Saturday, May 31, 2014

Columbia University Tackles New York MMA... their sports management graduate program.

Yes, you heard it! Our seventeen year prohibition on MMA in New York has not only solidified itself as the laughing stock of the North American MMA community, a never-ending déjà vu of legislative posturing and a simmering constitutional legal there is a full fledged COURSE as part of the Columbia University graduate program in sports management designed to address the issue! Yes, really!

In all seriousness, this is an interesting development. Columbia's press release of May 29th entitled
A Battle for the Ages – Sports Management Class Takes on the Case for Legalizing MMA in New York states:
The project -- “MMA in New York: A Study in Whether It Should Be Legalized and Regulated” -- will be led by sports law attorney Carla Varriale of Havkins Rosenfeld Ritzert and Varriale, LLP. Varriale is an adjunct professor who teaches Sports Law and Ethics in the school’s sports management program. “The students are poised to study this issue. New York enjoys a plethora of professional sports, including boxing. Why is this sport such a lightning rod and, most importantly, can the controversy be overcome so New Yorkers can get the same access to the sport as the rest of North America?” said Varriale.
“Although MMA is a controversial sport, it is a popular sport that New Yorkers have an interest in, since they will travel to other states in order to watch it or are spectators via television broadcasts. The students will examine the reasons the sport was otherwise banned, whether it should now be permitted and, if so, under what sort of regulation in order to address safety concerns. The students will also follow the ongoing litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York that has challenged New York’s MMA ban on First Amendment and vagueness grounds, among other things. It’s a unique class and this is an opportunity to study how legislation is made (or not) and the challenges facing an emerging sport. At the conclusion of the project, they will issue a report and they will make recommendations regarding some of the safety and risk management issues.”
While it is sad on one level, that our state's prohibition on MMA has become so entrenched that an entire course can now be dedicated to it, on a different level it will be exciting to see how a fresh group of young minds will assess and tackle the issue of the ban.

NY MMA: May Update

Not much new in NY MMA this year. Senate passed the legislation again. Assembly will likely not pass it again. The Zuffa et. al vs NYS Federal lawsuit moves on (currently in discovery phase), and amateur MMA continues to boom...with some controversy.  Here are some recent stories to get you all up to speed.

May 21, 2014: Deadspin, HIV, Hepatitis C, and More: New York's MMA Scene is a Disaster

May 19, 2014: By The NY Daily News, NYS Assembly Speaker - NY MMA Looking Unlikely

May 19, 2014: By Jime Genia, Would MMA Lose a Floor Vote in the Assembly?

May 15, 2014: By Jim Genia, Will the Assembly Vote on MMA This Year?

May 14, 2014: By Fightland, Fighting for Nothing - And Everything - In New York

May 14, 2014: By Jim Genia, Analyzing New York's 2014 MMA Bills

May 14, 2014: Stephen Koepfer and Al Iaquinta on the TNS Podcast

May 9, 2014: By Jim Genia, Bjorn Rebney on the Battle for MMA in New York - "I've Stayed Out of It"

May 1, 2014: By Jim Genia, Yesterday's Press Conference in Albany Generates Some Media Attention

April 27, 2014: By Popular Mechanics, Fight Night - Watching MMA in NYC

April 24, 2014: By Jim Genia, One on One with Senator Liz Kruger, New York MMA's Most Vocal Enemy

April 4, 2014: By Jim Genia, The UFC, the Cullinary Union and the Battle for New York

March 14, 2014: By Jim Genia, New York Senate Still Likes MMA