Stalking in Sports

Stalking is a crime that is sometimes seen in the sports context, most notably in connection with high-profile female athletes.  We will discuss stalking briefly in class.  Below are two articles about stalking cases involving tennis stars Martina Hingis and Anna Kournikova, respectively.

Gambling Debate

In my lecture on sports crimes, I will spend a considerable amount of time on gambling.  I will read you an excerpt from Harvard Law School professor Paul Weiler’s book Leveling the Playing Field: How the Law Can Make Sports Better For Fans.  The title of Professor Weiler’s chapter about gambling is “The Deadliest Sin in Sports.”  Given the chapter title, you can probably tell where Professor Weiler stands on the issue.  In contrast, read the short article at the link below by University of Toledo College of Law professor Geoffrey Rapp.  Professor Rapp sees the issue differently.  We will discuss both perspectives in class.

Mid-term Exam

As we get closer to the mid-term exam (worth 20% of your final grade), I wanted to set forth the class schedule for the next three weeks.

Sept. 25 – We will start and (likely) finish Chapter 4 – Sports Crimes.

Oct. 2 – If needed, we will wrap up Chapter 4 – Sports Crimes.  I will then provide a review lecture covering the four major parts of the sports law course studied so far – (1) sports agents; (2) sports contracts; (3) sports torts; and (4) sports crimes.  I will also be available during class to answer any exam-related questions.

Oct. 9 – Mid-term exam.  The exam will probably include a few true or false questions, a small number of short answer or fill-in-the-blank questions, and a handful of essay questions.  You will have the full 2.5 hours to complete the exam.  As such, you will have plenty of time to provide complete, well-reasoned answers to the essay questions. 

Agassi vs. Target

While discussing sports torts, we went over commercial misappropriation.  Here is the latest example (see link below) from the world of sports.  Retired tennis star Andre Agassi has sued Target over the alleged misuse of his name and likeness on some sandals.  When you read the short article, you will also recognize some of the terminology in Agassi’s claim for damages.

Office Hours

Thank you for your feedback regarding office hours.  With everyone’s work/school schedules, there is no time that will work for everyone.  However, I hope the following time works for a few more students.  Barring something unforeseen, I will keep this time for the remainder of the semester.

Mondays – 2:30PM to 4:30PM

Other times by appointment (just email me).

Sports Crimes – Lecture Outline

I. Introduction

A. Review sports torts

B. Distinguish between crimes (in general) and sport-specific crimes

II. General Criminal Law Principles

A. Burden of proof

B. Defenses to crimes

C. Criminal intent (mens rea)

D. Felony vs. Misdemeanor

III. Categories of Crimes

A. Crimes against the person

B. Crimes against property

C. Crimes affecting the public health and welfare

1. Ticket scalping

2. Gambling


b. State

c. Federal

3. Point Shaving

4. Fantasy Sports (?)

5. Sports Agent Crimes

6. Dog Fighting

D. Crimes against the government

Sports Gambling

Chapter 4 pertains to sports-related crimes.  One crime we will spend a considerable amount of time on is gambling.  Unless specifically allowed, gambling is a crime on both the state and federal level.  In addition, gambling is prohibited under NCAA rules.  Print off and read the following links before class on September 25, 2007.

In addition, go to and read U.S. Code, Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 50, Section 1084.

Sports Torts – Lecture Outline

I. Introduction

A. Review sports contracts

B. Distinguish between torts and crimes

C. Frivolous Lawsuits

II. Tort Theories

A. Negligence

1. Reasonable person standard

2. Plaintiff must prove four elements

3. Contributory negligence vs. comparative negligence

4. Gross negligence and recklessness – Schick v. Ferolito

5. Special Topics in Negligence

a. Insurance

b. Waivers

c. Statutes of Limitations

6. Benejam v. Detroit Tigers

B. Intentional Torts

1. Examples

2. Assault

3. Battery

4. Intentional infliction of emotional distress

5. Intentional interference with contractual relations

6. Commercial misappropriation

C. Product Liability

D. Strict Liability