Posts Tagged ‘Lawyers’

2009 Big Orange Roundtable: Week 6

This Week’s Roundtable is hosted by:

Rocky Top Talk

This week’s Big Orange Roundtable is hosted by Rocky Top Talk and serves up another installment of questions burning in the minds of the orange-clad denizens who follow the Tennessee Volunteers.

In the interest of full disclosure, HSH sent me his responses to this week’s questions earlier in the week.  In theory, I was then supposed assemble a post including my answers along with his.  In theory, this sounds simple … in theory.  Reality is quite a different matter.  I have been woefully unreliable in terms of my posting of late due to my “real life,” and more specifically, my “real job.”

Thus, as a result of me being completely backed-up in preparation for an upcoming trial (a/k/a “evidence manipulation conference”) I am yet again forced to punt—at least for the moment.  This is particularly annoying considering how great the questions are this week.  Thus, for now the only answers I have to offer are those from HSH—which is probably a good thing considering that he actually knows what he’s talking about.  I will try to add in my responses later, if possible.  Until then, however, here are HSH’s thoughts for the week:

Week 6

1) Which newcomer do you expect to play the most total snaps for the Vols this fall?

bullet HSH: Well, by the looks of things, we know for sure it won’t be Bryce Brown, though he may be the best talent of the freshmen.

Though I have trouble remembering him actually being a freshman, it almost has to be Montori Hughes at defensive tackle, simply because of the lack of depth at defensive tackle and the sore, wobbly knees of senior end-turned-tackle Wes Brown.  With Brown’s knees, its almost more a question of when as opposed to if they’re going to take him out of action.  I have to take this moment to say his never-quit attitude and what he’s been saying about his situation has him rapidly climbing up my favorite 2009 Vols.

Back to Hughes, I said he doesn’t seem like a freshman because of three things: first, he’s obviously from the 2008 class out of Siegel High School in middle Tennessee, but didn’t qualify.  Secondly, he enrolled in January, so he was in for the spring, so it’s like he’s been at UT for longer than the other freshman.  Finally, it’s because he’s a very large man.  Either way, it’s clear he’s moved up to the third tackle spot, behind Williams and Brown and ahead of Victor Thomas, Rae Sykes and Marlon Walls.

But given the situation at defensive tackle behind Big Dan Williams, Hughes has to be the freshman who will see the most action.

As for the “true” freshman with the most impact, I’ll say receiver Marsalis Teague.  I went to last Thursday’s practice and last Saturday’s scrimmage, and Teague had some impressive plays.  I think Gerald Jones and Brandon Warren will be the top 2 wideouts, but Teague is my third (and Quintin Hancock fourth), given the injury to Denarius Moore.  Also, Teague seems like more a pure receiver than Nu’Keese Richardson in my opinion.

bullet Lawvol: (Long thoughtful pause followed by a longer, yet less thoughtful, sucking sound…)

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Headlines, Links & Lies: “Shystering is Hard Work” Edition

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Lovin’ ‘da Law

In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been a bit scarce lately.  Such is the nature of a lucrative, overly time consuming, and somewhat sketchy litigation practice.  For the record, if taking 14 depositions in 16 days is on your list of things to do, take it from me: skip it.

There have been a lot of things going on lately, but, in light of my near-perpetual absence over the last fortnight, I’ve had little to no opportunity to say one thing about any of them.  Thus, here are a few items of interest I felt like passing along:

bullet Clay Travis’ “On Rocky Top” is Released:

You’re going to be hearing a lot about this book, including my own review which I hope to post later this week.  In short, Travis’ new offering is outstanding.  I have read a lot of sports books over the years, and this one is one of the best.  What’s more, you do not have to be a fan of the Tennessee Volunteers to enjoy this wonderful look at SEC football and—more importantly—SEC fandom.

You may remember Clay Travis from his days at DeadSpin and as a contributor on CBS  He is also the author of “Dixeland Delight” and “Man! The Book” as well as a contributor to the “Rocky Top 2009” annual published by Maple Street Press (to which I also contributed).

Seriously, if you are a fan of SEC football, do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of Travis’ new book.  Trust me, you will be glad you did.  “On Rocky Top” is now available at bookstores or through web retailers such as

I’ll be offering up a little more on this one in the near future…

bullet The 2009 CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll

Yes, yes, friends and neighbors, once again the powers that be have elected to allow yours truly to participate in the CBS Sports College Football BlogPoll.  All I can say is that I am truly honored to get the chance to cast my weekly vote for the Top 25 college football programs and to be counted among some of the best of the best in the blogosphere, and, yes, there are a bunch of great blogs involved, including my brethren at Rocky Top Talk and 3SIB.

The format for the 2009 BlogPoll will be the same as in the past.  Each week, I will post a Draft or Preliminary Ballot after the conclusion of the week’s football frivolity (usually on Sunday night or Monday morning) for those of you out there to attack and destroy with all your gusto and might via your comments.  Please, feel free to try and convince me that I am wrong or flame me for being an idiot.  Interaction with the fan community is a core component of the BlogPoll philosophy.  I promise that I will consider all comments.  Thereafter (around Wednesday-ish) I will—at least in theory—post a revised ballot noting any changes made as a result of your insults input and epithets suggestions or based upon other developments around the world of college football.  From there, the collective will of blogosphere will be posted for all to see at CBS, along with an analysis of the week’s balloting by the BlogPoll Illustrious Potentate, Brian Cook of the venerable MGOBlog.

In any event, the BlogPoll is a really wonderful partnership between the traditional media and the world of sports-bloggers (dare I say, “the Fifth Estate”?) and is a lot of fun for voters and readers alike.  Look for the first ballot next week.

bullet SEC Power Poll

In much the same vein, as above, Gate 21 will be kicking off it’s participation in the 2009 SEC Power Poll, which brings SEC sports-bloggers together to rank each of the SEC schools on a weekly basis.  Last year this was a ton of fun.  Just like with the BlogPoll, I promise to consider any and all comments from the peanut gallery regarding my weekly ballots.

Once submitted, each week Power Poll is analyzed and sensationalized by the CockNFire of Garnet and Black Attack and Team Speed Kills.  For me, this is one of the best opportunities in blogging.  As a dyed-in-the-wool SEC fan, there is nothing closer to my heart than all things “ESS-EEE-SEE!”  I have also been known to … err … take a bit of creative license with my analyses of the various team, but I figure, what the hell?

bullet RTT College Football Pick ‘em Pool

Though I had given some thought to creating my own weekly college football pick’em contest, I decided that the best option was simply to ride the coattails of the competent collaborate with others.  Furthermore, I just enjoy it more when there are more folks involved, thus, I will be participating in Rocky Top Talk’s College Pick’em Pool which is hosted at Fun Office  The interface and function is easy to use, and it is just a lot of fun to show the entire world just how brilliant or how stupid you are.  Oh, and did I mention that it’s free?  All you have to do is sign up and you’re good to go.  Be sure to jump in before the season starts.

Oh, and I assure you that the College Pick’em Pool does not violate the SEC’s new Media Policy (which is as laughable as it is draconian).

Yeah, I know, not much in the way of substance, but this lawyerin’ is getting to be like having a job…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

Headlines, Links, & Lies: “I haven’t crashed into anything yet!” Edition

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

Well, I am almost done with the migration of the Gate from its current location on the web to its new home with my new hosting provider: Media Temple.  So far, I have been nothing but impressed with what they have to offer and I hope that there are many great things to come in the future here as a result.   I anticipate the “flipping the switch” for the change over in the next day or so, thus, my prior warning about the possibility that the Gate might “go missing” stands for a little while longer.  Such is life.

At any rate, due to being tied up with all my hosting-reconfiguration activities, I haven’t really had a chance to finish up the post I had planned for today. Thus, at a minimum I wanted to pass on a few links and what-not that seemed worth giving a look.

  • The Big Orange Roundtable Returneth: For those of you that remember the Vol-blogosphere’s little foray into collaboration from 2008, the roundtable is back.  Thus, the Big Orange Brethren (myself included) kickoff the 2009 Big Orange Roundtable this week with the first installment hosted by MoonDog.  For those of you who were not around for last year’s roundtable, it is a weekly roundtable discussion where a host poses a series of questions to the collective brain-trust of the Vol-blogosphere who, respond with their BS insightful and thought provoking answers.  At the end of the week, the host provides a round-up of the responses and the comments posted by each of the member Roundtable sites, along with a few parting thoughts.  It is a great series that was a lot of fun last season. Go ahead and check out this week’s questions.   I plan on posting my responses in the next day or so.
  • Ray Nettles and the Long Road to Redemption: Ray Nettles was a linebacker for the Big Orange from 1969-1971, winning All-America and All-SEC honors in 1971.  Over the past 38 years since leaving Tennessee he has struggled with his demons and his own brand of inner-conflict.  Now, however, he talks of redemption and finding his way back home from battles with addiction, marital strife, and now cancer.  Throughout his journey he has been supported by his former teammates in ways that even he has a difficult time understanding.

    Video: Ray Nettles Seeks Redemption

    This is a really powerful story of success, collapse, failure, and recovery which I highly recommend. HTVia: Florida Times-Union • HT: The Vol Historian

  • The 2008 Football Season in Seconds: Joel, “the Flashmaster General” offers up a re-cap of the entire 2008 football season in only seconds.   How, you ask? Through the miracles of the Adobe flash player, that’s how.  Check it out, just in case you forgot… HTVia: Rocky Top Talk

  • At least I drive better than this: I am really not sure why this lady was having such a difficult time driving a golf cart. They are fairly simple inventions.  Two pedals.  One steering wheel.  Four tires.  Needless to say, I won’t be riding with her anytime soon.

    Video: How Not to Drive a Golf Cart

    Now I know where personal-injury lawyers get their clients… HTVia: Fandome

At any rate, I hope to have the Gate migrated to its new home and to finally be set for the upcoming football season soon.

Until then, this will have to do…

– So it goes …Email lawvol No McAlisters

Friday Already?!?

Well, here it is, Friday, and I’ve got very little to show for the week…

I have been tied up the latter half of the week, and have been unable to get anything of consequence posted.  Even now, I am writing during a break in the action at a deposition.  Sad though it may be, I think Orson over at EDSBS may have gotten things right in his “football reads” assessment of the path most lawyers take in finding their career—especially the whole lack of math skills part.

This is all very simple once you've lived it...

Anyway, since I’ve pretty much been absent lately, at a minimum, I wanted to pass a long a great video I stumbled upon. This is a pre-game pep-talk from the chaplain at Georgia Tech.  Great line in there about “We gonna fight, till we cant fight no more, gonna lie down, bleed a while, gonna get up, fight some more!!!

Video: Gonna Fight Some More!!!

• HT to: Her Loyal Sons

Bring it!  I’m ready to bleed a while…

– So it goes…About Lawvol

Image(s) Courtesy of: EDSBS

The US Congress and College Football: An epidemic in the making

In case you hadn’t heard, the United States Congress has been hard at work lately—tackling the hard-hitting issues that our country is facing.  Our representatives in the House have been addressing monumental concerns impacting the daily lives of all Americans far and wide.  What, you might ask, is the single most important question in the minds of Representatives Joe Barton (R-TX), Neil Abercrombie (D-HI), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) and Mike Simpson (R-ID)?

Whether the BCS / Bowl system for determining NCAA football championships needs to be replaced by a playoff system.

As a result, these congressmen introduced a House Resolution in April seeking to have the United States Congress and the United States Department of Justice investigate the Bowl Championship Series.  In particular, this obscenely overstated meaningful legislation resolves that the House of Representatives:

(1) rejects the BCS system as an illegal restraint of trade that violates the Sherman Anti-Trust Act;

(2) demands the United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigate and bring appropriate action to have the BCS system declared illegal and require a playoff to determine a national champion; and

(3) supports the establishment of an NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision Championship playoff system in the interest of fairness and to bring parity to all NCAA teams.

• 111th Congress, House Resolution 68

Heavy stuff, that…

As a result of the tireless grandstanding efforts of these shameless self-promoters champions of the common man, the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection held hearings this past week to look into the actions of the BCS in hopes of determining whether something nefarious is afoot.  This included taking testimony from: John Swofford PDF Document (Commissioner of the Atlantic Coast Conference and Coordinator of the Bowl Championship Series), Craig Thompson PDF Document (Commissioner of the Mountain West Conference), Derrick Fox PDF Document (President and CEO of the Valero Alamo Bowl), and Gene Bleymaier PDF Document (Athletic Director of Boise State University).

For those of you out there that hate yourselves, you can view a streaming video of the entire hearing through the committee websiteNote: Apparently the Congressional muckety-mucks are too busy to hire someone schooled in the basic art of video editing.  Thus, you will want to fast forward to approximately 19:45 to view the hearing (that is, unless you just enjoy watching a blank screen for almost 20 minutes).

During the hearing, the Committee specifically looked into whether the BCS amounted to a monopoly, running afoul of federal anti-trust provisions.  With the great all-encompassing seriousness that can only come from the stuffed shirts of Congress and with the aire of the Watergate hearings, the committee set about digging deep into the bowels of college football’s deep dark secret.  Having watched some of the video of the hearing, it was obvious, in the minds of some of the assembled officials, that they felt the very sanctity of our American Republic hung precariously in the balance.


Don’t get me wrong, I am not opposed to the idea of a college football playoff, in fact I would gladly support such a system—so long as it is fair.  The disdain that is oozing from this article comes not from my opposition to the notion that college football needs a playoff, but rather from the nauseating belief by those in Congress that they are the answer to this problem.  Oh yeah, there is also the minor fact that the entire nation is passed out from the H1N1 flu in the economic toilet of the world with chunks of last night’s General Motors and Wall Street flavored hot dog still clinging to its mouth while these clueless egomaniacs are wasting their time trying to determine how we end our football seasons.

I’d love to sit around in a fancy conference room with hospitality service and get paid to talk football all day as much as the next guy, there’s no denying that.  The thought that our Congressional leaders have nothing better to do than just that, is more than a little bothersome.  The fact that they can do it with a straight face while purporting to represent the best interests of their constituents, makes me think of three words: “explosive projectile vomiting.”  I suppose that this sentiment is precisely what led CBS’s Dennis Dodd to note that “Retching is common for these kinds of mundane Capitol Hill gatherings.”

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So, did the Butler do it?

No Pass Out Checks | Gate 21

Brian Butler has been called many things by many people, not all of them are nice.

Butler is a former rapper and call-center manager, and a seemingly respectable football trainer based out of Wichita, Kansas.  At present, Butler is the principal and operator of the Potential Players recruiting service through which he serves as a self-styled, come-lately, “recruiting adviser” to high school football standouts across the country.  A “gifted” self-promoter, he is also the subject of a recently announced investigation by the NCAA.

Brian Butler working a recruit (NY Times / Simmons)

There are many questions being asked about Butler by many people, especially those recruiting high school standout Bryce Brown (which includes Tennessee).  The fundamental question, however, centers on whether he is essentially seeking to act as a sports agent for players being recruited by college football programs.

For now, at least, there is no definitive answer to this query.

The reason that this is an issue is that Butler has widely taken the position that the only way that college recruiters can speak with high-schoolers that he is “advising” is by going through him.  To many, this appears—at least outwardly—that Butler is serving as an “agent” rather than simply as an “adviser.”

Again, why does anyone care?  Under NCAA bylaws, current and potential student athletes are prohibited from retaining agents, and requires that all prospective athletes undergo an amateurism certification process, which includes, among other things, certifying that the athlete has not agreed to be represented by an agent.  On the issue of agents, NCAA Bylaw 12.3 states that:

An individual shall be ineligible for participation in an intercollegiate sport if he or she ever has agreed (orally or in writing) to be represented by an agent for the purpose of marketing his or her athletics ability or reputation in that sport. Further, an agency contract not specifically limited in writing to a sport or particular sports shall be deemed applicable to all sports, and the individual shall be ineligible to participate in any sport.

See NCAA Operational Bylaw 12.3.1 (PDF )

The NCAA’s website offers additional guidance stating that:

…a student-athlete (any individual who currently participates in or who may be eligible in the future to participate in intercollegiate sport) may not agree verbally or in writing to be represented by an athlete agent in the present or in the future for the purpose of marketing the student-athlete’s ability or reputation. If the student-athlete enters into such an agreement, the student-athlete is ineligible for intercollegiate competition.

Also, a student-athlete may not accept transportation or other benefits from an athlete agent. This prohibition applies to the student-athlete and his or her relatives or friends.

The term “agent” includes actual agents, runners (individuals who befriend student-athletes and frequently distribute impermissible benefits) and financial advisors.

It is not a violation of NCAA rules if a student-athlete merely talks to an agent (as long as an agreement for agent representation is not established) or socializes with an agent.

• via: Overview of NCAA Bylaws Governing Athlete Agents |

Thus, Butler acting as the only means of communication with a recruit could be troubling and potentially a violation of NCAA rules, hence the NCAA investigation.

This raises a particularly thorny set of issues for high school athletes and their families, college athletic departments, high school coaches, college boosters, the NCAA, and State Legislators.  That’s right, I said State Legislators.

For these reasons, I am personally of the opinion that someone—whether it be Butler, athletes, college institutions, or otherwise—will end up paying for what amounts to an infraction that lies in the proverbial “gray area” of the NCAA’s rules.  A violation in spirit, if not in the letter.  The problem is, however, that whether Butler’s conduct violates many rules or none all depends on the perspective applied to the facts, and for the record, I make no assertion that I know or understand all of the facts.

Still, let’s use a hypothetical to illustrate the complexity of the situation.

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Disgruntled fan sues UT to keep his deceased father’s seats

Headlines, Links & Lies | Gate 21

UT fan sues over stadium seating

In a lawsuit, Thomas Luck wants the seating rights that were given to his father in 1961. The two box seats, which Luck says are the best in the stadium, are on the front row of the upper west deck near the 50-yard line…

• via:  UT fan sues over stadium seating :

This is interesting.

Not exactly what I was trying to show in my first post on The Cost of Sports, but in the same vein.  Apparently, Nashville attorney Thomas Luck wants to keep seats in the new Tennessee Terrace zone (West Upper Deck) without paying the additional donation.  According to Luck, General Neyland himself gave lifetime rights to Luck’s late father in 1961.  Along with that came the right to pass the seat rights down after his death.  The University advised Luck that he would have to make a donation commensurate with the seat location, or relocate to another part of the stadium.  In response, Luck filed suit.

Now, I have no knowledge of the particulars of this case, but I do have a few observations…

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