Law & Policy: Contract Law
Family Fitness Ordered to Retract Cancellation Policy
by Courtney Cameron July 2017
Family Fitness Center of western Michigan has been issued a cease and desist order regarding its cancellation fees from the Michigan attorney general’s office.
Planet Fitness Privacy Suit Decision Appealed
by Courtney Cameron July 2017
Yvette Cormier, whose Planet Fitness membership was cancelled after she complained about seeing a transgendered person in the club's locker rooms, says she's taking her case to the Michigan Supreme Court.
A Midland County Court dismissed Cormier's suit on Jan. 4, 2016, and the decision was affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals on June 1 of this year.
Marlins Seek Seizure of Ticket-Holder's Property
by Paul Steinbach July 2017
As the baseball world turns its attention to Miami for tonight's MLB All-Star Game, the host Marlins organization is looking to seize property of one if its season-ticket holders.
According to court documents obtained by the Miami New Times, the Marlins have sued Kenneth Sack to take a $725,000 property he owns in Oakland Park. It marks the ninth time since 2003 that the Marlins have pursued the unusual legal action (by professional sports standards) of suing their own fans — for reneging on long-term season ticket and suite lease agreements initiated in 2012, the team's first season in its new Little Havana Stadium. Since then, fans, including Sack, have felt victimized by a perceived Marlins bait-and-switch.
In exchange for his four-year commitment to season tickets, Sack was promised a premium parking space, a private entrance and food buffets before and after games. However, fans who made such commitments claim that as soon as the team's fortunes on field went south, the perks either never materialized or fell short of expectations.
ESPN.com notes that the Marlins won a judgment against Sack in January, with the court ruling that Sack owed the team the full $97,200 he owed as part of the ticket agreement. His attorney appealed, saying a heart attack and lengthy hospital stay had caused him to miss key hearings and filings. That civil case remains open.
In March, the Marlins began foreclosure proceedings for Sack's Oakland Park commercial building, arguing that they can seize the property to fulfill the $97,200 he owes them.
"I don't understand why Major League Baseball continues to allow Jeffrey Loria to behave like this," Daniel Rose, an attorney representing another former season-ticket holder being sued by the Marlins, told the New Times. "At the end of the day, what is the motive to go after fans like this? It just shows their greed and a complete lack of respect for their fan base."
Could the CAP Agreement Shake Up College Athletics?
by Jason Scott June 2017
A new kind of agreement between college players and their schools could bring fundamental changes to the balance of power in collegiate athletics.
City Officials Cut the Lights on Youth Baseball Game
by Courtney Cameron April 2017
The Pasadena Pony Baseball League’s first game of the season for youth players aged 13-14 was put on hold Monday when the city’s parks director instructed workers to turn out the lights at Gardner Field.
Ex-NFL Agent Pleads Guilty to Athlete Inducement
by Courtney Cameron April 2017
Monday afternoon, a list of three-year-old felony charges were resolved when former NFL agent Terry Watson pleaded guilty to violating North Carolina’s sports agent law. An initial investigation was launched in 2010 by the office of the Secretary of State, following up on an NCAA probe into the UNC football program.
Iowa's Treatment of Gay Administrator on Trial Today
by Paul Steinbach April 2017
Former University of Iowa senior associate athletic director Jane Meyer, who claims the university discriminated against her because of her sexual orientation and her willingness to fight gender bias in the athletic department, gets her day in Polk County court today. In actuality, the trial — which will likely hear testimony from Iowa athletic director Gary Barta, board of regents president Bruce Rastetter, football coach Kirk Ferentz, and Big 12 Conference commissioner and former UI athletic director Bob Bowlsby — is expected to last weeks, with much of the college sports world focused on its outcome.
Meyer saw her position at the university eliminated in September 9, 2016. According to the Associated Press, she claims it was the latest act of retaliation for her defense of Tracey Griesbaum, a field hockey coach who was fired in 2014 and with whom Meyer had a decade-long relationship. Griesbaum was fired after complaints over harsh treatment of her players. Meyer, Iowa's senior women's administrator at the time, chastised Barta, who announced before the end of that year that Meyer would be transferred outside the athletic department, claiming that her insubordination made it impossible to run the department. He also claimed that Meyer hadn't disclosed her relationship with Griesbaum, and that it represented a conflict of interest.
Meyer's lawyers counter that she was transferred a day after she handed Barta a memo about alleged department bias, including his termination of other lesbian coaches.
Even before she was transferred, Barta created a position of deputy athletic director, which included some of Meyer's duties, and hired Gene Taylor at a salary of $245,000. At the time she was laid off, Meyer had spent 13 years at Iowa and was earning an annual salary of $176,617. Now 57, she argues the disparity amounts to an equal pay violation.
CSU Investigation Details Coach's Abusive Behavior
by Courtney Cameron February 2017
Colorado State University has released a 90-page report detailing an investigation into the atmosphere among the men’s basketball team and administration under head coach Larry Eustachy.
Assault Case Triggers Court Arguments over Arbitration Clause
by John Wolohan and Eric Centner January 2017
Arbitration clauses are intended to keep parties bound by contract out of court by requiring that all contract disputes be settled by arbitration. The benefits of such clauses are that arbitration is usually much faster and cheaper, and the outcome is confidential, all of which has led to arbitration clauses creeping into more types of contracts — especially employment contracts. A good example from the sports and recreation industry of how the courts treat arbitration clauses is the case of Amateur Athletic Union v. Augustus Bray, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 7044.
Wilson Out at Indiana After Player Mistreatment Claims
by Courtney Cameron December 2016
Athletic director Fred Glass of Indiana University announced in a press conference Thursday that six-year Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson has resigned.