A Special Post for a Special Friend

Hey LABO Nation,

It's not often that I write a blog post for the site.  After all, LABO has always been, and will continue to be, a sports law video blog.  Needless to say, something very special happened yesterday that required me to write a special blog entry today.

If you're a hockey fan, then you know that the NHL Draft Lottery was held yesterday, in which the Florida Panthers won the #1 overall pick in the 2014 draft.  And sitting in the TSN Studios in Toronto, Canada was one of my best friends, Travis Viola.  Last year, Travis and his family became the new owners of the Florida Panthers, taking their NY roots down to Sunrise, Florida, with the hopes of developing a winning mantra in a young and developing hockey club.

Travis talking to TSN shortly after the Panthers won the first overall pick in the 2014 NHL Draft Lottery,

Travis and I go back to 2009, when he and I sat next to each other in a film class at Fordham University.  Little did we know that we'd hit it off so well.  We both not only loved Hitchcock, but we loved baseball, the Beatles, and family.  That bond has only grown tighter.  While I went on to law school and Travis graduated from Fordham in 2010, we remained very good friends.

But what's especially special about Travis and his friendship is that he has been a devout supporter and advocate of LABO since Day 1.  He has been one of the most hardcore viewers of LABO.  In fact, in my eyes, he is one of the first members of LABO Nation.  He even appeared in LABO's Taking it To The Streets episode!  When he took on the role of VP of Hockey Operations for the Panthers, he NEVER cut ties with me or with LABO.  And for that I will be immensely grateful to Travis for his loyalty and sincerity as a friend.

Travis Viola, left, when he made his appearance on LABO's Taking it To The Streets episode in July 2013.

And as I watched the NHL Draft Lottery live yesterday, I screamed with jubilation, because it wasn't the hockey club that won the first draft pick.  Rather, it was one of my BEST FRIENDS who won.  And I honestly couldn't have been happier for him.  You can see my reaction below, documented live on my personal Instagram account.

So with that, Travis, congrats to you, your family, and the entire Florida Panthers organization on this immense moment of winning the #1 overall draft pick.  You definitely represented LABO Nation loudly and proudly yesterday evening!  LABO Nation, please join me in congratulating Travis on his massive achievement!

- Tony

Episode 61 - #TheHuddle: The Northwestern-NLRB Decision and Student Athlete Compensation

In this special edition of #TheHuddle, I sit down with three sports law bloggers to discuss the recent decision heard in the Chicago chapter of the NLRB that allows Northwestern football players to begin the process of unionizing.  We discuss the impact this decision has on the NCAA and discuss whether or not student athletes should be paid.

Our panelists feature:
1) Adam Ainslie, Staff Writer for LawCommentator.com (http://www.twitter.com/aaainslie)
2) Hakeem Onafowokan, Founder of FastBreakVerdict.com (http:///www.twitter.com/HOnafowokanJr)
3) Steve Silver, Co-Founder of TheLegalBlitz.com (http://www.twitter.com/TheLegalBlitz)

Be sure to join in on the conversation using the hashtag #TheHuddle.  Your opinion matters!

#TheHuddle is Making Its Return!

LABO Nation,

#TheHuddle is making its return to Law and Batting Order.  We unfortunately know what happened with the last episode of #TheHuddle when YouTube unjustly accused me of generating false views on the account.  By the way, the video is still down, so that means that I won't be using YouTube to upload LABO content anytime soon.

But my ordeal with the second episode of #TheHuddle did not stop me from providing premier sports law content, and quite frankly, #TheHuddle is such a unique concept that I can't let go of.

With that said, please tune in on Sunday, April 13th, when a new episode of #TheHuddle goes live and makes its official debut on the LABO Vimeo account.  This episode features sports law bloggers and writers and they provided hearty, thought-provoking content on the Northwestern-NLRB decision that went down a couple of weeks ago.  The panelists' names are below, and please follow them on Twitter!

  • Steve Silver - Co-Founder of TheLegalBlitz.com (Twitter: @TheLegalBlitz)
  • Hakeem Onafowokan, Jr. - Founder of FastBreakVerdict.com (Twitter: @HOnafowokanJr)
  • Adam Ainslie - Sports Law Staff Writer for LawCommentator.com (Twitter: @aaainslie)

I look forward to sharing this episode with all of you and don't forget to chime in using the hashtag #TheHuddle.  Remember, your opinion matters too!

- Tony

5th Annual Sports Law Symposium at New York Law School

IILP Sports Law Symposium Save the Date copy.jpg

Hey LABO Nation,

In case you don't know from my mentions in episodes of #TheHuddle, I serve as the Vice President of the New York Law School Sports Law Society.  In addition to serving in that role, I am the co-chair of the 5th Annual Sports Law Symposium alongside my good friend and society president Jacqui Lamer.

After months of hard work and planning, I am pleased to announce that registration for the 5th Annual Sports Law Symposium is now open.  The 5th Annual Sports Law Symposium at New York Law School will happen on Friday, February 21, 2014 from 10 AM to 5 PM, with a networking reception to follow until 6 PM.   You can register for the symposium by visiting http://NYLS5LS.eventbrite.com.

We have a slew of panels on deck for this year's symposium, but we're especially pleased with the line-up of panelists that agreed to participate in our symposium.  Our panelists include former Penn State University president Graham Spanier, ESPN investigative reporter TJ Quinn, and Senior VP of Investigations for MLB Dan Mullin.  Likewise, previous LABO guests will serve as panelists in this year's symposium, including Darren Heitner, Ben Haynes, and David Fish.

If you're a law school student who's passionate about sports law, a sports attorney, a sports business professional, or an aficionado of the sports law industry, this is a symposium you do NOT want to miss.  Jacqui and I are confident this will be our best symposium yet.

Please join us and help market our symposium by using the hashtag #NYLS5LS.  If you're in the NYC area that day, I sure hope you'll join us!

IILP Sports Law Symposium Save the Date.jpg

Episode 58 - A-Rod's Lawsuit Against MLB

In this episode, I discuss the lengthy complaint that Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez filed against MLB, the MLB Players Association, and Arbitrator Frederic Horowitz after his suspension for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal dropped from 211 games to 162 games.

SportsNetworker.com's Rising Stars in SportsBiz for 2014: http://www.sportsnetworker.com/2014/01/23/rising-stars-sportsbiz-2014/

Episode 57 - Collegiate Athletics Compliance (Interview with Paul Kilgas, Esq.)

In this episode, I sit down with Paul Kilgas, a Wisconsin-based attorney, to discuss the collegiate athletics compliance scene, talk pay-for-play, and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of compliance offices in different athletic departments around the county.

Follow Paul Kilgas on Twitter at twitter.com/PaulKilgas

My Upcoming Interview on the Show "Today's Verdict with David Lesch"

Hey LABO Nation,

When I started LABO in December 2011, I never imagined that this little web-show would get the attention that it's been getting lately.  From being featured in an article for the website "The Student Appeal" to even appearing as a sports law analyst for the web-based radio show SportsZone, I have been honored to have my work for Law and Batting Order recognized.  And alas, the time has come when LABO will be featured on a new medium.  This time, it'll be on TV!

On Tuesday, December 17, 2013, I will have the pleasure and honor of being featured on a NY public television show called "Today's Verdict with David Lesch."  If you don't follow "Today's Verdict," it's a 30-minute show that discusses pressing legal topics to everyday people.  It airs every first and third Tuesday of the month and is hosted by attorney David Lesch, as the title suggests.  I will be interviewed to talk about my work with LABO while attending law school, and perhaps we'll dive into some sports law issues.  But the subject of our conversation is unknown at this time.

And because I'm sharing this with you all, I would be equally honored if you had a chance to tune in to the interview!  It will be a live to tape show, but the episode will begin at 6:30 PM on BronxNet (Channel 33 if you live in the Bronx).  If you don't live in the Bronx, the episode will be streaming at 6:30 via BronxNet's live stream.  This will also air on NY's other public television stations MNN and QPTV.  However, the dates and times for those airings have yet to be determined.

I'm really excited to be featured in my very first TV interview!  But this and much more would not be possible without the support of my viewers!  Thank you all SO MUCH for your constant support of LABO, for commenting, for watching, and for sharing LABO with your friends, family, and members of the sports law community.

Thomas Edison simply said once, "There is no substitute for hard work."  I have worked hard on LABO all these months and it has certainly paid off.  I can't wait to keep working hard and delivering quality content for you all.

In the meantime, please follow the LABO social media accounts as the date of the interview approaches.  Also, follow "Today's Verdict" on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks, and to those of you taking finals, GOOD LUCK!

--Tony