Tomas Kesete (@TomasKesete) asks: [With regards to the Florida State University Settlement with Jameis Winston accuser Erica Kinsman] 700K to the lawyers Damn.. How?
Tomas is referring to the settlement agreement’s language that Kinsman will only be receiving $250K while her lawyers will get $700K. To start all of the confusion, FSU – in an apparent effort to convince everyone that lawyers are evil – the school announced, “Under terms of the settlement, Kinsman is expected to receive $250,000 while her attorneys will get more than twice that amount — $700,000.”
However, after some immediate shock and awe in the twittersphere and a harshly worded response from Kinsman’s attorney, a review of the actual settlement agreement revealed FSU’s statement to be misleading. Here is the actual language from the agreement:
So, oddly enough the agreement includes the 250/700 breakdown but then goes on to say that it “does not necessarily reflect the actual allocation.” What gives? While we don’t know exactly what went into the negotiation, my best guess is that FSU fought to include this language (for the PR benefits) and Kinsman and her attorneys, instead of blowing up the entire settlement, decided to live with the language.
Andrew Acuna (@AcunaAndrew) asks: Doesn’t NFLPA currently have a grievance out against the NFL for failing to collectively bargain the new policy?
Yes, the NFLPA filed a grievance against the NFL in January 2015 after the NFL, without bargaining with the NFLPA, unilaterally announced a personal conduct policy. This came at a time when the NFL was taking a huge PR hit for several ugly domestic violence incident. However, failing to negotiate such a policy with the players association clearly leaves the door open for a legal challenge to the validity of the policy.
It is worth noting that none of the recent NFL domestic violence incidents (Hardy, Rice, etc.) came under this new policy (even though Goodell tried and failed to retroactively apply it). Expect this to be argument number one after the next player is suspended for domestic violence.
In a related question, Lynn Hornyak (@lbhornyak) asks: Why wouldn’t the NFL handle DV in the same fashion as MLB? Just makes sense to include the players.
I could not have said it any better myself. As noted above, the unilateral actions by the NFL leaves the policy open to legitimate legal challenges. The NFL’s course of action is extremely unfortunate for everyone involved, especially the victims. For a myriad of reasons, DV is a particularly difficult crime to prosecute. Therefore, the athletes committing these heinous crimes are not being punished by the U.S. legal system a great deal of the time (see just about every athlete ever). And now due to the NFL’s deficiencies, players are not being suspended (or are having their suspensions reduced).
A future challenge to the non-collectively bargained domestic violence policy could result a suspension being completely vacated. This obviously destroys any deterrent effect that such a penalty seeks to achieve. And frankly, while the PA is taking the unpopular and difficult stance of defending the criminal, you cannot blame them– they are just doing their job and defending their clients from improperly bargained policies.
William Smith (@wcsmith40) asks: I wonder if [the NYC Marathon lottery lawsuit] is similar to the Feds shutting down the Ironman lottery?
Yes and no. The Ironman Kona lottery, which for $50 an athlete could throw their hat in the ring to have the opportunity to pay for a position in the Ironman World Championships, was abruptly ended last year when and Ironman agreed to forfeit $2.76M in lottery entries after the U.S. Attorneys office in Florida filed suit against the company.
It is quite possible that the Ironman case was the impetus for the filing of the NYC Marathon lawsuit but there are several key differences. To begin with, Ironman was alleged to have violated federal laws prohibiting illegal lotteries while the NYC Marathon is accused of violating the New York state laws. Second, the NYC Marathon lottery entry fee is only $11 (compared to the $50 Ironman fee). The Marathon alleges that the entry fee is a “processing fee” and (presumably) that it doesn’t profit from lottery. In order to run an illegal lottery there must be “consideration” (i.e. the company makes money). Because the Ironman lottery was clearly making money off of its lottery, there was no question of consideration as will be the case in the newly filed NYC Marathon case.
For a complete review of both cases check out this article.