Friday Sports Briefs

Hanson Sues Cable, Raiders

In light of the fact that I am currently on the left coast, it seems appropriate to mention the latest legal news coming from the Oakland Raiders.  Former assistant coach Randy Hanson has filed a civil suit against the Raiders and Head Coach Tom Cable.  Hanson alleges that he was assaulted during a coaches meeting, suffering a fractured jaw and broken teeth.  According to Josh DuBow, AP Sports Writer, Hanson’s civil suit also attempts to hold the Raiders liable for Cable’s actions:

Hanson’s lawsuit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, accuses Cable of assault, battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It says the Raiders made only a cursory investigation of the attack and ratified Cable’s conduct by failing to discipline him and by not allowing Hanson to remain as an assistant coach.

You may recall that, following a police investigation, no charges were filed against Cable.  In civil court, Hanson has a lower burden of proof and seeks money damages.

Legal Implications of Olympic Luger Tragedy

Michael McCann of and the Sports Law Blog writes of the legal issues raised by the tragic passing of Olympic luger Nodar Kumaritashvili.  In part, McCann discusses the legal effect of the waiver signed by the olympian:

There are, however, a number of factors that would work against recovery for Kumaritashvili’s parents. For one, Kumaritashvili, like other Olympic athletes, had to sign a waiver with the IOC to participate in the Games. The form states: “I acknowledge and agree that: a. I participate in the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver at my own risk and that I will take all reasonable measures to protect myself from the risks of participation.” While waivers are powerful pieces of evidence and bar many forms of civil actions, they are not necessarily complete defenses. The precise wording of the waiver matters considerably; though the Olympic athlete clearly assents to assuming risk as a general matter, certain types risks may not be assumable. Along those lines, even when waivers expressly bar legal claims, they normally do not bar claims based on egregious or unforeseeable behavior. In addition, the IOC’s waiver protections may not extend to a torts claim, such as one sounding in wrongful death or negligence, brought against VANOC or other parties.

Click here for the entire article.  Also, see Connecticut Sports Law’s discussion of liability waivers: Connecticut Court Invalidates Gym’s Liability Waiver.

Michigan Faces Possibility of NCAA Sanctions

UConn will open the season against one of college football’s most prestigious programs, the University of Michigan.  The Wolverines, however, are facing NCAA sanctions in connection with charges that the football program exceeded practice time limits as set forth by the NCAA.  MGoBlog has posted an interview with the “Compliance Guy,” an anonymous employee in a Division I compliance office, concerning the allegations.  Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

2. Past this point there are a couple more steps. Michigan will respond. They may or may not issue self-imposed sanctions. And then they’ll go in front of the committee. How often do accusations of major violations get degraded to secondary violations in practice? Is the NCAA-issued NOA going to closely resemble the final findings at the committee or is it likely to get walked back? If so, how much?
A major violation case, once it gets to this point, rarely is argued back down to a secondary infraction. To get to a Notice of Allegations, especially in this case, the enforcement staff and Committee on Infractions would have worked very closely to decide if there were major violations, ultimately the COI’s decision.

 Click here to read the entire interview.

Thanks for the link Joe!


  1. Good stuff. Right on the money.

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