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60 Tenn. L. Rev. 263 (1992-1993)


A casual glance at the daily newspapers would suggest that athletes and sports teams spend almost as much time squaring off in the courts as they do on the playing fields. Professional football players complain that the teams for which they play and the National Football League have conspired to impose illegal restraints on their ability to offer their services to other teams. A baseball team went to court to challenge the decision by the now-deposed Commissioner of Baseball to shift it from one division to another. College players, coaches, and universities all contend that various rules imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association are unlawful. The list seems endless.

Principal among the theories asserted by plaintiffs in many of these cases is that these practices violate the antitrust laws. Yet, challenges in the sports world which assert claims arising under the antitrust laws are nothing new; indeed, they extend back over seven decades. Ever since, courts have sought to adjust the needs of athletes, teams, and sports leagues to the frequently conflicting goals of competition promoted by the antitrust laws. This Article will review many of these past disputes, as well as provide an overview for analysis of the new disputes, which inevitably will arise in the future.


This article was published originally at 60 Tenn. L. Rev. 263 (1993) and is used here by permission of the author and the Tennessee Law Review Association, Inc.



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