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Unpublished Paper
From the Black Sox to the Sky Box: The Evolution and Mechanics of Commissioner Authority
ExpressO (2008)
  • Aaron Brooks, Harvard Law School
  • Colin Daniels, Harvard Law School
Abstract

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.

Keywords
  • NFL,
  • NBA,
  • MLB,
  • commissioner,
  • authority
Disciplines
Publication Date
May 20, 2008
Citation Information
Aaron Brooks and Colin Daniels. "From the Black Sox to the Sky Box: The Evolution and Mechanics of Commissioner Authority" ExpressO (2008)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/aaron_brooks/1/