Handout for Class Next Week

At the beginning of tonight’s class, I will distribute a short article entitled “Poorly Crafted Endorsement Contracts Leave Athletes Exposed.”  Please read it before class next week and be prepared to discuss it.  If you are absent, stop by my office and I will give you a copy.  The article was published in the June 4, 2007 issue of the Sports Business Journal.  It was written by J. Douglas Baldridge and Don Berthiaume.  Mr. Baldridge and Mr. Berthiaume both work for a law firm named Venable LLP.  As you know, Chapter 2 of the text pertains to sports contracts.   

Office Hours

Barring something unforeseen, I will be in my office every Tuesday during the Fall 2007 semester from 3:30PM to 5:30PM.  I am located in HPER 172.  To get there, enter through HPER 112.  However, if you stop by after 5:0oPM, the HPER 112 door will be locked.  Accordingly, just knock on the non-functioning HPER 172 door in the hallway near the study desks.  Upon hearing a knock, I will simply walk down the hall and let you in.  Sports law can be difficult (for a variety of reasons), so feel free to stop by with any questions you may have. 

Taking Notes in Class

It may be helpful to: (i) copy the lecture outline from this website; (ii) paste the lecture outline into MS Word; (iii) insert lots of blank areas after each heading in your MS Word document; (iv) print off the resulting document; and (v) bring it to class for note-taking purposes during the lecture. 

Lecture Outline – September 4, 2007

HPER K511 – Sports Law

Ryan M. Rodenberg, Esq.

Lecture Outline – September 4, 2007 



History of Sports Agents

Who are Agents?

Agency Law Principles

Regulation of Agents

Unions (see below)

Federal law

State law  

Individual Universities


Role of the Player Unions 

Agent Fees

Team sports  

Individual sports 

Other Work Besides Individual Athletes


What did Walters do? Why did this dispute arise?  What was the three count indictment?  How did Walters plead?  What was the primary issue on appeal? What is the prosecutor’s mail fraud argument?   Why does the prosecutor’s argument fail?  


Ima Starr works as a sports agent for Big Time Agency (“BTA”).  BTA is a full-service sports marketing company located in San Francisco, California.  Before starting work at BTA, Mr. Starr worked as a litigation attorney in New York City.  Mr. Starr is licensed to practice in New York, but not California.  In his capacity as a BTA employee, Mr. Starr represents a 22 year old pro golfer named Brenda Birdie.  Ms. Birdie is currently #8 in the LPGA rankings.  In addition to representing individual athletes, BTA owns and manages a number of LPGA golf tournaments.  One of the tournaments owned and managed by BTA is the upcoming Reebok New York LPGA Open presented by Visa (“Reebok Open”).  Last year, Mr. Starr negotiated a lucrative Nike endorsement agreement for Ms. Birdie.  Mr. Starr’s boss at BTA just called him and told him that he needs to convince Ms. Birdie to play in the Reebok Open for an appearance fee of no more than $25,000.  If Ms. Birdie doesn’t play, Mr. Starr’s boss said there could be “repercussions.”  When Mr. Starr told Ms. Birdie about the Reebok Open, she said she wasn’t interested, citing her deal with Nike.  She said it would take at least $100,000 to get her to play in the Reebok Open.  How does Mr. Starr reconcile the instructions from his boss and the fiduciary duty owed to Ms. Birdie?  Does Mr. Starr have any potential problems coming up under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct? The small groups are below.  The first person listed in each group is the spokesperson for the group.  If the first person listed in the group is absent, the second person listed in each group is the spokesperson for the group.

Group #1

Anderson, Andrew Bret
Arth, Christopher Robert
Breiner, Katherine Elizabeth
Cha, Eun Suk
Chung, Jinwook
Collins, Ian Richard

Group #2

Crawford, Derek Allan
Crowell, Kimberly Ann
Greenspan, Benjamin M
Horita, Tasuku
List IV, Walter Gordon
muehling, michael james
Neal, Rande Sharrell

Group #3

Portillo, Roberto
Puls, Michelle Kristen
Qadri II, Motaqid Haider
Rynne, Kevin William
Sampson, Kellen Matthew
Sargent, Joseph Michael
Schuster, Daniel Thomas

Group #4

Shea, Kathryn Elizabeth
Shore, Sarah Elizabeth
Snyder, David W L
Stechschulte, Abbie Renee
Swander, Kevin Andrew
Vallario, Lionel Anthony


This quiz counts for 3% of your final grade.  This quiz is being announced ahead of time.  Future quizzes will be unannounced.

Sample Cases for Case Brief Assignment

I spoke with a few students after class yesterday about the case brief assignment.  For the avoidance of any doubt, the case you select must be a published decision.  A lawsuit that settled out of court or was adjudicated without a published decision would not qualify for the assignment.  As I mentioned yesterday, it would be best if you select a case that pertains to a sport or subject matter of interest to you.  If you can’t think of anything, I can help.  Note – the fourteen cases set forth in the textbook are not eligible for selection as a part of this assignment.  Over the course of the next few days, I will list a number of cases that would be possible choices.  The parenthetical following each case citation is my summary of the case.  Remember, I need to approve your case selection on or before October 16, 2007.  First come, first served.  After a case is reserved by a classmate, it will not be available to others.  After you have reserved your case and are armed with the case name and its accompanying citations, there are two options for obtaining copies of the case you reserve.  The first option is to walk to the IU Law School Library and have a reference librarian point you towards the case in the stacks.  You can then photocopy the case.  The second option is to go to www.findlaw.com and register (it is free).  After you register, you can type in the case name and/or citation and an electronic copy will be provided that you can print off.  I will need a copy of the case too, so please give me a copy no later than October 16, 2007.

Here are some sample cases that you may find interesting:   

Ross v. Creighton University, 957 F.2d 410 (7th Cir. 1992) (educational negligence claim brought by former basketball player)

Rodgers v. Georgia Tech, 303 S.E.2d 467 (Ga. Ct. App. 1983) (breach of contract claim brought by former football coach)

NCAA v. Tarkanian, 488 U.S. 179 (1988) (claim by former basketball coach and decision whether the NCAA is a “state actor” under the U.S. Constitution)

TSSAA v. Brentwood Academy, 551 U.S. ____ (2007) (recent U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding due process issues between a state high school athletics association and a subject school)

Bloom v. NCAA, 93 P.3d 621 (Colo. App. 2004) (claim by skier and Univ. of Colorado football player regarding eligibility)

Williams v. School Dist. of Bethlehem, 998 F.2d 168 (3d Cir. 1993) (plaintiff boy sued for right to play on high school girls field hockey team)

Cohen v. Brown University, 101 F.3d 155 (1st Cir. 1996) (class action discrimination lawsuit against college athletic department)

Pederson v. LSU, 213 F.3d 858 (5th Cir. 2000) (discrimination lawsuit against college athletic department)

Kelley v. Univ. of Illinois, 35 F.3d 265 (7th Cir. 1994) (members of the men’s swimming team sued after the university decided to drop the program)

Stanley v. USC, 178 F.3d 1069 (9th Cir. 1999) (former women’s basketball coach sued on the basis of discrimination and breach of contract)

Speakers of Sport v. ProServ, 178 F.3d 862 (7th Cir. 1999) (agent sues competitor after losing top baseball client)

Brown v. Woolf, 554 F.Supp. 1206 (S.D. Ind. 1983) (hockey player sues agent citing breach of fiduciary duty)

Hackbart v. Cincinnati Bengals, 601 F.2d 516 (10th Cir. 1979) (issue whether tort liability arises if injury is sustained during the course of a football game)

Westbororough Country Club v. Palmer, 204 F.2d 143 (8th Cir. 1953) (issue whether golf club has liability for injuries incurred off the course)

Marrone v. Washington Jockey Club, 227 U.S. 633 (1913) (plaintiff sued race track after being denied entry to the event)

Jones v. Childers, 18 F.3d 899 (8th Cir. 1994) (pertaining to the fiduciary duty between a sports agent and a client)

Bias v. Advantage International, 905 F.2d 1558 (D.C. Cir. 1990) (estate of deceased Univ. of Maryland basketball star sued agent)

New England Patriots v. Univ. of Colorado, 592 F.2d 1196 (1st Cir. 1979) (pro team sued college for intentional interference with contractual relations in case involving football coach Chuck Fairbanks)

Ali v. Playgirl, 447 F. Supp. 723 (SDNY 1978) (boxing champ sues magazine over depiction in issue)

Tiger Woods v. Jireh Publishing, 332 F.3d 915 (6th Cir. 2001) (golfer sues artist over painting)

Abdul-Jabbar v. General Motors, 85 F.3d 407 (9th Cir. 1995) (former basketball star sues auto manufacturer over TV commercial)

NBA v. Motorola, 105 F.3d 841 (2d Cir. 1997) (league sues pager service over transmittal of real-time game scores)

Knapp v. Northwestern Univ., 101 F.3d 473 (7th Cir. 1996) (player with known heart ailment sues for right to play on college basketball team)

Sandison v. Michigan High School Athletic Assoc., 64 F.3d 1026 (6th Cir. 1995) (nineteen year old students sue for right to play high school sports)

Bowers v. NCAA, 9 F.Supp.2d 460 (D.N.J. 1998) (“nonqualifier” sues NCAA for right to play sports as a college freshman)

Reynolds v. IAAF, 23 F.3d 1110 (6th Cir. 1994) (400 meter star sues following positive drug test)

Lindland v. U.S. Wrestling Assoc., 227 F.3d 1000 (7th Cir. 2000) (Olympic wrestling hopeful sues after being denied a spot on the team for the 2000 Olympic Games)

Walters and Bloom v. Fullwood, 675 F.Supp. 155 (SDNY 1987) (another agent-related dispute involving Walters and Bloom determining whether player-agent contract was legal/enforceable)

Zinn v. Parrish, 644 F.2d 360 (7th Cir. 1981) (agent-related dispute about whether sports agent acted as an “investment advisor” in the course of providing services)

Black v. NFLPA, 87 F.Supp. 2d (D.D.C. 2000) (agent challenged union’s arbitration proceedings)

Forbes v. Eagleson, 228 F.3d 471 (3d Cir. 2000) (former NHL players sue NHLPA chief)

Michael Vick Analysis Part II

As everyone knows, Michael Vick entered a guilty plea in federal court on August 27, 2007.  Professor Mike McCann has an excellent follow-up piece on what’s next for the suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback.  You can access the article via the Sports Law Blog link to the right.

The Socratic Method

There are a small number of cases in the Sports Law textbook.  When we discuss such cases, I will employ a teaching tool called the Socratic Method.  A great summary of the Socratic Method can be found at http://www.law.uchicago.edu/socrates/method.html.  Please read the summary and accompanying links before class on September 4, 2007.  The Socratic Method is widely used in American law schools and is well-suited to the “case method” employed by the vast majority of law schools.  HPER K511 will be much different, as class time will largely be devoted to lecture and class discussion.  My aim in adopting the Socratic Method on a limited basis will be to foster collaboration and active learning (as opposed to passive learning).  By doing so, you will learn from me, I will learn from you, and we will all learn from each other.  With that said, there is one weakness in the Socratic Method.  Namely, it will fail to lend itself to its collaborative educational goals if students (or the instuctor) are unprepared.  As such, it is imperative that everyone reads (and understands) the small number of cases in the text.    

K511 Lecture Outline – August 28, 2007

1. Introduction

2. Attendance

3. Syllabus Review

4. How to Read a Legal Opinion

5. How to Brief a Case

6. “Sports” Law Overview

7. Lecture Preview: Ch. 1 – Sports Agents

a. Principal-agent relationship

b. Qualifications to be a sports agent

c. History of the sports agency business

d. Regulation of sports agents

e. How do agents earn a living?

f. Case Study – U.S. v. Walters