Sports

Some post-Soviet states kept Lenin statues up longer than Penn State kept JoePa’s.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is about to do what the Southeastern Conference (the “SEC” that actually takes down its targets) does every week on the recruiting trail: tell the NCAA to get bent.

Yesterday, Governor Tom Corbett filed a federal antitrust suit in Harrisburg alleging that the NCAA overstepped its authority in dropping the hammer on Penn State’s football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

Apparently the NCAA may not have quasi-governmental authority to take millions in direct fines from public institutions in an effort to protect its brand name.

Pennsylvanian officials are understandably miffed because Penn State is directly paying millions in fines and missing out on millions more in bowl revenue. Taxpayer dollars intended for the public education of students that had nothing to do with the scandal are being siphoned away from the state to finance programs at the sole discretion of the NCAA leadership and the majority is spent outside Pennsylvania.

The NCAA counters that the criminal activity at Penn State was enabled by a culture of winning-at-all-costs and only the NCAA can appropriately discipline the school for that mindset.

But really this lawsuit comes down to two parties, the NCAA and Corbett, making desperate PR moves to cover their own asses. Is that in poor taste? Sure. Is it in even worse taste that the NCAA and Corbett are using this tragedy for their own purposes? Well let’s look at what they’ve been up to….

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Celebrity opinions are the worst. On this, I think we can all agree. Unlike our pundit class, celebrities have very few advanced degrees and are never held to account for their prognostications. When a talking head on TV or the internet or even books gets something wrong, he’s fired immediately. The marketplace of ideas demands nothing less. Someone more inclined to bad puns would say that as a marketplace, being fired for being wrong is more than laissez… fair.

And so we hate celebrities mouthing off like they are wont to do because they don’t get fired from their jobs when they’re wrong. This is especially true of the sports world, where the famous people not being fired for voicing opinions also represent our favorite teams, like the Chicago Bears. Or even our least favorite teams, like the Syracuse Orangemen.

Syracuse basketball coach Jim Boeheim spoke out about gun control this week because a bunch of children were murdered recently and a bunch of microphones were stuck in his face. The men holding the microphones said, “Hey Jim, let’s talk sports.”

Jim didn’t want to talk sports. Let’s talk sports….

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Mirroring the profession it covers, this website has whiplashed from ecstasy to agony since its inception, from bottles and models to pink slips and loan debt. Like a rap career in reverse, the site has gone from frivolity to gritty realism in the time it took the legal market to absolutely crater. And that’s okay, really. Train wrecks can be beautiful. Like a pictorial essay of Detroit. The idea behind this column was to talk about a world immune from such harrowing turns of event. To talk about a world filled with Peter Pan syndromes who won the genetic lottery and behave as if what is owed to them is much more than just the world. You know, like young Biglaw attorneys circa 2006.

But this hasn’t been the case, sadly. This space has been the province of pedophiles and et cetera and so forth, and I’ve gotten to cover none of the Entourage-like excess that I had hoped. Today? Today we have another unemployed lawyer. Another statistic. Another godforsaken down-in-the-mouth sad sack who can’t keep a job and makes me want to cry because if he can’t keep his job, what does that foretell for my own “career” if you can even call it that — because I really can’t, I mean, why did I even go to law school in the first place? Good God and baby Jesus, was that a mistake…

This guy’s a football coach with a J.D. from Harvard. Let’s talk sports….

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The Alabama Crimson Tide are back in the BCS title game. Any moment, we expect SEC lawyers with poor time management skills to start asking judges for continuances so they can go to Miami to support their team. It’s happened before, Roll Tide.

I’m not expecting Notre Dame trained lawyers to totally freak out in the next month. I trust them to figure out how to manage their professional and fanatical responsibilities without needing continuances and extensions. Aren’t most Golden Domers in your life competent even while they’re insufferable?

In any event, one judge in Florida isn’t waiting to see if lawyers are going to need extra time this holiday season; instead he’s giving it out sua sponte. And really, I basically had this idea last year for all judges in SEC country….

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There’s no gay bar at the Supreme Court right now.

* I’m not sure that it’s legal to tag the cars of people who park poorly, but it’s certainly satisfying. Honestly, every time I see one of those commercials where the dude needs freaking birds to park his “I’ve given up on life” minivan-SUV, I want to scream, “You could act like a man!” [Legal Blog Watch]

* SCOTUS is acting like an old college roommate who just came out is inviting them to a gay bar, and they’re trying to politely decline without looking like raging homophobes. [SCOTUSblog]

* To all the people who didn’t pass the California bar exam, here’s a guy who did it while only studying for 100 hours. Yeah. So… umm, I didn’t really think this blurb through. [Blake Masters]

* Do lawyers need to “love” their clients? Come on, isn’t loving the money they give you enough? [Underdog]

* Jason Whitlock took the Jovan Belcher and put the focus exactly where it should be, on our gun laws. Then Bob Costas blew a big megaphone on Sunday Night Football. [Fox Sports]

* It’s funny, I’m against sex offender registries because even though sex crimes are heinous, registries are bad things that create second-class citizens and tend to unfairly lump people who didn’t commit the worst stuff in with disgusting humans. That means I should probably be against animal abuse registries too, but man I don’t think animal abusers suffer nearly enough. So, whatever, I’m a hypocrite. I’m a hypocrite who cares more about dogs than children. [Simple Justice]

I’m an old smelly sock, and I’m proud. And I think it’s time to stop the nonsense. After two years of almost relentless attacks on socks, a bit of perspective would be nice.

For at least two years, the popular press, bloggers, and a few sensationalist sandals have turned old smelly socks into the new investment banks. We entice bright young students into our stinky clutches. Succubus-like, when we’ve taken the sweat we want from them, we return them to the mean and barren streets to fend for themselves. Barefoot.

The hysteria has masked some important realities and created an environment in which some of the brightest potential lawyers are, largely irrationally, forgoing the possibility of a rich, rewarding and, yes, profitable, career.

I’m an old smelly sock, and I miss all those bright potential lawyers.

Let’s talk sports….

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* Wait, did other people know this Casey Anthony movie was happening and not tell me? With Rob Lowe? How much would you pay to get drunk and watch it with Nancy Grace? [Lifetime]

* In America, poorly parked cars get tickets. In Soviet Russia, poorly parked cars get douches. [Legal Blog Watch]

* Sometimes you can evade consequences associated with evading taxes, and sometimes you can’t. [Going Concern]

* The George Zimmerman defense fund seems to be alive and well… unlike Trayvon Martin. [NPR]

* I feel like it would be great if the NFL took marijuana off of its banned substance list. It’s not like the drug is performance enhancing. [The Nation]

* A leading organization for in-house lawyers weighs in against the sanctions imposed on TD Bank. [Association of Corporate Counsel]

* Don’t forget to add your résumé to the flood for our open positions on Above the Law. At this point, you might want to send a picture to get our attention. Not of yourself, but you know, Twinkies, peep-toed shoes, something that we actually care about. [Above the Law]

* Legendary union leader Marvin Miller died today at the age of 95. This is a guy who lost a huge case at the Supreme Court fighting against Major League Baseball, and still found a way to win. He wasn’t a lawyer, but he mastered the law. [USA Today]

* Tax professors weigh in on the fiscal cliff. [Tax Prof Blog]

* Jersey Shore residents are suing over sand dune protection from storms. They’re not suing because they’re weren’t protected enough, they’re suing because the new sand dunes block their ocean view. [Asbury Park Press]

* Yahoo! and NBA lawyers might need to talk about what, precisely, the NBA is endorsing. [Marc Edelman Blog]

* I’m going to go on and vote “no” on the question of whether or not the U.N. should get to “govern” the internet. Wait… I don’t get a “vote” on what the U.N. should do? Well, that sounds like a good reason to go back to not giving a crap about anything the U.N. says. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* Looks like the wheel finally came ’round on InTrade. [Dealbreaker]

* The Justice Resource Center, coordinator of the 2013 NYSBA High School Mock Trial Tournament, seeks voluntary attorney-coaches. Help teach young people about the law — and get CLE credit, too! [Justice Resource Center]

Randall Gay

I didn’t have to really study for football. It’s just something you know. Now, I’m starting from scratch writing briefs. I don’t know what a brief is. I’m taking a tort class. I don’t know what a tort is. In football, we have seven days to prepare. Now I have to do assignments and have them done by the next day. But I’ve learned to adapt quickly.

Randall Gay, a retired football player formerly of the New England Patriots and the New Orleans Saints, commenting on what it’s like to make the difficult transition from playbooks to law books in his new career as a law student.

(So where is the ex-cornerback going to law school? Let’s find out!)

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* I’m thankful every time an anti-gay lawyer gets arrested for child pornography. Lesbian child pornography. [Huffington Post]

* I’m thankful for people like the lawyer who rushed to the defense of Shabazz Muhammad. [L.A. Times]

* But I’m not thankful for the NCAA and the way it harms poor, young athletes with stupid, anachronistic rules. [Forbes]

* I’m thankful for the separation of church and state. [Slate]

* I’m thankful I don’t own Hewlett-Packard stock. [DealBook / New York Times]

* I’m thankful that threatening people with umbrellas is just as stupid in real life as it is in the Batman comics. [Legal Juice]

* Mainly, I’m just thankful it’s Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. [Atlantic Wire]

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