Category Archives: See You In Court

Lawyer up, sluggo.

If Tennessee thought Jeremy Pruitt was the type to go quietly in the night and forgo a $12 million buyout, well…

You may remember something Lyons said after he got Jeff Long to capitulate.

Shots have already been fired in Knoxville.

Tennessee’s firing of football coach Jeremy Pruitt appeared to be an “orchestrated effort” focused on “financial convenience and expediency” over fairness, Pruitt’s lawyer, Michael Lyons, said in a statement to Knox News on Monday night.

Pruitt hired Lyons and the firm Lyons & Simmons after he was fired for cause by Tennessee earlier Monday following an internal investigation.

“He is extremely disappointed with the decision, the public announcement of which was made prior to any substantive opportunity to respond before the appropriate decision makers,” Lyons said in a statement made on Pruitt’s behalf. “We believe the decision to be the culmination of an orchestrated effort to renege on contractual promises made to Coach Pruitt upon his hiring in 2017 and reiterated less than five months ago.”

Nice touch, reminding everyone what a dumbass Phil Fulmer was for agreeing to that extension.

“The timing of the University’s actions and decision appear to be preordained and more about financial convenience and expediency than a fair and complete factual determination by the University,” Lyons said. “Moreover, it seems clear the recent leaks to the press are indicative of an interest to steer the narrative in a way that is desirable to the University to justify a decision likely made weeks ago.”

Well, duh.

Look, once the wheels were set in motion, this was only going to end in one way — the side who knows where most of the bodies are buried will win.  And that’s not as clear cut for Jeremy Pruitt as it was for David Beaty, at least if the allegations the UT brass made yesterday about serious NCAA violations are true.

Grab the popcorn bag and wait to see who blinks first.

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Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, See You In Court

“… accepts legal and moral responsibility for the mistakes that our training staff made…”

I don’t know if you heard the news, but Maryland finally settled with the McNair family over the death of their son.

By “finally”, I mean two and a half years later.  Or almost that long since the school’s president acknowledged fault.

And while I understand the ass covering and due diligence that accompanies such a high-profile settlement takes time, I can’t help but shake my head over the comparative dollar signs involved.  McNair’s family received $3.5 million.  His head coach?

Durkin’s contract with the university runs through the end of 2021. Maryland owed Durkin 65 percent of his remaining contract, with half of the buyout paid within 60 days of his firing. According to the Baltimore Sun’s public salary database, the university paid Durkin $4,793,000 in 2018, which also includes earnings that year before his firing, and $860,000 in 2019. After a brief hiatus from on-field coaching, Durkin is the co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Mississippi.

Thank goodness lives weren’t ruined because of this tragedy.  At least lives other than McNair’s.

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Filed under ACC Football, It's Just Bidness, See You In Court

They’ll do it every time.

You wanna know the difference between not giving a fuck and having no more fucks to give?

Shot.

NCAA President Mark Emmert on Saturday said in a letter to the Justice Department’s antitrust division leader that he has “strongly recommended” to association governing groups that they delay votes scheduled for this week on proposed changes to rules regarding athletes’ ability to transfer and to make money from the use of their names, images and likenesses.

Emmert said in the letter the association believes its rules are “fully compliant” with antitrust law…

Chaser.

On Saturday evening, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim offered a sharply worded reply in which he not only appeared to take issue with Emmert’s assessment of the association’s antitrust compliance, but also raised the issue of how that situation impacts athletes of color and from challenging socio-economic circumstances. He seemed to criticize the NCAA not for delaying a vote on the current transfer and name, image and likeness rules proposals, but for not developing proposals that would allow the NCAA to comply with antitrust law.

“As I indicated in my correspondence to Dr. Emmert, the NCAA, as a collective rule-making body is not immune from the antitrust laws,” Delrahim said in an email to USA TODAY Sports. “Its rules must be the least restrictive possible so as not to illegally harm competition.

“The Division welcomes further discussion of these matters with the NCAA, however, it is troubling that the NCAA continues its process delays to avoid addressing antitrust concerns to the detriment of college athletes, many of whom come from African-American and other diverse communities or come from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.”

You know how this will end, right?  The NCAA will lose and its response will be to fret about how the new normal will hurt college athletes.

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Dear Mr. Emmert

If you think you had a bad day yesterday, just think what it must have been like around NCAA headquarters.

The Justice Department’s antitrust division leader sent a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert on Friday that expresses strong concerns about the association’s direction on rules regarding athletes’ ability to transfer and to make money from the use of their names, images and likenesses.

Proposed changes in both areas are scheduled to be on the agenda of Monday’s meeting of the Division I Council and Thursday’s meeting of the Division I Board of Directors.

But in the letter — a copy of which was obtained by USA TODAY Sports — Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim says one part of the NCAA’s prospective approach to regulating athletes’ involvement in name, image and likeness deals “may raise concerns under the antitrust laws.”

If you’re running a cartel, those are seven simple words you never want to hear.  And this isn’t going to make things any cheerier:

More generally addressing other rules that will remain in place, he wrote: “Ultimately, the antitrust laws demand that college athletes, like everyone else in our free market economy, benefit appropriately from competition.”

Basically, all three branches of the federal government, plus a number of states, are telling the NCAA and schools to get off their collective asses and do the right thing.  Here’s guessing they won’t until it’s too late.

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

“LSU has appealed Clark’s ruling.”

The rug, she is getting harder to sweep under.

After a nearly five-month battle, an East Baton Rouge Parish District Court judge fined Louisiana State University and ordered the school to give USA TODAY an unredacted copy of a 2016 police report that names former star running back Derrius Guice.

LSU “was unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious in its refusal and delay and the redacted manner in which the documents were produced,” Judge Janice Clark wrote in her Dec. 29 ruling.

Clark further ordered LSU to pay $10,000 for USA TODAY’s attorney fees and an additional $6,200 in civil penalties — $100 for each of the 62 business days between the request date and the trial date, Nov. 23.

Assuming this gets to the messy ending most anticipate, does anyone expect Mark Emmert to step in and hammer the school?  I don’t, but after Penn State, he deserves whatever screaming will come his way about it.

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Filed under Coach O Needs Another Red Bull, See You In Court

Law of the land

No joke — this is an effing big deal.

The Supreme Court announced Wednesday it will hear an appeal from the NCAA and 11 of its top-level conferences in a case that challenges the association’s restrictions on the compensation athletes can receive for playing college sports.

The justices’ decision to take the case adds a momentous element of uncertainty to an enterprise that has been shaken by state and Congressional legislative efforts concerning not only athletes’ ability to make money from their name, image and likeness, but also the fairness of their overall treatment by the schools for which they help generate billions of dollars annually.

“I think it would be hard to overstate the potential significance of it for a number of reasons, primarily because it is so rare for the Supreme Court to hear any cases involving the sports industry, much less college sports,” Gabe Feldman, director of the Tulane Sports Law Program and Tulane University’s associate provost for NCAA compliance, said in an interview earlier this week. “And then, in this case, particularly to hear a challenge to the NCAA amateurism rules.”

I have no idea how this will go, but the consequences are significant, to say the least.  It’s certainly got “be careful what you wish for” potential for the NCAA, but maybe Emmert’s at the point where a judicial Hail Mary is seen as his best option.  Stay tuned.

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

Hooked

You may remember this.

Evidently, Bevo left his mark on more than Uga.

A former Austin American-Statesman photographer has filed a lawsuit against the owners and handlers of Bevo XV for negligence that caused “permanent injury” when the longhorn steer surged from his holding pen at the 2019 Sugar Bowl.

According to a petition filed in Travis Country district court on Friday, Nick Wagner was acting in his role as a Statesman photographer on Jan. 1, 2019. He was taking pictures of Uga X, Georgia’s bulldog mascot, prior to the Texas-Georgia game at the New Orleans Superdome.

Uga’s handlers brought their English bulldog over towards Bevo for a photo op, and the steer pushed forward, forcing onlookers to scramble for safety. The entire sequence was captured by Longhorn Network cameras, and short video clips went viral.

Wagner “was on one knee in front of the portable railing which Bevo was behind,” according to the petition. “Bevo XV rammed his longhorns twice into Plaintiff’s back causing permanent injury to Plaintiff’s neck and back.”

No word yet on whether the dog is being added as third-party defendant on a claim of severe emotional distress.

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Filed under Georgia Football, See You In Court, Texas Is Just Better Than You Are.

Today, in they know what they are, they’re just haggling over the fee.

They’re still in the process of interpreting what Alston means financially to college athletes.

Anyone want to bet which way this goes?  Or after it does, which school goes off to the races first?  (After the inevitable lip service about how this is going to ruin schools financially, of course.)

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Filed under See You In Court, The NCAA

“Anybody can sue anybody for anything.”

Case in point:

Adam Sasser, a former Georgia baseball player who was kicked off the team for using racial epithets at a Georgia football game in 2018, has filed a federal lawsuit against UGA, the state board of regents and several other parties.

Identified only as “John Doe” in court documents, Sasser alleges violations of his constitutional rights for free speech under the first and 14th amendments as well as breach of contract. He seeks undisclosed “compensatory and punitive damages” for loss of income and employment opportunities as a result of UGA’s actions.

I wonder if they’ll make Justin Fields testify.

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Filed under Georgia Football, See You In Court

Ohio’s Attorney General strenuously objects.

If you need any more proof that 2020 has run completely off the rails, look no further than this.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost is ready to recommend that Ohio State University officials file a lawsuit seeking monetary damages from the Big Ten and member schools that voted against playing football this autumn.

A team of state lawyers studying Ohio State’s contracts with the Big Ten believe an “excellent contract claim for several tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue” can be demanded in a lawsuit, Yost told The Dispatch…

“I think we have a cause of action” for violating contracts between the Big Ten and Ohio State and for illegal interference in a business relationship, Yost said.

“If these negotiations (over playing football) fall apart, we will be recommending legal action to our client, Ohio State University,” he said, adding his office believes the Big Ten lacked legal authority to cancel or delay the football season.

Yost, in case you were wondering, is an Ohio State grad.  Although I’m not sure his alma mater welcomes his help.

Comment was being sought Wednesday evening from Ohio State University administration officials. Asked for his comment on Yost’s statements, OSU Athletic Director Gene Smith provided a one-word response: “Nothing.”

In case you’re also wondering if there’s anything else the conference has done for which Yost believes it’s overstepped its authority, well…

A Big Ten decision to begin playing football later would cancel talk of a lawsuit, Yost said, although he expressed doubts about the conference’s legal ability to cancel non-conference games.

This year is nuts.

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Filed under Big Ten Football, See You In Court