- The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law
- About the Editor
- Introduction: American Sports Law Through Deflategate
- The Evolution of the Power of the Commissioner in Professional Sports
- Leagues and Owners: The Donald Sterling Story
- The Commissioner’s Power to Discipline Players for On- and Off-Field Misconduct
- The Regulation of Doping in U.S. and International Sports
- Drugs in Professional Sports
- Blood Sports in an Age of Liability
- Sports and American Tort Law
- The Increasing Role of Disability Issues in U.S. Sports Law
- Collective Bargaining and Workforce Protections in Sports
- Collective Bargaining in Professional Sports: The Duel Between Players and Owners and Labor Law and Antitrust Law
- The Single-Entity Doctrine of Antitrust as Applied to Sports Leagues
- Eligibility Rules in Professional Sports
- Athlete Representation
- Identity and Speech in Sports in the Social Media Era
- The “Shifting Line” of Sports Betting Legalization
- The Enduring Power of the Sports Broadcasting Act
- Youth and High School Sports Law Issues
- College Athletics: The Growing Tension Between Amateurism and Commercialism
- Title IX and U.S. College Sports: Contemporary Challenges to Compliance
- Recreational Sports Law
- Arbitration and the Olympic Athlete
- Competition Law, Free Movement of Players, and Nationality Restrictions
- Athlete Trademarks: Names, Nicknames, and Catchphrases
- Trade Secrets and Information Security in the Age of Sports Analytics
- The Role of Bioethics in Sports Law
- The Rooney Rule’s Reach: How the NFL’s Equal Opportunity Initiative for Coaches Inspired Local Government Reform
- Sports in the Context of Social Media Law
- Public Development for Professional Sports Stadiums
- Daily Fantasy Sports and PASPA: How to Assess Whether the State Regulation of Daily Fantasy Sports Contests Violates Federal Law
Abstract and Keywords
The role of the professional sports commissioner evolved from the early functionaries who were empowered to settle disputes between teams into nearly omnipotent sports czars. In the wake of the 1919 Black Sox scandal, baseball team owners gave their first commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, virtually unlimited authority to act in the “best interests.” Owners in different sports have tinkered around the edges of this broad portfolio over the years, but it is only since players unions were able to negotiate protections for their members that commissioners have been forced to accept a substantial check on their powers. Recent cases of commissioner overreach could set the stage for confrontations in future collective bargaining negotiations.
Jimmy Golen is a sports writer for the Associated Press and former Knight Journalism Fellow at Yale Law School.
Warren K. Zola is Executive Director of the Boston College Chief Executives Club in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.