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Peter Carfagna

  • Weiler

    Paul C. Weiler LL.M. ’65, 1939–2021: North America’s foremost labor law scholar and the founder of ‘sports and the law’

    July 22, 2021

    Paul C. Weiler LL.M. ’65, the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law, Emeritus at Harvard Law School, renowned as North America’s foremost labor law scholar and the founder of sports law, died July 7 after a long illness.

  • The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this week on NCAA v. Alston that could finally bring clarity on athlete compensation

    March 31, 2021

    While its billion-dollar basketball championships serve as a platform for players to voice their disapproval of its rules, the NCAA will polish and present its weathered case for amateurism to the U.S. Supreme Court this week in what legal experts describe as a crucial moment in the century-old journey toward athlete compensation. Attorneys in NCAA v. Alston are expected to make their oral arguments before the high court on Wednesday in a case that goes to the heart of the NCAA’s slow-to-evolve rules...All of the legal proceedings — the Supreme Court case, state laws and federal bills — create a very busy and confusing intersection of legislation. Among lawmaking bodies, who has the most power? Who trumps whom? If the Supreme Court rules for the NCAA, for example, could Congress still enact NIL reform? Yes, in fact, it can. “Congress can trump the Supreme Court,” said Peter Carfagna, a Harvard Law professor who is the faculty supervisor of the school’s sports law clinical program. “That’s unequivocal.” ... The Supreme Court “makes a lot of statements about the critical role the NCAA plays and the maintenance of the revered role of amateurism,” Carfagna said. The NCAA “holds on to that like a bulldog and it is still the crutch to this day.”

  • NCAA headquarters

    Amateurism under scrutiny as the NCAA comes before the Supreme Court

    March 30, 2021

    Is the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) violating antitrust law by limiting whether and how student-athletes can profit from their own labor, or are the organization’s long-established guardrails necessary to protect amateurism?

  • basketball in empty arena

    HLS sports law journal tackles publicity rights in college sports

    September 15, 2020

    The Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law publishes special edition focused on the NCAA and the rights of student-athletes to profit from their own name, likeness or image.

  • Baseball on Grass Field

    ‘It was a titanic struggle to make this happen’

    July 23, 2020

    HLS Lecturer Peter Carfagna ’79 discusses Major League Baseball’s return to play during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • How Jon Gruden’s 10-year, $100 million deal with the Raiders transforms the head coaching market

    January 10, 2018

    The Raiders will reportedly pay Jon Gruden $100 million over 10 years to come out of the booth and get back to coaching...Gruden does have a Super Bowl win on his resume. His Buccaneers beat the Raiders following the 2003 season. It happened just a few short months after the Raiders traded Gruden to Tampa Bay for four draft picks. On the other hand, Gruden also hasn’t coached at all since he was fired by the Bucs in 2009. Still, Peter Carfagna, a sports law professor at Harvard and the director of the sports law track at the University of Miami’s law school, said it makes sense in this circumstance. “It’s not a surprise, because when you look at building a multi-billion dollar stadium in Las Vegas, and sure. It just would be very smart to play off of this as kind of a one-off, I would think, in the pros,” Carfagna said.

  • Peter Carfagna Elected as Incoming Chair of LPGA’s Board of Directors

    November 15, 2017

    As the LPGA Tour prepares for the final tournament of its 2017 season, sports law expert and current Harvard Law School instructor Peter Carfagna has been elected as the incoming Chair of the Ladies Professional Golf Association's (LPGA's) Board of Directors, effective January 1, 2018..."I'm absolutely delighted to take on the role as Chair of the LPGA’s Board of Directors," said Carfagna. "Mike Whan and his executive team are true 'major league' players in the sports world - it will be my pleasure to work closely with them, and with our player and other independent directors, to accomplish the very ambitious Strategic Plan which will continue to showcase the LPGA as the premier women’s professional sports organization in the world."

  • Mike Zarren ’04, Jeff Pash '80 and Dan Halem '91

    In a league of their own

    November 2, 2017

    Executives representing the three most popular major sports leagues in the U.S. offered insights into the business and legal maneuvering behind the games, during the HLS 200 panel “A View from the Top.”

  • Only Roger Goodell could turn Ezekiel Elliott into a sympathetic figure

    September 8, 2017

    It’s time for NFL owners to rethink the powers of the commissioner, for the sake of their own business reputations, which are being sullied...“It’s the worst of the major leagues by a wide margin,” said Peter Carfagna, former general counsel at IMG and a distinguished lecturer in sports law at Case Western Reserve and Harvard University, and who owns the Cleveland Indians’ Class A affiliate.

  • What if James Harrison kept fighting the NFL’s PED investigation?

    September 6, 2016

    James Harrison sat down with the NFL for an interview he never believed in to answer questions about a report he publicly called bulls*** for an investigation overseen by Roger Goodell, who he's repeatedly referred to as a crook, among much worse. He did it so he could play...Still, he would be likely to lose, said Peter Carfagna, a visiting sports law professor at Harvard Law School. As long as his punishment came from an agreement that was collectively bargained – both the PED policy and league CBA were – Section 301 of the Labor Management Relations stops a judge from ruling in Harrison's favor, Carfagna said. "We're pre-empted from even considering this," he said. A distinction between the PED policy and the CBA effectively doesn't matter, Carfagna said, as the league gets to decide if it thinks either policy was broken and then open an investigation.

  • Tom Brady and NFL Await ‘Deflategate’ Decision

    August 31, 2015

    The “Deflategate” scandal comes to a head in federal court on Monday as lawyers for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the NFL commissioner square off one more time before the judge deciding whether to uphold the star’s four-game suspension for underinflated footballs. ... Legal experts, though, say that despite judge’s stern words, Mr. Brady faces long odds. That’s because courts generally are very reluctant to undo a final, binding arbitration decision, even one they view as seriously flawed. “It’s an extremely high bar,” said Peter Carfagna, a former outside counsel to the Cleveland Browns who directs Harvard Law School’s sports law clinic.

  • Deflategate: What Is at Stake

    August 21, 2015

    In the case known as “Deflategate,” a federal court judge is presiding over a bizarre dispute between the American sports world’s most profitable entity, the National Football League, and one of the most successful quarterbacks in its history, Tom Brady. A four-time Super Bowl champion, Brady led the New England Patriots to the title in February. ... Peter Carfagna is a lecturer on law and directs the Sports Law Clinic atHarvard Law School. He spoke with the Gazette about the dispute and what impact the case may have on NFL players and on the league.

  • Airing it out: Carfagna discusses legal battle over ‘Deflategate’

    August 21, 2015

    Peter Carfagna, lecturer on law and director of the Sports Law Clinic at Harvard Law School, recently spoke with the Harvard Gazette about the 'Deflategate' dispute and what impact the case may have on NFL players, and on the league.

  • Airing it out

    August 20, 2015

    Perhaps it’s only fitting that in the dog days of summer, an awful lot of hot air is being expended over the inflation of footballs. In the case known as “Deflategate,” a federal court judge is presiding over a bizarre dispute between the American sports world’s most profitable entity, the National Football League (NFL), and one of the most successful quarterbacks in its history, Tom Brady. A four-time Super Bowl champion, Brady led the New England Patriots to the title in February...Peter Carfagna is a lecturer on law and directs the Sports Law Clinic at Harvard Law School (HLS). He spoke with the Gazette about the dispute and what impact the case may have on NFL players and on the league.

  • Many find NFL’s justice system difficult to fathom

    May 14, 2015

    Maura Healey is having a difficult time understanding the NFL’s justice system. “I’m just struck by the fact that somebody like Ray Rice gets a two-game suspension and Tom Brady, over deflated balls, is facing a four-game suspension,” said the Massachusetts attorney general. “It doesn’t add up for me.” That has been a common refrain since the NFL doled out a four-game suspension to Brady, the Patriots quarterback, for his role in the deflation of game-used footballs as outlined in the Wells Report, and his lack of cooperation in the investigation...“This is conduct detrimental, the clause everybody signs on for under the uniform player contracts, and all the teams agree to it,” said Peter Carfagna, a sports law lecturer at Harvard Law School. “This is an on-field misconduct situation, which makes it different. “There’s always been finding a careful distinction between on-field and off-field misconduct.”

  • Why what’s missing in states’ youth concussion laws matters

    January 28, 2015

    With a push from the NFL, all 50 states and the District of Columbia passed youth concussion laws over the span of about five years. They were modeled after legislation passed in Washington state in 2009. But an Associated Press analysis shows just 21 of the laws that followed included all four key elements in Washington's bill. "Washington state is the 'gold standard,'" said Peter Carfagna, the founder of a sports marketing company and a teacher at Harvard Law School. "I have a hard time thinking of a good reason why you'd deviate from it."

  • At HLS, panelists discuss the future of digital media in sports marketing

    December 5, 2014

    At a December 2 event sponsored by Harvard Law School's Brazilian Studies Association and its Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law, experts convened at to discuss digital media's place in the future of the global sports business model.

  • In sports, live TV is still No. 1

    December 5, 2014

    It’s likely no surprise that digital media outlets are quickly capturing the worldwide sports audience. Websites and social outlets such as YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter regularly share the latest great catch or slam-dunk via video, tweet, or “like.” Yet television still has an enormous grip on millions of fans around the globe, in particular during live sporting events with international appeal, such as the Olympics or the World Cup...The discussion on the future of the sports business model was sponsored by HLS’s Brazilian Studies Association and its Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law. The panel, moderated by Charles Nesson, the William F. Weld Professor of Law and co-founder of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society, included Harvard Business School’s Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, emeritus Stephen Greyser, and sports law specialist and HLS lecturer on law Peter Carfagna.

  • Ray Rice wins suspension appeal, deals rare upset to NFL authority

    December 1, 2014

    The NFL suffered a rare setback Friday when its far-reaching and high-profile suspension of Ray Rice was overturned, allowing the running back to return to the league immediately — if anyone will take him...One legal expert said that even though the Rice case does not establish precedent, it moves the league closer to a day when ultimate decisions on punishment are not made by the commissioner. “The walls are beginning to tumble down on the commissioner hearing the final appeal,” said Harvard law professor Peter Carfagna, former chief legal officer of media firm IMG. “It's like the Alamo, but they haven't climbed in and taken it yet.” How that impacts Goodell's overall authority, Carfagna said, is “in the eye of the beholder.”

  • Illustration of a basketball goal with a dollar bill as the backboard

    Pay for Play

    May 15, 2014

    Suddenly, the N.C.A.A. is forced to play defense in more than one court.

  • Paychecks for college athletes? New legal inroads challenge strictures

    April 1, 2014

    The following post originally appeared in the Harvard Gazette on March 27, 2014. As the men’s basketball tournament known as March Madness edges closer to crowning…

  • Wrestling with choices: David Otunga ’06

    February 28, 2014

    Professional wrestler David Otunga '06 was the keynote speaker at the Harvard Law School Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law’s 2014 symposium, which also include panel discussions with practicing lawyers, a presentation of student awards, and a recognition of Paul C. Weiler, LL.M. ’65, the Henry J. Friendly Professor of Law, Emeritus.

  • Representing the athlete: Through a course at HLS, students get a behind-the-scenes look at sports law

    February 16, 2010

    This January, Cleveland Browns Quarterback Brady Quinn brought his expertise to the Harvard Law School classroom as a guest in Lecturer on Law Peter Carfagna’s course “Representing the Professional Athlete.” Through a frank two hour question-and-answer session, students got an inside look at the numerous behind-the-scenes negotiations that are a part of every athlete’s career.