Sports Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled in favor of Zion Williamson in his lawsuit against his former marketing agency, Prime Sports Marketing. The case primarily dealt with the North Carolina Uniform Athlete Agents Act. While most states have implemented a version of the Uniform Athlete Agents Act (including North Carolina), the laws do not come under judicial scrutiny frequently. As such, this case provides important context and guidance for athlete agents going forward. 
Continue Reading Zion Williamson Wins Appellate Case Against Former Agent

Frieser Legal advised five-star safety Trey McNutt during his eligibility dispute with the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA). McNutt was suspended by the OHSAA in February for competing in offseason 7-on-7 tournaments, which violated an Association rule prohibiting football players from competing in certain non-school events. With counsel from Principal Attorney Joshua Frieser, the […]
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Continue Reading Frieser Legal Provided Counsel to Top-Ranked Football Recruit on Suspension

The Wisconsin Court of Appeals (District II) has ruled in favor of Hayden Halter, a high school wrestler, in his case against the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA). In February of 2019, Halter was suspended by the WIAA for two unsportsmanlike conduct violations issued to him during a wrestling meet. The Association’s rules then in effect specified that Halter would be suspended from the “next competitive event.”

Halter and the WIAA disagreed about which competition would constitute the “next
Continue Reading Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Loses Key Appellate Case

Frieser Legal has been named to Hackney Publications’ annual list of Top 100 Law Firms with Sports Practices. The list is published “with the goal of providing the sports industry with a guidebook to the top 100 law firms with an exemplary sports law practice.” Hackney Publications is the nation’s leading publisher of sports law […]
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Every college and university in the world owns intellectual property. One of the most important aspects of a university’s intellectual property is its trademarks. Consider any “big-time” college athletics universities, such as the University of Alabama, Michigan, or Wisconsin. Each has iconic team colors, mascots, uniforms, fight songs, and logos. These universities carefully cultivate their reputation and branding to distinguish themselves from the competition and create recognition among not only fans, but casual observers. Universities maintain exclusive intellectual property
Continue Reading University Intellectual Property Implications in Name, Image, and Likeness Deals

On Feb. 5, 2024, the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Region 1 director in Trustees of Dartmouth College,1 found that members of the college’s men’s basketball team qualify as “employees” under Section 2(3) of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).
Background
The Board in 2015 considered another case regarding collegiate-level student athletes’ employment status: Northwestern University.2 In this case, the Board declined to assert jurisdiction and did not explicitly rule whether student athletes were “employees” under the
Continue Reading ‘Seismic’: NLRB Rules Dartmouth Men’s Basketball Players are Employees

The NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions (COI) has announced an infractions decision for violations of the NCAA’s name, image, and likeness (NIL) and recruiting rules in the Florida State football program. The conduct in question stems from an assistant coach facilitating a meeting between a prospective transfer student-athlete and an NIL collective affiliated with the institution. 

This is the NCAA’s second NIL-related enforcement action. In February of 2023, the NCAA announced an infractions case involving the University of
Continue Reading NCAA Finds NIL Rules Violations in Florida State Football Program

Frieser Legal is pleased to share that client Mick Marlow has been declared eligible to compete for the 2023-24 hockey season. The eligibility decision came from the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) after Frieser Legal had filed a lawsuit against Chippewa Falls Unified School District and the WIAA on behalf of the Marlow family. On […]
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Continue Reading Frieser Legal Scores Victory for Client in Eligibility Dispute

In 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA and its conferences violated the Sherman Antitrust Act in NCAA v. Alston, by capping college athletes’ ability to receive educationally related financial benefits. The Sherman Act prevents otherwise competing entities (such as individual universities) from entering into agreements with each other that unduly restrain competition in a particular market. In Alston, the relevant antitrust market was college athletes’ athletics services.

Generally, academic institutions compete amongst themselves for these
Continue Reading How Conference Realignment Could Pose Antitrust and Tax Issues

On August 15, 2023, Frieser Legal hosted an NIL contract drafting webinar. Principal Attorney Joshua Frieser was joined by Sean McCarthy, Associate Athletics Director for Compliance at Seton Hall University, and Conor Chawke, NIL Marketing Agent at Rosenhaus Sports Representation, to discuss best practices for drafting and negotiating name, image, and likeness contracts. The topics […]
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Frieser Legal Principal Attorney Joshua Frieser was quoted in an article published by the Associated Press. The article discussed the NCAA’s regulation of name, image, and likeness as it relates to NFT sales for college athletes. Frieser’s legal analysis was included in the article, where he opined that the NCAA is unlikely to regulate or […]
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Continue Reading Principal Attorney Joshua Frieser Quoted by the Associated Press

An NIL collective is a group of boosters, donors, and community members (fans) or the like that contribute financial resources into a pool for the purpose of developing paid name, image, and likeness (NIL) opportunities for their preferred university’s student-athletes. Some collectives have for-profit arms and nonprofit arms. NIL collectives have structured their organizations to receive tax-exempt treatment from the IRS, although this was recently called into question when the IRS released a memo on the issue.

A
Continue Reading NIL Collectives: Tax Exempt or Not?

Enacted in 1972, Title IX prohibits discrimination based on sex in educational activities that receive federal funds and requires public elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities, to effectively accommodate the athletic interests and abilities of students and provide equal opportunity in the benefits, opportunities, and treatment provided for athletic teams.

While Title IX does not directly address gender identity, the Department of Education recently released a notice of proposed rulemaking related to a transgender student’s
Continue Reading All Tied Up: OCR Issues New Resources on Equal Athletic Opportunity Under Title IX

For nearly two years, college athletes, sports agents, and sponsors have sought to create name, image, and likeness (NIL) contracts that comply with NCAA rules, state laws, university policies, and sponsorship and advertising laws—all while attempting to draft contracts that are effective and operate to meet the needs of the particular deal. Much like other types of […]
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Continue Reading How to Effectively Draft an NIL Contract

While most of the media coverage of sponsorships in college athletics over the last two years has focused on name, image, and likeness (NIL) and athlete endorsement deals (and rightfully so), another tremendous development is taking place. Learfield—the largest multimedia rights (MMR) holder in college athletics—is facing over $1 billion worth of debt payments coming due in the

next year. Although the company remains optimistic publicly, there are major concerns about its ability to satisfy its debt payments. Learfield’s
Continue Reading Why Sponsors of College Athletics should be Concerned with Learfield’s Financial Troubles

Frieser Legal Principal Attorney Joshua Frieser joined NIL Network‘s Michelle Meyer to discuss the legal landscape of Name, Image, and Likeness in college athletics, including current challenges, what athletes should look for in a contract, and what to expect over the next few years.
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