This article surveys and compares the legal sources and historical evolution of the Office of the Commissioner in the three major American professional sports (MLB, NBA, NFL). Part I introduces the appeal and relevance of studying the Commissioner’s office and describes the Article’s three-pronged analytical approach. Part II identifies and contrasts the legal foundations for the three sports’ varying scopes of commissioner authority. Part III takes a look at the various individuals who have filled the office in the past, and places them on a “power spectrum” according to the amount of power wielded by each. Part IV is a case study of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s first few years in office (2006-present), with particular emphasis on the Spygate scandal and other developments. Part V compares Goodell to past commissioners and attempts to place him on the “power spectrum” delineated in Part III.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/aaron_brooks/1/