (last visited Jan. 23, 2021) https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/31086019/everything-need-know-ncaa-nil-debate. [2] Scott Polacek, UConn's Paige Bueckers Becomes 1st College Player Ever to Sign Contract with Gatorade, Bleacher Report (last visited Jan. 23, 2022) https://bleacherreport.com/articles/10019464-uconns-paige-bueckers-becomes-1st-college-player-ever-to-sign-contract-with-gatorade. [3] Kristi Dosh, Cavinder Twins Flex Their Muscles as Entrepreneurs With Latest NIL Deal, Forbes Sports (last visited Jan. 23, 2022) https://www.forbes.com/sites/kristidosh/2022/01/18/cavinder-twins-flex-their-muscles-as-entrepreneurs-with-their-latest-nil-deal/?sh=1602564f17fa. [4] Matthew VanTryon, The NCAA Changed It’s Final Four Logos. It’s Another Step For Women’s Basketball Equality, IndyStar (last visited Jan. 23, 2022) https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/college/2022/01/05/ncaa-changes-final-four-logos-social-media-handles-womens-equality-march-madness/9101782002/.

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  • Bengals, Rams Super Bowl could boost Best Buy’s TV sales. A Chiefs-49ers appearance would be the worst-case scenario, analyst says

    < Back Bengals, Rams Super Bowl could boost Best Buy’s TV sales. A Chiefs-49ers appearance would be the worst-case scenario, analyst says Jan 28, 2022 Loop Capital Markets, in a note to clients this week, tried to determine which Super Bowl LVI matchup would drive the most sales of new TVs and home theaters at the retailer. It concluded a Cincinnati Bengals versus Los Angeles Rams matchup would benefit the retailer most. Loop Capital used “metropolitan statistical area” metrics to assist in determining the population size of a city and surrounding counties. The MSA for Cincinnati and Los Angeles is 15.5 million, combined. The clubs’ combined 36 years since they last appeared in a Super Bowl – 33 of those years belonging to the Bengals’ absence – would also favor potential sales, Loop said. The firm determined a Chiefs-49ers contest “would be the least desirable outcome” for Best Buy, given there’s only been a combined three years since the last Super Bowl appearance of the teams, and the smaller combined local fan populations. Source: CNBC (Photo by Andy Lyons / Getty Images) https://www.cnbc.com/2022/01/28/bengals-rams-super-bowl-is-ideal-game-for-best-buy-tv-sales-analyst.html?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=Main&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1643401307 Previous Next

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    NEWS Jan 28, 2022 Bengals, Rams Super Bowl could boost Best Buy’s TV sales. A Chiefs-49ers appearance would be the worst-case scenario, analyst says Loop Capital Markets, in a note to clients this week, tried to determine which Super Bowl LVI matchup would drive the most sales of new TVs and home theaters at the retailer. It concluded a Cincinnati Bengals versus Los Angeles Rams matchup would benefit the retailer most. Loop Capital used “metropolitan statistical area” metrics to assist in determining the population size of a city and surrounding counties. The MSA for Cincinnati and Los Angeles is 15.5 million, combined. The clubs’ combined 36 years since they last appeared in a Super Bowl – 33 of those years belonging to the Bengals’ absence – would also favor potential sales, Loop said. The firm determined a Chiefs-49ers contest “would be the least desirable outcome” for Best Buy, given there’s only been a combined three years since the last Super Bowl appearance of the teams, and the smaller combined local fan populations. Read More Jan 28, 2022 Steelers GM Kevin Colbert will step down after NFL Draft Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert is stepping down, according to team owner Art Rooney II. Colbert will continue to operate as GM until after the NFL Draft. The Pittsburgh native could remain on staff in a reduced role after the draft. Rooney made it clear that there will be no shift in responsibilities for head coach Mike Tomlin and the new GM. Read More Jan 28, 2022 Ex-NBAer and current North Carolina A&T golfer J.R. Smith signs with agency for NIL opportunities In a first for a high-profile ex-professional athlete, North Carolina A&T freshman golfer J.R. Smith -- a retired 16-year NBA guard -- has signed with Excel Sports for NIL representation, agent Lance Young told ESPN. Smith, 36, is beginning his second semester for the Aggies, and his emergence as perhaps the most well-known Division I golfer has inspired significant endorsement possibilities that could earn him well into the six figures under the NCAA's new name, image and likeness legislation. There's significant NIL interest among golfing equipment and clothing manufacturers and video game companies, Young told ESPN. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Congress to hold roundtable with former WFT employees during Super Bowl week Per Mike Florio: Earlier today, the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform announced that it will hold a “hybrid roundtable” with several former employees of the Washington Football Team. The meeting, to be conducted on Thursday, February 3, will discuss “issues of workplace misconduct and the National Football League’s (NFL) failure to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and verbal abuse” within the organization. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Phoenix Coyotes on verge of moving into 5,000-seat arena for next 3-4 seasons while awaiting approval for Tempe arena Scrambling to find a temporary facility after their relationship with the City of Glendale officially fizzled, the Arizona Coyotes are looking to the NCAA ranks. According to Craig Morgan of PHNX Sports, the Coyotes are in "advanced talks" with officials from Arizona State University to use its multipurpose venue for home games for the next three or four seasons — this while the club awaits approval to begin building its proposed arena in Tempe. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Louisiana online sports betting to go live on Friday, with 6 mobile apps cleared for launch Louisiana's long-awaited mobile sports gambling option goes online at 8 a.m. Friday, Gaming Control Board Chairman Ronnie Johns confirmed to USA Today Network. Among the first expected to offer online sports gambling through their apps are FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, BetFred and BetMGM, though Johns said he couldn't confirm who plans to be up Friday. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Former Canucks forward Jake Virtanen charged with sexual assault by Vancouver police Vancouver police charged former Canucks forward Jake Virtanen with one count of sexual assault on Thursday stemming from a September 2017 incident, they said. Virtanen is not currently in custody. The Vancouver Police Department launched an investigation in May 2021 after the now-23-year-old victim came forward to police, VPD said. The alleged incident took place in Vancouver on Sept. 26, 2017. Virtanen, now 25, was a member of the Canucks at the time. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Raiders' Nate Hobbs pleads guilty to reduced traffic charge after arrest on suspicion of DUI Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced traffic charge stemming from his arrest early this month on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. The 22-year-old rookie did not appear in person while his attorney, Richard Schonfeld, submitted a written guilty plea to a misdemeanor – careless driving. Read More Jan 26, 2022 NY couple charged with using fake vax cards to attend Buffalo Bills playoff game A New York couple is facing felony charges for allegedly using fake COVID-19 vaccine cards to get into the Buffalo Bills' wild card game against the New England Patriots. The couple, Amber and Michael Naab, 34 and 37, were arraigned Tuesday night in Orchard Park Town Court, each charged with one count of criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said in a press conference Wednesday. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Chicago Cubs In Settlement Talks With DOJ Over Wrigley Accessibility The Chicago Cubs are in talks with the U.S. Department of Justice to resolve a compliance review of seating accessibility at Wrigley Field, according to Illinois federal court filings on Wednesday in a related Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit against the team. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Oakland A's seek sanctions against metal scrapper for refusal to turn over hazardous waste documents The Oakland Athletics say the owner of California's largest metal shredding facility should be sanctioned for refusing to turn over documents related to hazardous waste it allegedly spewed into the air, soil and water around West Oakland, in an ongoing battle over a future ballpark's dangerous atmosphere. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Evander Kane joining Edmonton Oilers after being cleared by NHL The Edmonton Oilers and Evander Kane have agreed to a deal, Kane's agent Dan Milstein confirmed on Twitter. Kane will join the Oilers for the remainder of the 2021-22 season and will wear No. 91, Milstein tweeted. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Witness in Deshaun Watson cases repeatedly invokes the Fifth Amendment In a statement released to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston, Tony Buzbee, the lawyer representing the plaintiffs, claims that a witness who “allegedly worked closely with the Texans” and “coordinated massage sessions for Deshaun Watson” repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination while testifying. Read More Jan 26, 2022 Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, two players disciplined for confronting official after Stanford game Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley was fined $20,000 and suspended for Monday's game against Southern California for a confrontation with the officiating crew following a game this weekend against Stanford. Hurley and guard Jay Heath were both suspended and forward Jalen Graham was publicly reprimanded for verbally confronting an official who was exiting the court after Stanford's 79-76 win on Saturday night. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Francis Ngannou claims UFC threatened to sue him over alleged Jake Paul talks Per Marc Raimondi: The UFC threatened to sue Francis Ngannou's agent just hours before Ngannou was set to compete in a heavyweight title fight Saturday night, Ngannou said Monday on "The MMA Hour." Ngannou said he was getting dressed in preparation to go to Honda Center in Anaheim, California, on Saturday when his agent, Marquel Martin, told him that the UFC sent Martin an email threatening to sue him. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Tennis Australia reverses 'Where is Peng Shuai?' T-shirt ban at Australian Open Tennis Australia has reversed its decision to ban “Where is Peng Shuai?” T-shirts that reference the disappearance of the star Chinese tennis player. The tennis body has confirmed to SBS News that the wearing of the T-shirts will be permitted at the Australian Open, but large banners could still be barred due to safety concerns. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Martina Navratilova says Tennis Australia is ‘capitulating’ to China over Peng Shuai Tennis great Martina Navratilova has condemned as “pathetic” the Australian Open’s decision to stop fans wearing ‘Where is Peng Shuai?’ T-shirts, accusing Tennis Australia of “capitulating” to China. Late last week spectators at Melbourne Park were asked to remove their T-shirts and security confiscated a banner emblazoned with the same words, on the grounds that TA prohibits “clothing, banners or signs that are commercial or political”. Read More Jan 24, 2022 At least 8 dead in stampede at African Cup of Nations soccer game in Cameroon At least eight people were killed and 50 people injured after a stampede during an Africa Cup of Nations match in the Cameroonian capital Monday, state broadcaster Cameroon Radio Television reported. The crush occurred as fans attempted to access Olembe Stadium in Yaoundé to watch the match between Cameroon and Comoros. Read More Jan 24, 2022 NBA legends blast John Stockton for ‘bats–t crazy’ COVID claims Detlef Schrempf did not mince words over fellow NBA All-Star John Stockton’s wild COVID-19 takes. Stockton, arguably Gonzaga’s most famous alum, had his season tickets for home basketball games suspended over his refusal to comply with the university’s mask mandate. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Heated MLB bargaining includes mention of canceling games Per Evan Drellich: In a meeting with the Players Association on Monday, Major League Baseball deputy commissioner Dan Halem said that MLB is willing to lose games over some of the outstanding issues the sides have, people with knowledge of the talks said. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Canucks hire Émilie Castonguay as assistant general manager; first female AGM in team history The Vancouver Canucks named player agent Émilie Castonguay assistant general manager on Monday, making her the first female AGM in team history. "It is an honour to join the Vancouver Canucks and I am grateful to Jim and the Aquilini family for the opportunity," said Castonguay via a news release. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker would be ‘happy’ to sign sports betting bill if state lawmakers pass one this session Per Benjamin Kail: Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday said he’d gladly sign a bill to legalize sports betting in Massachusetts if state lawmakers pass one this session as he closes out his second term. Speaking with reporters at the State House a day before his final State of the Commonwealth address, Baker said closing the deal on a bill that would open a burgeoning market to Massachusetts is one of several things he’s hoping for in 2022. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Minnesota lawmaker says "there's a better chance than not’ that sports betting passes this legislative session A state lawmaker who supports legalizing sports betting thinks the odds are good that the Legislature will pass a bill this session. Rep. Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) told MPR News host Cathy Wurzer that a majority of U.S. states now have legalized some form of sports gambling. He said lawmakers in Minnesota would need to decide who would be able to offer sports gambling at what facilities and what taxes and regulations would apply. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Key New York lawmaker says 'speed-to-market' should be a factor for determining the locations of three downstate casinos Per Susan Arbetter: In order to determine which gaming companies will win three new casino gaming licenses that Gov. Kathy Hochul included in her executive budget, the administration, the Legislature and the New York State Gaming Commission will need to create what state Sen. Joseph Addabbo calls “an open and transparent and credible process." Addabbo, who chairs the Senate Committee on Gaming, Racing and Wagering, gave Capital Tonight a glimpse into what he’ll be looking for from winning bidders. Read More Jan 24, 2022 Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes charged with domestic violence, battery NBA star Jaxson Hayes was hit with misdemeanor domestic abuse and resisting arrest charges Monday for a 2021 incident in which he went berserk on his girlfriend at an LA-area home and wound up getting Tased by cops, officials said. Read More Jan 24, 2022 MLBPA drops age-based free-agency proposal as negotiations on new labor deal continue Per Evan Drellich: In Monday's meeting with MLB, the Players Association dropped its request to introduce an age-based free-agency system into the sport, withdrawing a proposal in one of the three major areas MLB had shown no interest in changing, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Athletic. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Anthony Joshua to accept £15m fee to 'step-aside' for Tyson Fury-Oleksander Usyk title bout Anthony Joshua is close to accepting a £15 million step-aside fee that would pave the way for Oleksander Usky to fight Tyson Fury in an undisputed heavyweight title bout in the Middle East. Joshua had been due a rematch with Usky for his three world title belts, which he lost to the Ukrainian in London last year. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Trustee in Evander Kane bankruptcy seeks to stop funding ex-NHL star’s defamation claim Per Daniel Kaplan: The trustee overseeing embattled former San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy wants to pull the plug on funding his defamation countersuit against a woman who is suing him for assault. Rachel Kuechle sued Kane over an alleged 2015 incident in Buffalo, and the hockey player countersued. Kane filed for bankruptcy protection in 2021, leaving the funding of his countersuit up to the discretion of the trustee. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Knicks and Rangers owner James Dolan will be paid at least $26.5 million per year under new MSG contract James Dolan, the owner of the Knicks and Rangers, signed new contracts last month to remain in his roles leading MSG Sports and MSG Entertainment. While his control of both companies was never in doubt, the deals do lay out new compensation packages for Dolan, which have been a legal bugaboo for him in the past. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, 2 players disciplined for actions toward officials following loss Arizona State men's basketball coach Bobby Hurley and two Sun Devil players were disciplined by the Pac-12 for their actions following Saturday night's loss to Stanford. Hurley and guard Jay Heath are suspended for Monday's contest at USC, while Jalen Graham was reprimanded. Hurley was also fined $20,000. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Spurs coach Gregg Popovich rips U.S. Senators for blocking voting rights bill San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich hasn't been shy about discussing hot-button political issues. On Sunday before the Spurs' game against the Philadelphia 76ers, he took aim at Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who voted with Republicans to block the advancement of a sweeping voting rights bill that was supported by Democrats and U.S. President Joe Biden. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Tennis Australia remove banners and shirts asking ‘Where is Peng Shuai’ at Australian Open Two Australian Open 2022 fans were forced to remove their ‘Where is Peng Shuai’ t-shirts by the Tennis Australia (TA) at Melbourne Park on Saturday. With the Chinese former tennis player's whereabouts and well-being still uncertain, TA and Victoria Police confiscated a banner and t-shirts of two fans. The officials cited that political statements and banners are not allowed under the national tennis governing body’s ticketing terms and conditions, while they later went on to state that Peng Shuai’s safety is still a major concern for them. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Wynn Resorts looks to sell online sports betting biz at deep discount Per Josh Kosman: Wynn Resorts is looking to unload its online sports-betting business at a steep discount as the fledgling niche faces painful losses from stiff taxes and costly promotions needed to lure customers, The New York Post has learned. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Nick Saban is the latest coach to watch Arch Manning’s basketball game The pursuit for a star quarterback prospect runs deep. When football coaches get the job, they know they’ll be traveling around the state, region and country to recruit on the gridiron. But unique prospects call for innovative recruiting solutions, and attention to Isidore Newman (New Orleans) star quarterback Arch Manning is not going away despite his football season ending. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Antonio Brown celebrates Tampa Bay Buccaneers' elimination from playoffs with shirtless meme When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were upset Sunday afternoon in the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, a marquee former player took to Twitter to celebrate. Former Tampa receiver Antonio Brown, whom the team released Jan. 6 after he took off his jersey and shoulder pads and exited the field shirtless in the third quarter of a game against the New York Jets, posted from his Twitter account a little more than an hour after the Rams eliminated the Buccaneers. Read More Jan 23, 2022 ECHL's Jacob Panetta suspended, released after being accused of making racist gesture in game Jacksonville Icemen defenseman Jacob Panetta has been suspended indefinitely by the ECHL and released from the team after being accused of making a racist gesture toward the South Carolina Stingrays' Jordan Subban during Saturday night's game. It's the second time in three days that a minor-league hockey player was suspended over a racial gesture during a game. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Bears legend Dick Butkus goes after Aaron Rodgers immediately after getting verified on Twitter The Chicago Bears-Green Bay Packers rivalry is extremely lopsided on the field. Off the field, though, there are still fireworks. Bears legend Dick Butkus went after Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers immediately after Butkus got verified on Twitter. Butkus, who has been on Twitter since 2020, started campaigning for verification in mid-January. He finally got his blue checkmark Friday. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Grayson Allen suspended for injury-causing foul on Chicago Bulls' Alex Caruso Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen was suspended by the NBA for one game on Sunday for his hard foul on Alex Caruso that resulted in a broken right wrist for the Chicago Bulls guard. Allen will serve his suspension Wednesday when the Bucks visit the Cleveland Cavaliers. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Billionaire Robert F. Smith’s team downplays report he’s looking to buy Denver Broncos Pursuing ownership of the Denver Broncos isn’t something on the radar of billionaire Robert F. Smith at the moment, according to a source familiar with the matter who spoke with theGrio Friday. Front Office Sports broke the news on Friday that the Vista Equity Partners founder and chief executive — who Forbes estimates has a $6 billion net worth, making him the wealthiest Black man in America — may be one of the bidders vying to acquire the NFL franchise. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Gonzaga Univ. suspends John Stockton's season tickets for refusing to comply with mask mandate Gonzaga University opted to suspend the season tickets of NBA Hall of Famer John Stockton, one of its most prominent alumni, after the star continuously failed to comply with the school's mask mandate. Stockton told The Spokesman-Review that Gonzaga Athletic Director Chris Standiford told him of the decision. Read More Jan 23, 2022 Gov. Hochul seeking to speed casino licensing with eye on downstate New York Gov. Kathy Hochul is looking to speed the process that could open three casinos in New York City, on Long Island or in Westchester or Rockland counties in a proposal that already has strong support in the State Legislature. The gaming industry has long clamored for full-fledged casinos in the huge metropolitan market. Read More Jan 22, 2022 LA Chargers chairman Dean Spanos sued by two nephews for defrauding family trust that owns team Chargers chairman Dean Spanos has been sued by two of his nephews who allege that he secretly diverted money from the family trust that owns 36% of the team. Dimitri and Lex Economou filed their suit this week in San Joaquin County. They are the sons of one of Spanos’ sisters, Dea Spanos Berberian. Read More Jan 21, 2022 Iowa lawmaker sponsors bill that would classify student-athletes as employees Per Zachary Zagger: Amid a growing legal push to treat NCAA student-athletes as employees, an Iowa lawmaker has introduced a bill that would classify athletes at Iowa state schools as public employees and entitle them to pay and other benefits. Read More Jan 21, 2022 Ex-NFLer Kenbrell Thomkins sentenced to 2 years and faces restitution in COVID-19 insurance scam Former NFL wideout Kenbrell Thompkins will spend more than two years in prison for swiping Social Security numbers in a $300,000 COVID-19 unemployment insurance scheme, but the receiver's restitution remains up in the air until next month, court records show. Read More Jan 21, 2022 Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson inks historic partnership with the UFC International superstar Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson announced a historic partnership with the UFC on Friday. Johnson made the announcement via social media that his "Project Rock" brand has signed a historic deal with the UFC to be the official footwear brand of the fight promotion. Read More Jan 21, 2022 Former NHLer Reid Boucher erased from his OHL team's record books The Ontario Hockey League's Sarnia Sting have deleted Reid Boucher from their record books after he pleaded guilty to third-degree criminal sexual conduct against a minor. Boucher was 17 at the time of the incident where he sexually abused a 12-year-old girl in 2011 while he was a member of the U.S. National Team Development Program. The victim was part of his billet family. Read More Jan 21, 2022 Federal judge dismisses Bob Baffert lawsuit to block NYRA hearing into doping allegations A final effort by trainer Bob Baffert's legal team to stave off an impending administrative hearing that could result in his being barred from tracks operated by the New York Racing Association was denied today. The order, entered in U. S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York by Judge Carol Bagley Amon, dismissed in its entirety an amended complaint filed on Baffert's behalf against NYRA last fall, paving the way for Jan. 24 to be the commencement date of an administrative hearing on charges brought against Hall of Fame trainer by NYRA. Read More Jan 21, 2022 NFL halts daily COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated players, memo says The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to halt daily COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated players, aligning them with protocols developed last month for vaccinated players and coaches. In a memo sent Friday afternoon to teams, the league said it would add unvaccinated players to its existing symptom screening and testing surveillance programs. Anyone who reports symptoms will be tested. Read More Jan 21, 2022 Raiders' defensive back Nate Hobbs cited for driving 110 mph two weeks after a DUI charge Raiders defensive back Nate Hobbs was cited for driving 110 mph in on a Nevada highway two weeks after being charged with DUI, KLAS Las Vegas reports. Nevada State Police stopped Hobbs at 11:45 a.m. Sunday and charged him with reckless driving for excess speed in a 65-mph zone. He was not arrested, but Hobbs’ car was towed. Read More Jan 21, 2022 Hockey player Krystof Hrabik gets 30-game suspension for directing racist gesture at another AHL player The American Hockey League on Friday suspended San Jose Barracuda forward Krystof Hrabik for 30 games after he made a racist gesture towards Boko Imama of the Tucson Roadrunners in a Jan. 12 game. A source told ESPN that Hrabik, 22, imitated the movements of a monkey in a taunt that targeted Imama, who is Black. The taunt was spotted by players on the Roadrunners bench, and Hrabik was confronted on the ice by Tucson's Travis Barron while Imama was held back by a linesman during a stoppage in play. Read More

  • Ex-NBAer and current North Carolina A&T golfer J.R. Smith signs with agency for NIL opportunities

    < Back Ex-NBAer and current North Carolina A&T golfer J.R. Smith signs with agency for NIL opportunities Jan 28, 2022 In a first for a high-profile ex-professional athlete, North Carolina A&T freshman golfer J.R. Smith -- a retired 16-year NBA guard -- has signed with Excel Sports for NIL representation, agent Lance Young told ESPN. Smith, 36, is beginning his second semester for the Aggies, and his emergence as perhaps the most well-known Division I golfer has inspired significant endorsement possibilities that could earn him well into the six figures under the NCAA's new name, image and likeness legislation. There's significant NIL interest among golfing equipment and clothing manufacturers and video game companies, Young told ESPN. Source: ESPN (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR) https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/33165970/ex-nbaer-current-north-carolina-golfer-jr-smith-signs-agency-nil-opportunities Previous Next

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