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Sports lawsuits

by Derek Clarkston, Sports editor

Court rulings are nothing new to sports Maurice Clarett’s ruling is just one of four other court rulings that changed the face of professional sports.

Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore V. National Baseball Clubs

This Supreme Court case paved the way for Major League Baseball to be exempted from Antitrust laws. This came about when Baltimore, a member of the Federal League, which operated as a form of major league baseball from 1914-15 sued the National and American leagues, charging the Federal Leagues inability to sign players was due to antitrust violation. In 1922, the Federal League established that antitrust laws were being broken, but lost its case.

McNally and Messersmith ruling

Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith filed a grievance against Major League Baseball in 1975 for not being able to change teams after a contract is up. An arbitrator ruled in their favor, eliminating the reserve clause, which bound a player to one team for life, creating free agency.

NBA v. Spencer Haywood, Seattle Supersonics

Spencer Haywood, signed with the American Basketball Association in 1969 after his sophomore year at college, he then bolted to the Sonics (an NBA team) a year later. The NBA sued both Haywood and the Sonics, since he had entered the NBA before his college class graduated. The case went to the Supreme Court which ruled in favor of Haywood, making it possible for undergraduates to enter the NBA. This ruling is making it possible for high school players to jump right into the National Basketball Association.

United States Football League v. NFL

This lawsuit was the beginning of the downfall of the USFL as it sued the NFL for $600 million for violation of antitrust laws before a federal jury in New York


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