Sports Law Center

Players and team owners must agree on issues involving salaries, hours, and work conditions.

Provisions may go far beyond base salary, covering issues such as trades, bonuses, and image rights.

Performance-enhancing drugs are banned to protect player safety and competitive integrity.

Institutions that receive federal funding must provide equal opportunities to female athletes.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What causes a lockout in a sports league?
    A lockout in a sports league results from a breakdown in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement between the owners and the players in the league. If they cannot reach an agreement before the current agreement expires, the owners may prevent the players from accessing team facilities.
  • What is the difference between restricted and unrestricted free agents?
    An unrestricted free agent can join any team of their choice, while a restricted free agent must stay with their current team if it matches any offer from another team. A player usually becomes an unrestricted free agent when their contract expires, while a player becomes a restricted free agent when their contract provides for this option.
  • What are common types of performance-enhancing drugs?
    Common types of performance-enhancing drugs include human growth hormone, anabolic steroids, anti-estrogen drugs, and many stimulants. Even some over-the-counter drugs may be banned if their ingredients could boost strength, stamina, or other athletic traits.
  • What is a morals clause in an endorsement agreement?
    A morals clause in an endorsement agreement allows a sponsor of an athlete to terminate or suspend the agreement if the athlete engages in certain scandalous or socially disapproved conduct. This is because the reputation of the sponsor could suffer from its association with the athlete.
  • Does a university need to spend the same amount of money on male and female athletes?
    No, a university generally does not need to spend the same amount of money on male and female athletes. However, funding for athlete financial assistance must be proportionate to the participation rate of each gender in athletics.
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Popular Topics
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    Businesses in many industries offer huge, lengthy contracts to athletes who endorse their products or services, but these agreements often come with limitations and contingencies.
  • Sports Injury Claims
    Most ordinary sports injuries do not support legal claims, but injuries that resulted from negligence, misconduct, or another risk not inherent to the sport may allow a victim to seek compensation.
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    Dividing property in divorce can raise complex questions regarding the nature of future income in athlete contracts, while awards of spousal and child support are often fiercely contested.
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    Pro athletes seeking to live full-time in the US might pursue P-1A or O-1 visas, while amateur athletes might pursue F-1 visas, and athletes planning on shorter stays might pursue B-1 or B-2 visas.
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    While NCAA rules prohibit pay for play in college sports, recent changes allow a student-athlete to monetize their name, image, and likeness through licensing and endorsements, subject to state law.
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