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:[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Be sure to check out The White Bronco’s calendar to keep track of all of the key upcoming sports law dates.[/pullquote]
Could MLB Penalize Cardinals in Hacking Case Soon?
Last week a federal judge unsealed key documents in ex-Cardinal executive Chris Correa’s criminal case. The documents expose previously unknown information detailing the extent of Correa’s hacking. According to the documents, Correa accessed the Astros’ scouting database 48 times and the email account of Astros’ director of decision science Sig Mejdal numerous times.
The documents allege that Correa grew jealous of Mejdal after Sports Illustrated applauded the Astros’ front office, calling them the “2017 World Series champs,” ultimately leading Correa to anonymously release the information to Deadspin, who in turn released an in depth article detailing 10 months of Astros’ trade discussions.
Correa is currently serving a 46-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to five counts of unauthorized access to a protected computer in January.
According to the Houston Chronicle (which posts PDFs of the released docs), now that more details are in the public domain, the MLB could impose sanctions against the Cardinals as soon as this week. It is anyone’s guess on how hard the MLB will come down on the Cardinals, who by all accounts were unaware of Correa’s hack.
Impact of Trump’s Immigration Executive Order on U.S. Sports
While protests and lawsuits against President Trump’s executive order — which blocks immigration from seven countries — rage on, the issue is spilling over into the sports world.
As always, Sports Illustrated’s Michael McCann wrote an illuminating article on the topic. McCann concluded that while no player is subject to immediate deportation, some players, such as the Bucks’ Thon Maker and the Lakers’ Luol Deng, may not be able to re-enter the U.S. if they travel to another country. Thus, if either player visits Toronto when their team plays the Raptors, they may be denied access back into the U.S. National Basketball Players Association head Michele Roberts confirmed that the PA is aware of the issue:
— Michele Roberts (@MRobertsNBPA) January 29, 2017
Neither Maker nor Deng are scheduled to play in Toronto during the remainder of the regular season, although it is possible that the Bucks could play the Raptors in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Tom Benson Trial Approaches, Still No Settlement
As we noted in the 2017 SportsLaw Preview, the civil trial over whom in Tom Benson’s family will take over non-voting shares of the New Orleans Pelicans and New Orleans Saints, continues to proceed towards its February 6th trial date, despite both sides publicly declaring that a settlement was close in November. Both sides have recently filed hundreds of pages of pretrial documents (which demonstrates that they are gearing up for trial) and a number of additional documents are due today. In addition, both sides must file final witness lists by Wednesday.
If the case goes to trial (it could settle at any time), it is scheduled to last five days.