Each week The White Bronco’s “This Week in Sports Law” previews the week to come in the sports legal world. Here is a look at what is going on this week:
Be sure to check out The White Bronco’s calendar to keep track of all of the key upcoming sports law dates.
NFL Concussion Settlement Finalized
Usually this post previews what will happen in a given week, but news broke so early on Monday morning that I didn’t have a chance to finish writing before this broke:
BREAKING: U.S. Supreme Court will not review the NFL concussion settlement. Order entered denying certiorari review. Settlement now final.
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) December 12, 2016
If you follow the WB’s calendar, you know that SCOTUS’s decision was expected today. Because SCOTUS accepts less than 1% of petitions, and with no disagreement between federal appellate courts over a legal issue in this case, the result was also expected.
While many following the case believe that the NFL got off cheap — the settlement is uncapped and expected to top $1B — the good news is that retired players currently suffering from debilitating diseases stemming from their football days will soon get checks from the NFL. This is the end of the line for retired players objecting to the settlement who did not already opt of the class. A small percentage of retired players opted out of the class and will be able to pursue individual lawsuits against the NFL.
NBA Collective Bargaining Opt-out Deadline
After months of optimism that a new deal will get done, Thursday is the deadline for the either side of the NBA collective bargaining agreement to opt out of the existing (2011) agreement. Reports suggested that the parties hoped to have the deal done shortly after Thanksgiving, but negotiations hit a “snag” last weekend:
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 10, 2016
And that “snag” is very #sportslaw:
ESPN sources say control over licensing and player likenesses has emerged as a significant issue in the latter stages of NBA labor talks.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) December 11, 2016
But appears not to be an insurmountable hurdle:
Source tells me that while there’s a legit snag between league & union in CBA talks, it’s “nothing that should stop deal from getting done."
— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) December 11, 2016
If no deal is in place and either or both sides out opt out (as they are expected to do), the existing CBA will expire in June. This means that Thursday’s deadline is somewhat inconsequential if the parties can agree to a new deal before June. The parties could also agree to push back the opt-out date in order to have more time to finish up the last details and sticking points of the new CBA.
NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL & NCAA to Respond to New Jersey’s Supreme Court Petition in Sports Betting Case
On Wednesday, the “Leagues’” response to New Jersey’s request for the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the appeal of the Third Circuit’s opinion is due. There has been a considerable amount of support for SCOTUS to take the case, including amici briefs from five states, the American Gaming Association, and sports law expert and Florida State professor Ryan Rodenberg. However, the odds of SCOTUS actually taking the case as slim. That decision will likely be made on January 16th.
New SportsLaw Documents:
Matt Barnes and Demarcus Cousins sued over role in nightclub fight. I wrote more about that one here.