In this new feature, posted every Friday afternoon, I will list my three favorite stories and/or articles from past week in sports law.
The Wake Forest football scandal has it all: a revenge-driven ex-coach turned announcer attempting to sabotage the new head coach, Louisville’s AD tone-deaf statement admitting that the team accepted and attempted to use stolen material while exclaiming that he is “disappointed that this issue has brought undue attention to our football staff”, and even the best scandal nickname of the year: Wakeyleaks.
Could Wakeyleaks lead to legal action? SI’s Michael McCann thinks that Wake Forest could have a trade secrets case against announcer Tommy Elrod and any schools that he communicated with.
Reports surfaced yesterday that the father of Wake Forest QB John Wolford is considering filing a lawsuit against announcer Tommy Elrod. Sports Lawyer and Conduct Detrimental Podcast co-host Dan Wallach noted that a potential Wolford’s lawsuit would have a difficult time proving the causation between cheating and any injury sustained by the QB.
LawInSports’ 2016 SportsLaw Recap
What was the biggest legal issue in sports in 2016? Our friends at LawInSport complied the answer to that question, plus a brief explanation, from a bunch of sports lawyers and professors. Many (if not all) of these will continue to be hot issues in 2017, so the article is definitely worth a read. The most popular responses include NCAA pay-for-play, concussions, and player discipline by pro leagues (my choice).
IndyStar’s Investigation into the Systematic Abuse of Gymnasts
In an extensive and disturbing piece, the IndyStar revealed that 368 gymnasts have alleged some form of sexual abuse by coaches, gym owners and other adults working in gymnastics. The allegations are horrific, but equally disturbing is USA Gymnastics’ failure to address the problem, instead focusing on winning gold medals.
Sports lawyer Nancy Hogshead-Makar explains the root of the problem:
“It’s just too easy for coaches to keep getting hired and hired and hired. Sexual abuse thrives on the fact that people are embarrassed about the topic, ashamed to talk about it, and they keep quiet about it. And that’s exactly why molesting coaches keep getting hired at the next place. Nobody talks about a coach that is inappropriate with athletes; the coach quietly moves away and gets hired someplace else.”
Read the full IndyStar article here.