Sports law stories





Sports law stories

Story 1

The story is about the civil case brought against the Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine by three victims who claim that he molested them. The first victim, Tomaselli, claims that assistant coach Bernie Fine molested him when he was thirteen years old. The victim is being represented by Jeff Anderson a famous lawyer who also represented the victims of the catholic sexual abuse scandals. The assistant coach was fired when the allegations of sexual abuse emerged. On his part, the Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine maintains that he is innocent.

Two more victims have emerged who claim that they were also sexually abused by Bernie Fine. These victims are former Syracuse ball boys Mike Lang and Bobby Davis. The two victims have filed defamation charges on the SyracuseUniversity and the men’s basketball coach Jim Boeheim. They claim that Boeheim called them liars who were out to make money by accusing former assistant coach Bernie Fine of molesting them (The associated press, 2012). The university’s lawyers together with the coach’s lawyers have filed for a motion to relocate the case that is closely related to the former assistant coach Fine to Onondaga from New York since that is where the proceedings of the case are being held.

The fourth victim Floyd VanHooser admitted to lying about assistant coach Bernie Fine molesting him. This revelation has resulted to the first victim Tomaselli admitting that he too lied and made up emails to increase his evidence to the story. He fabricated an email, which he sent to the Daily Orange, and the post-standard that accused the Syracuse police of insinuating that his father Fred Tomaselli was a troubled man full of lies. This was because his father Fred Tomaselli had declared in public that Zach was a liar. In his defense, Zach said that he did this to let people know about his side of the story, which he could not since the police were claiming that his dad was lying. In addition, he fabricated an email to prove that he had attended a game at Pittsburgh where the alleged sexual abuse by Fine took place (Thamel, 2012).

The district attorney of Onondaga, William Fitzpatrick who is no longer part of the case, pointed a finger at the chief of Syracuse police department of not carrying out a thorough investigation on the claims made by Tomaselli and VanHooser. William added that the truth to the claims made by Tomaselli and VanHooser were easy to detect and that he had a file that indicated that VanHooser was lying. On the other hand, the verification of where Tomaselli was on that particular day he alleges that Fine molested him was carried out by the district attorneys office within a few hours. The office verified that he was at school on that day. William claimed that the police carried out a substandard investigation in order to discredit the district attorneys office that has resulted to a messy situation.

The judgment has not been issued yet although the victim, Tomaselli, through his lawyer Jeff Anderson, has dropped, the civil charges against the former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine, though he maintains that Fine molested him. Tomaselli dropped the charges due to the damage caused to his credibility after all the lies he told. In addition, his lawyer Jeff Anderson has stopped representing him.



Story 2

The story is about the civil lawsuits facing Jerry Sandusky, PennState and the Second Mile Charity from his alleged sexual abuse victims. This case in which, Jerry Sandusky a former assistant coach at the state college is facing forty counts of charges from victims that he sexually abused and raped is still going on. One victim who remains anonymous filed a civil charge against Sandusky, the PennState and the Second Mile charity that Sandusky founded for negligence and allowing the sexual abuse perpetrated against eight boys over a span of fifteen years by Sandusky to go on. The lawyers of the victim claim that these cases were institutional since the two closely-knit institutions had allowed Sandusky to get away with his molestation. The abuses took place due to the association Sandusky had with the Penn state and the second mile charity where he met these boys. The suit was filed by renowned lawyer Jeff Anderson who advocates for sexually abused children victims and Marci Hamilton who is a professor at the Cardozo law school.

Sandusky is said to have predatory behavior that include being a kind mentor who is loved by many but has uncontrollable sexual instincts. The plaintiff, who is twenty-nine years of age, first came to know Sandusky when he was ten years old back in nineteen ninety two. The plaintiff alleges that Sandusky abused him more than one hundred times between nineteen ninety-two and nineteen ninety-six. The victim who was too young then, would not have given his consent hence Sandusky abused him against his wishes and caused him great harm. Furthermore, Sandusky threatened him that no one would believe him when he reported the abuses and further threatened him that if he told any one something would happen to his family.

The plaintiff released a statement that entailed details of where the abuses took place and the reasons why he was doing this. He stated that he wanted to ensure that other children do not go through what he went through and to make sure that institutions like PennState do not get away with negligence. The abuses had taken places within and outside Pennsylvania, in the football, coaches’ locker room in Penn state, at Sandusky’s home, within PhiladelphiaCounty and during out of state Penn state bowl games (Weiss, Thompson & Red, 2011). The plaintiff also encouraged other victims of abuse by Sandusky to come forward. These allegations have resulted to the football coach Joe Paterno being fired, especially after brushing aside allegations made against Sandusky in two thousand and two that he had attacked a ten-year-old boy at the football facility showers.

The case has caused major furor with claims that some officials of the university will be charged in civil lawsuits along side Sandusky once the criminal charges are complete. So far, the university’s president Graham Spinner was fired, and two former administrators of the university are facing perjury charges in connection with the case. The lawyers of the victims believe that they have a strong civil case against Penn state since there were suspicions of former defensive coordinator Sandusky yet they did nothing about the suspicions (Pennington, 2011). The lawyers indicate that there are signs of a cover up since the university president supported the two principals who are facing perjury the day they were arrested.

The judgment has not been passed yet since the case is ongoing but the lawyers have a strong case, which will be boosted further if more victims of the abuse come forward, and are willing to testify. In addition, the fact that Penn state is a state sponsored institution, which means that it will not be granted the immunity defense.


Story 3

This is the story involving the criminal case brought against Marion Jones for making false statements in federal criminal investigation on two different accounts. The first case took place in two thousand and two concerning BALCO. The investigation conducted was to establish the distribution of anabolic steroids and other drugs that enhanced performance of athletes on the field. The investigation initially was to investigate BALCO, which is a corporation that performs blood testing and other functions when the investigators stumbled on evidence that linked Trevor Graham with distribution of performance enhancing drugs. Graham coached professional field and Olympic track athletes among them Jones, whom he had coached for about six years.

The search intensified and sought to find out if some witnesses had given false statements to the federal agents. This led to a search warrant being issued on the premises of BALCO. Upon a through search, evidence-linking Jones with BALCO was uncovered at the premises. This evidence included receipts that showed drugs provided to Jones by her coach Graham from BALCO. The internal revenue service-criminal division sent out an officer in the company of another government officer to interview Jones. Jones had a letter agreement with the northern district of California that anything she said during the interrogation would not be used against her though she was not given immunity from prosecution if she lied during the interview (PR newswire, 2008). However, during the interrogation Jones lied in her statement that she had never seen or taken the performance enhancement drug called Clear. Jones said that Graham had never given her the drug nor had she used any drug to enhance her performance. In 2008, she confessed to having given false statements since she had taken Clear for one year before the 2000 Olympic Games. However, she said that at the time she did not know she was taking a performance enhancement drug but only came to learn about it in 2003 when she was interviewed by the federal agents, yet she gave false information.

The second case in which Jones gave false statements involved money laundering scheme which was done through depositions of altered and fake checks to numerous banks owned by the parties involved. The people involved included Jones former sports agent Charles Wells, Montgomery who was Jones partner at the time among others. The conspirators deposited a check of $850,000 in to an account of Nathaniel Alexander an associate of Riddick’s on April 2005. The aim was to distribute the money from the check, and they issued Jones with a check worth $25,000 that she deposited into her account. In addition, Alexander deposited a fake check into an account controlled by both Jones and Montgomery on May 2005 worth $200,000. Montgomery had executed documents to add Jones as a signatory to the account a few days before the deposit. When Jones was interrogated in 2006, she lied that she did not know that Alexander had given her a check that she endorsed. She also lied about having any knowledge concerning Montgomery receiving a large check in 2004 or 2005 even the $200,000 fake check. In addition, she lied that she had no idea that Montgomery was involved in a fake check fraud scheme. In 2008, she admitted to making those false statements knowingly and willingly.

The judgment she was given included a sentence of six months in prison, two years of probation and community service for giving false statements to the federal prosecutors conducting an investigation on performance-enhancing substances (CNN Justice, 2008). In addition, she was striped off all her Olympic medals since she admitted to using steroids and lying about it to a federal agent. She served her sentence in a Federal medical center, Car Swell prison facility in Fort Worth between March 7 and September 5 2008.


Story 4

            The story involves the criminal charges facing two players in English football due to racism that has for sometime dominated the English football scene. The first player is John Terry captain of England’s national soccer team and Chelsea club. Terry faces criminal charges over allegations that he made racial slur towards Anton Ferdinand during match held in October 2011. Terry denies the charges and says that he does not discriminate against anyone and is a friend to all people of different races and religions. He is charged with violating Britain’s crime and disorder act of 1998 that focuses on antisocial behaviors. He is set for a hearing on February 1 2012 and if found guilty will face a maximum fine of $4,000. In addition, if convicted he will lose his captaincy of the Chelsea club and the national team together with his reputation and the capability to get endorsement money (Longman, 2011).

Terry was charged by the crown prosecution service that is responsible for charging people with criminal charges. This comes due to the widespread racism problem in the European soccer that has persisted over the past with the football association sweeping it under the carpet. The antiracism officials were happy with the progress since they had been advocating for less racial smears in the stadiums between the players on the field and the fans. However, they were alarmed by the international soccer comments about racism in the field when the FIFA president Sepp Blatter, under played the extent of racism by suggesting that the matter should be solved through a post game handshake. This is the first case ever where police were called in to investigate a racism case. The antidiscrimination group is hoping that the case will be a lesson to the rest and will be treated with professionalism to send out a clear message to the other players.

The other case of racism in the pitch involves Luis Suarez a player in the Liverpool football club and an Uruguayan citizen, who is alleged to have racially insulted Manchester united Patrice Evra during a league game on October 15 2011. Suarez is said to have called Patrice ‘Negro’ seven times during the confrontation in the game. Suarez has since been banned from eight matches and fined $63,000 in December 2011. However, his team Liverpool has supported Suarez in a very vigorous campaign that included wearing t-shirts bearing his face on them during training. The club is considering on whether to appeal against the sentence or not. The Liverpool club is also questioning the reliability of Evra’s testimony despite the fact that he was found to be a credible witness by the judgment committee and Suarez was found to be a non-credible witness.

The reputation of Liverpool club is being harmed due to their unwavering support and campaign for Suarez despite being found guilty of racism in the field. The antiracial activist said that the football association had taken time to come up with a good implementation of football rules that go hand in hand with those of the British justice. The activists say that this should serve as a good example to the other players who indulge in racists slurs during confrontations in the pitch. The anti racial groups are asking for tougher measures since racism in the pitch has gone for much too long with the football association ignoring and overlooking it. Other people are arguing that the punishment was harsh and unfair since Evra too abused him in Spanish. They are saying that he too should be punished though there is not much evidence to support this claims. It is very unfortunate that this behavior has spread to the fans with some who go to an extent of throwing peanuts and bananas while chanting monkey chants towards black players (Valencia, 2012).


Work cited

CNN justice. Track star Marion Jones sentenced to 6 months., January 11 2008. Web. January 30, 2012.

Longman Jere. Racism Charges Put a Sport on Edge. The New York Times, December 21, 2011. Web. January 30, 2012.

Pennington Bill. Penn State Officials, Including Paterno, Could Face Civil Lawsuits. The New York Times, November 11, 2011. Web. January 30, 2012.

PR newswire. Olympic Gold Medalist Marion Jones-Thompson Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements in Two Separate Federal Criminal Investigations., 2008. Web. January 30, 2012.

Thamel Pete. Accuser of Syracuse Coach Admits Doctoring E-Mails and Drops Civil Suit. The New York Times, January 20, 2012. Web. January 30, 2012.

The associated press. Syracuse University and hoops coach Jim Boeheim want defamation trial moved upstate from NYC. The republican, January 26, 2012. January 30, 2012.

Valencia Jackee. Racism in English Football: Suarez and Terry Dirty the Pitch. Wit and, January 2,2012. Web. January 30, 2012.

Weiss Dick, Thompson Teri & Red Christians. Civil suit vs. Sandusky claims extensive abuse. Ney York daily News, November 30, 2011. Web. January 30, 2012.

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