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Utah and Sports Law
Marquette Sports Law Review (2018)
  • Adam Epstein
The state of Utah has addressed sports law issues across a broad spectrum, far more than just ski-related. Utah cases, coupled with sport-specific statutes, shows that even a state with a relatively small population might still have to deal with legal issues that intersect sport and law. While the advent of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City was an exciting time for the state and, in the end, became a huge international success, along with it came accusations of criminal misconduct to get it there in the first place. Indeed, misconduct involving the judging of pairs figure skating at the Games caused permanent change within that sport. Given the host of influential Division I NCAA colleges and universities within the state, it is natural that many sports law cases and issues would manifest themselves. In particular, the University of Utah and its Native American mascot concerns, coupled with Brigham Young University (BYU) and its policy against Sunday competition, seem to be the most prominent players related to NCAA rules, though clearly they are not alone in the state. Utah remains unyielding with regard to its rigid stance on gambling, including Internet gambling and fantasy sports. Utah has gained unwanted national attention for civil and criminal misdeeds involving hazing and violence related to sport, including the death of a soccer referee. Utah has a statutory framework that addresses hazing, bullying and cyberbullying, and has several sport-specific statutes including one statute that limits hockey arena and facility liability. Utah’s recently updated Inherent Risks of Skiing Act updates decades of case law. Finally, the enactment of its Protection of Athletes with Head Injuries Act in 2011 demonstrates that Utah remains current and relevant in sports law circles far beyond Sundays and the slopes.
  • Utah,
  • sports law,
  • Salt Lake City Olympics 2002,
  • Brigham Young University,
  • “BYU Rule,
  • ” NCAA,
  • bylaws,
  • student-athletes,
  • Native American Mascots,
  • Utes,
  • BCS,
  • intercollegiate athletics,
  • social media,
  • academic fraud,
  • Weber State University,
  • sports gambling,
  • hazing,
  • bullying,
  • cyberbullying,
  • UHSAA,
  • defamation,
  • Inherent Risks of Skiing Act,
  • Protection of Athletes with Head Injuries Act.
Publication Date
Winter February 15, 2018
Citation Information
Adam Epstein. "Utah and Sports Law" Marquette Sports Law Review Vol. 28 Iss. 1 (2018) p. 107 - 141
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