In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in the number of legal disputes in the professional sports industry. For the first time, the fan is being exposed to a hidden side of American sports—the dealings between the professional athlete and his employer. There are several reasons for this phenomenon: the great amounts of money involved, the athlete's increased awareness of his legal rights, attempts by unions to organize players and then negotiate with owners, and the public exposure which the media has given this problem in recent years. While the reasons are many and complex, the result is not. The public impression of sports as the great American pastime, exemplar of fair play and builder of character, is being shaken. The athletes' performance is suffering, and owners are forced to make unpopular trades and dismissals. Indeed, the fundamental notion of sports as a game is eroding away. Realizing this problem, the sports industry has undertaken an extensive search for a system to resolve these disputes in an orderly and expeditious manner. As of this date, the search for the "better" system is, in the opinion of the author, pointing toward grievance arbitration. This Note focuses on this concept, the most recent to find its way into the professional sports industry. It examines the most recent and far-reaching decisions rendered pursuant to the new grievance arbitration mechanism to determine whether it is in fact a better system.
James B. Gessford,
Arbitration of Professional Athletes' Contracts: An Effective System of Dispute Resolution in Professional Sports,
55 Neb. L. Rev. 362
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol55/iss2/9