The sports agent performs a critical function as an intermediary between management and athletes by handling contract negotiations, endorsements, financial planning, and other associated activities. This chapter provides a history of athlete representation beginning in the 1920s with the efforts of Christy Walsh and Charles C. Pyle through the increased role of players associations during the final third of last century. In the 1980s, professional associations and state legislatures launched efforts to regulate agent behavior as a reaction to evidence of abuse. In the 2000s, these problems prompted the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to introduce the Uniform Athlete Agents Act, a legislative initiative ultimately adopted by over 80% of states, and the U.S. Congress passed the Sports Agent Responsibility Trust Act. Both initiatives addressed the tension between the NCAA’s amateurism standards and efforts by agents to attract clients before the completion of their eligibility.
This chapter examines how civil liability assessments and criminal convictions have affected the legality of blood sports. Blood sports can be divided into three categories: human versus human contests, human versus animal sports, and animal versus animal fighting. For over a century, blood sports have been under both social and legal attack, resulting in significant changes in most of the historic forms of combat worldwide. The chapter begins with an overview of the most popular violent sports today, including contact sports such as American football and ice hockey. It then considers criminal prosecutions and civil lawsuits that arise from contact sports, including the “concussion suits” filed on behalf of athletes who suffered head injuries. It also discusses the doctrine of assumption of risk in sports and concludes with an analysis of how legislative intervention can obviate private tort liability for latent, chronic injuries to the brain of players.
Nicholas M. Ohanesian
This chapter addresses collective bargaining and workforce protections available in professional sports. Broadly speaking, collective bargaining in the United States is a workplace arrangement where employees opt to negotiate as a group with their employer through a labor union. The two parties typically negotiate an agreement, commonly called a collective bargaining agreement, that codifies for the length of the contract the rights and responsibilities of each side. Conversely, the term “workforce protections” injects the government into the employer-employee relationship. Federal and state authorities pass laws that regulate the relationship between employers and employees in the workplace. As this chapter explains, these dynamics play out in both traditional and unique ways in U.S. professional sports.
Collective Bargaining in Professional Sports: The Duel Between Players and Owners and Labor Law and Antitrust Law
This chapter examines the complex collective bargaining process in professional sports leagues. The labor negotiations between players and owners present unique conflicts between labor and antitrust law. The resolution of these conflicts will have a significant impact on the future of collective bargaining between players and owners. This chapter provides a brief overview of the relevant principles of labor law, briefly traces the history of collective bargaining in professional sports, identifies and analyzes the conflict between labor and antitrust law, examines the recent conflicts in the NBA and NFL labor negotiations, and looks forward to future negotiations between players and owners.
Richard T. Karcher
This article examines the power of professional sports league commissioners to discipline and suspend players for misconduct both on and off the field. It first provides a historical background on disciplinary measures for players in different professional sports leagues, including the National Football League, over the past century. It then considers the source of the commissioner’s power and authority to discipline professional athletes for misconduct as well as the rationale behind it, focusing on the adoption of personal conduct policies at the league level. It also discusses the commissioner’s authority and power to act in the “best interests” of the sport. Finally, it analyzes the limitations on the commissioner’s power and authority, including the collective bargaining agreements and some arbitration and court rulings that involved suspensions of players by league commissioners.
This chapter examines restrictions that professional sports leagues and governing bodies place on the freedom of movement of professional players—both negotiated and imposed—and how these restrictions fit within the antitrust/competition and labor law regimes. This chapter engages in a comparison of the North American and European “models” of restrictions and finds that the North American “model” is more likely to withstand antitrust/competition law scrutiny. The North American model falls under the protections offered to collectively bargained agreements, while the European model currently faces scrutiny for potential violations of European competition law. Nevertheless, this chapter suggests that these two models are likely to converge as the internationalization of sport continues. European governing bodies may be pushed to negotiate with players more in the future, while North American leagues are already adopting “European” practices in regard to facilitating player movement among other professional leagues.
Zoe Adams and Simon Deakin
Rent-sharing between employees and shareholders is a necessity if the societal value of the firm is to be maximized. This is reflected in laws across the world which, in different ways, underpin job security and worker voice. Where employees have no role in firm-level governance and are weakly protected by regulation, contractual arrangements intended to align investor and worker interests often fail. A growing body of empirical evidence, drawing in part on leximetric data, points to the beneficial economic effects of employment protection and codetermination laws for innovation and productivity. These laws also promote equality, in contrast to laws mandating additional protections for shareholders to those provided by basic corporate law, which are distributionally regressive as well as being of questionable value for efficiency.
Daily Fantasy Sports and PASPA: How to Assess Whether the State Regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports Contests Violates Federal Law
Daniel L. Wallach
Recent state legislation regulating fantasy sports contests may present a different type of threat to the nascent fantasy sports industry—the possibility that the U.S. Attorney General (or others) could invoke PASPA to enjoin the state law. This is the same law that prohibits states from legalizing traditional, single-game sports betting. Although PASPA has not yet surfaced as an obstacle to state legalization of DFS, it may emerge as an important issue as additional state legislative measures are introduced, particularly with a new U.S. Attorney General potentially taking a harder look at Internet gambling generally. Further, as more and more states begin passing laws legalizing daily fantasy sports contests, many have begun to question why some forms of sports gambling are allowed but not others. This chapter examines how PASPA could apply to state-sanctioned fantasy sports and provides an analytical framework for assessing the viability of such legislation under PASPA.
This chapter discusses the effects of recreational drugs, specifically marijuana, and performance-enhancing drugs in professional sports. To that end, this chapter highlights how these types of drugs have impacted society, athletes, team owners, and sport leagues. In addition, it provides a robust discussion about the historical, political, and legal impact of drug usage in sports and how these issues influence player rights, obligations, and duties. Finally, this chapter provides insight into the possible future authorization of marijuana based on its medicinal benefits and how the legalization of marijuana would be poised to reshape the legal relationship between players, teams and leagues.
Glenn M. Wong and Christopher R. Deubert
This chapter examines the rules governing when individuals are eligible to play in professional sports leagues and organizations. The different nature of the sports leads to important differences in the eligibility rules, including their legal status. Additionally, as the governing body of collegiate sports, the NCAA plays an important role in the practical consequences of the leagues’ eligibility rules. The leagues have a variety of justifications for their eligibility rules. While these justifications are often valid, they seem to rely on minimal, if any, data. As a result, there are constant concerns about whether the eligibility rules are sufficiently reasonable and fair considering the limited window in which many athletes have a chance to play professionally.