What would be a reasonable punishment to impose

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Reference no: EM131207175

Sports and the Law: The Evolution of the Three Major Leagues

Question ONE-

Max Yardley is the starting quarterback for the NFL's Virginia Sharks, and has been one of the premiere quarterbacks in the league for the last four seasons. The Sharks made the playoffs the last four years, the AFC Championship game three times, and won a Super Bowl in 2014. The 2014 season saw Yardley connect for ten touchdowns with his star wide receiver, Bill Overs, on the way to Yardley winning the league MVP award.

In late February after the 2014 Super Bowl, an ESPN news report surfaces that Yardley played in three season-long fantasy football leagues during the 2014 season, two of which were for money. Yardley owned himself in all of these leagues, and reportedly won $10,000 among the two for-money leagues. Yardley also played in one of the new DraftKings weekly leagues, making $25,000 over the course of the season, again playing himself every week. Yardley also owned Overs in both of the for-money season-long fantasy leagues, and in the DraftKings league.  The NFL allows players to win up to $250 per contest on NFL fantasy leagues (for purposes of this exam: $250 total per week in all weekly leagues, and $250 total per season in all season-long leagues).  Federal and Virginia law allow playing fantasy sports for money, but the Virginia Attorney General is currently investigating the legality of fantasy sports.

Commissioner Goodell began an investigation into this conduct shortly after the story broke, hiring outside counsel to do a full investigation. This investigation confirmed the rumored amounts of money, and revealed information concerning Yardley's Offensive Coordinator, Will Booker. The independent report found that Booker was a recovering gambler, and he had exchanged several e-mails with Yardley discussing plans to focus on Overs in the play-calling, and pad Yardley and Overs statistics and fantasy points. The report did not find Overs to be involved in these dealings.

The investigation also uncovered that the Sharks' owner, Bob Munster, is the majority shareholder in DraftKings, and the Sharks' head coach, Max Yards, is a minority shareholder.  Munster said in an email to Yards that the high fantasy scores of Yardley and Overs have "significantly increased the value of DraftKings stock," and Munster told Yards to "keep that combination going, it is really helping our investments."  Yards passed this message along to Booker, but suggested that he only do this so long as it doesn't cause them to lose a game.

Goodell released his decision about the punishment for Yardley in late March. Invoking his "best interests" and "integrity of the game" authority, he suspended Yardley for the first five games of the 2015 season. In the publicly-available decision, Goodell discussed how this conduct "degraded public confidence in and respect for the National Football League," citing the risks to all professional sports leagues from fears of gambling tainting on-field performance. Yardley appealed this finding under the league-mandated arbitration, and Goodell upheld his own decision.  Goodell has not yet announced any punishment for Munster, Yards, or Booker.

If Yardley and the NFLPA appealed such a Final League-Arbitration Decision (that upheld the Commissioner's Suspension) to a Federal Court to seek a Vacatur of the League's Final Arbitration Decision, is the NFL Player and his Union likely to survive a Motion to Dismiss?  Does the Commissioner have the authority to punish Munster, Yards, and Booker as well, and if so, what would be a reasonable punishment to impose? Prepare the Memo as counsel to the NFLPA.

Note: In your response, please prepare the Memo in the form described in the Book at pages 31-32, and support your Memo's conclusions with the maximum citations to the Course-Covered Materials. 

Question TWO-

Cullen Mount, the top-rated outfielder in high school baseball and top-ten ranked draft prospect overall, is eligible for the 2016 MLB Draft as a high school senior.  Many scouts are calling him the best 18 year old US citizen to come onto the scene in decades.  After seeing the teams with the top ten selections in the draft (and not liking the possibilities), Mount decides to file an antitrust claim against Major League Baseball and the Commissioner's Office, as he claims that the Amateur Draft and the current "slotting system" constitute "illegal restraints of trade."

He wants to file this as a class action on behalf of all future draftees in the federal district court in the Eighth Circuit.  He also has filed for an individual declaratory judgment and an injunction against the MLB enforcing "all current aspects of the MLB Draft and Minor League player retention and wage scale  systems-as constituting illegal restraints on his ability to negotiate with the team of his choice, for the salary of his choice."

As Mount's Counsel, what would be the best "brief headings" (per the Brief Writing Tips in the Course Book at pages 27-31) in support of his Memorandum in Opposition to MLB's Motion to Dismiss?  As Counsel to Major League Baseball, what would be the best "brief headings" replying to the Memorandum in Opposition, and in support of the Motion to Dismiss?  Please set forth these headings, along with a one paragraph discussion to accompany each header.

What Order should a Federal District Court (in the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals) enter, and why, based upon the most relevant Course-Covered Materials?

Note: In your response, please prepare the Brief Sections and Order in the form described in the Book at pages 27-31, and support your conclusions with the maximum citations to the Course-Covered Materials.

Question THREE-

During the negotiations for the next NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement, all new CBA issues have been resolved with the exception of two: Draft Age Eligibility and maximum player salary per team. The NBA has proposed that no player will be eligible until two years following the player's high school graduation, while the NBPA has demanded reverting to immediate eligibility upon graduating high school. Furthermore, the NBPA is seeking an unlimited player salary per team, similar to that used by MLB.  The NBA and NBPA have reached an impasse after months of "good faith bargaining" at the negotiation table over these matters.

At this point, the CBA expires, and the NBPA then decertifies.  The owners then unilaterally imposed their proposed change, so that no player is eligible until two years after high school graduation.  Furthermore, the NBA owners unilaterally imposed the current salary cap at impasse.

If the NBPA then went on strike and filed an antitrust Complaint seeking an injunction against such a unilateral imposition of the new Age Eligibility Rule and continuation of the salary cap, what would be the most likely outcome in Federal District Court in the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and why, based upon the most relevant Course-Covered Materials?  If they instead sought damages, would this change the result, and if so, how?  Prepare the Memo as counsel to the NBA Commissioner and Owners.

Note: In your response, please prepare the Memo in the form described in the Book at pages 31-32, and support your Memo's conclusions with the maximum citations to the Course-Covered Materials.

Reference no: EM131207175

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Support your arguments with the maximum number of citations to the course-covered materials, as defined herein. While taking this examination you must consult and rely exclusively on the assigned course materials -- including any Readings, Blackboard materials, your own Class Notes from any guest panel or class session, outlines or your study group’s materials (“Course-Covered Materials”). You may not affirmatively cite to, or rely on, any source outside of those materials. Use the Course-Covered Materials to provide the maximum number of relevant precedents/citations for each of your answers to each part of each question. Citations needn’t be in Bluebook format and abbreviations may be used, so long as it is clear what you are referring to.


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There are three (3) questions weighted according to their respective Word Limits. You must answer each question. Your total answers may not exceed 3,500 total words. You may divide your word count as you deem appropriate, although there are recommended word amounts at the end of each question. Please place citations in-line, which will be included in the word limit. You are suggested to include an executive summary in answers 1 and 3, as you deem appropriate, but such a summary should not exceed roughly 375 words for question 1 and roughly 250 words for question 3, so as to leave room for sufficient analysis. A table of contents is unnecessary.

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