May 22nd, 2013 at 9:48 AM
By Matthew Heimlich
OSHA is a federal agency that regulates workplace safety. However, when it comes to professional sports, they have generally taken a spectator's view of the safety issues affecting today's athletes.
In a 2008 letter, OSHA indicated that they determine whether professional athletes are "employees or independent contractors" of their teams "on a case by case basis". The implication of this is that if athletes are independent contractors, they would not have a duty to regulate the workplace environment or investigate workplace incidents. The letter also shows that OSHA has not felt the need to regulate the working conditions of professional athletes on an ongoing basis.
However, OSHA has conducted an investigation into an incident involving college athletics. In 2011, a student at Notre Dame was filming a football practice at the behest of the team from a perch atop a scissor lift fell from the lift and died. After an investigation into the procedure for filming football practices from above, the agency imposed a $42,000 fine on the University of Notre Dame for its failures.Read more... Join the Conversation...
May 17th, 2013 at 4:07 PM
By Matthew Heimlich
Derek Boogaard's family has filed a lawsuit against the NHL, alleging that their oversights and failures permitted conditions which led to Derek's untimely death in 2011. Derek's family has retained renowned Chicago trial attorneys Corboy & Demetrio to prosecute the case against the NHL in Cook County, Illinois. Tom Demetrio also represents the family of Dale Duerson, former Chicago Bear, who is perhaps the most visible plaintiff among the thousands who have filed concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL.
The complaint (which can be read here) is a fascinating document on a number of levels and has vast implications for the future of potential litigation against the NHL.
The complaint alleges that Boogaard was employed as an "Enforcer/Fighter" by the NHL. In support of this allegation are the facts that Boogaard had three goals versus 66 fights over his six NHL seasons, which would tend to support he was not employed for his "hockey" abilities, but rather ability too fight. However, Boogaard was not given a separate "Enforcer/Fighter" contract with a job description detailing duties and responsibilities including bludgeoning opponents with his fists. He was given the same standard player contract as every other hockey player and then engaged in fights, which is currently a part of playing hockey in the NHL. In the absence of a contractual provision stating that his duties primarily involve fighting, this allegation may be difficult to prove. Would there be statistical cutoffs for being an "Enforcer/Fighter" in the NHL, as opposed to a "regular" player who happens to fight? How many fights would a player need to have? How few points? How little ice time? Given the foregoing, it may be difficult for the family's attorneys to prove that Boogaard was specifically employed as an "Enforcer/Fighter" by the NHL.Read more... Join the Conversation...
May 9th, 2013 at 7:07 PM
By Darsh U. Patel
The NCAA Rules Committee for Men's Basketball held a three-day meeting which concluded yesterday with a number of rules changes. The 12-member committee (of which 11 were present and voting) adopted a change to the replay rules as well as an adjustment to the elbow-clearing rule and a clarified block/charge distinction.
In the final four minutes of regulation and overtime, officials can look at replay to determine if a shot was a 2- or 3-pointer. In the final two minutes of regulation and overtime, officials can consult replay to determine possession on out of bounds plays and check for shot clock violations. These rules are similar to the ones employed by the NBA.
For plays in which one player hits another with an elbow, an official can assess a penalty based on replay if he determines it was an inadvertent elbow made during a basketball player, i.e., whether to call a flagrant 1 or 2, player control foul, or no foul.
Defensive players will be called for a blocking foul if they move into a space to attempt to draw a charge once the offensive player has started his upward motion with the ball.Read more... Join the Conversation...
May 2nd, 2013 at 4:58 PM
By Matthew Heimlich
Earlier this month, Jay-Z made it known that he had found a new business venture for himself: a sports agency. Partnering with premier sports and entertainment firm Creative Artists Agency (CAA), Jay-Z created Rock Nation Sports and signed elite second baseman Robinson Cano to his client roster after Cano had jettisoned baseball super-agent Scott Boras.
With his sights clearly set on representing athletes in each of the major sports, Jay-Z also announced plans to divest his shares of the Brooklyn Nets. This was done in order to avoid any potential conflict that might arise if and when he starts representing NBA players.
Additionally, it has been reported that Jay-Z wants to be involved in the "marketing and branding" of Seth Jones, the potential number one overall pick in the upcoming NHL draft. Son of former NBA player "Popeye" Jones, Seth has been a sensation at the junior hockey level and is widely considered to be the top prospect of his draft class. Read more... Join the Conversation...
April 3rd, 2013 at 11:08 AM
By Matthew Heimlich
Prior to this week's trade to the Pittsburgh Penguins, Jarome Iginla had been a member of the Calgary Flames since 1996, and the team's captain since 2003. To say he was the face of the franchise would be to do a disservice to his impact on the Flames and the city of Calgary. To a certain extent, he WAS the franchise. However, with the Flames wallowing in mediocrity this season and Iginla being at the point in his career where he wants a shot at a championship while he still can compete on an elite level, the organization and its star decided to part ways.
Iginla's contract provided him with a full no-movement clause, so he had complete control over where he was willing to be traded to. Reports out of Calgary were that Iginla presented Flames GM Jay Feaster with a list of four teams he would accept a trade to: The Chicago Blackhawks, Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and Pittsburg Penguins. This gave Feaster a few options as far as finding a suitable trade partner and at least some leverage by playing these teams against one another to drive up the price.Read more... Join the Conversation...