Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What happened to the NFL's HGH Testing Policy?

Penalty Flag! Excessive Celebration!  
The NFL and NFLPA should have taken the advice from"Pulp Fiction" character, Winston Wolf', instead of being so quick to congratulate themselves on being the first professional sports league to collectively bargain for Human Growth Hormone (HGH) testing.  Much to Commissioner Goodell's displeasure, the NFL and NFLPA were not able to implement HGH testing in the just concluded NFL Season. Even though they agreed to start testing for HGH in principle, however an HGH test has yet to be agreed to in any particularity.

During a pre-Super Bowl press conference, NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith's stated that HGH testing discussions are ongoing but there is no guarantee that an agreement will be reached before the 2012 NFL season. In fact, Smith declared:
"No one will bully us into a test"

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Legal Costs for Super Bowl XLVI

Yesterday's Super Bowl definitely was an exciting finish to an NFL Season that was on the brink of never occurring.  Remember that lockout that threatened to wipe out the season?  Well, here's a friendly a reminder I am sure most labor lawyers would be interested in.   The average Super Bowl ticket cost  $1,999.00, which is small beans in comparison to the amount that the NFL Players Association paid in legal fees incurred this past year. 

The Am Law Daily took an in depth look at how much was spent in legal costs leading up to the NFL lockout from March 1, 2010 through February 28, 2011.  The NFLPA, like all other Unions, have to file public LM-2 forms with the National Labors Relations Board.  The NFLPA spent approximately $63.2 million on representational fees including outside legal fees, and an additional $1.7 million on lobbying and political activities.  The top three law firms to rake in legal fees Latham & Watkins ($3.1 million), Dewey & LeBoeuf ($2.9 million), and Patton Boggs ($948,983).   DeMaurice Smith, former Latham and Patton Boggs Partner, and who is the current NFLPA Executive Director, did not do too shabby for himself either.  After agreeing to accept a $1 salary while the lockout was going on, Smith collected $1.5 million in back pay and an additional $1 million bonus for a job well done in resolving the labor quagmire. 

It will be interesting to see how large the legal fees were for next years disclosure that will include fees earned related to the lockout that occurred from March 2011 through July 2011.  I'll also provide a rundown of the NBPA and MLBPA's legal costs related to their CBA expenses once they become available.  However, Am Law Daily did a good job estimating their respective (MLBPA and NBPA) legal costs based on past disclosures. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Bud Gone Wild (Card)

Bud Selig has a fever and the only cure is more wild cards.  Selig has taken a definitive stance that two additional wild card teams will be added to THIS upcoming season's postseason.  However, the MLBPA and Executve Director Michael Weiner don't think we should not hold our breath.
"The 2012 season was not designed to accommodate an extra round of playoffs," Michael Weiner, executive director of the Major League Players Association, told USA TODAY. "We're having discussions to see if it can work. We'll decide in the next month or so if we're able to do it." 
ESPN's Jayson Stark reported that others around the league also have their doubts. He reports that General Managers, TV Executives, and even Selig's own people think that it will be extremely difficult to rearrange the schedule to allow for contingencies, such as potential tie-breakers, and the additional wild card round.  MLB and MLBPA already decided to eliminate their archaic tie-breaking formula, which was based on such scientific determinative outcomes of a "coin flip"; now, all division ties will be broken on the playing field.  Time has been allotted for these potential tie breaking games for this season, but it is becoming difficult to find the time needed for the wild card round due to travel and prevent a snowy world series.