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Legal Experts: Casey Close Has To Prove He Is A Private Figure In Doug Gottlieb Lawsuit

“There is no easy answer to the question of whether or not Casey Close or Excel Sports Management are actually private figures.”

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Baseball agent Casey Close has filed a federal libel suit against FOX Sports Radio host Doug Gottlieb after Gottlieb reported that Close never presented the Atlanta Braves’ final offer to Freddie Freeman, who was Close’s client at the time.

Bill Shea of The Athletic talked to two experts to get an idea of what we can expect from the case. Many of them agreed that the outcome could hinge on whether or not Casey Close and his agency are private or public figures.

The legal filing states that Close and his company Excel Sports Management are private figures. If the court agrees, libel would be much easier to prove.

“Courts generally look to the defendant to show that the plaintiff is a public figure,” said Len Niehoff, a University of Michigan law school professor who specializes in First Amendment and media law. 

There is no easy answer to the question of whether or not Casey Close or Excel Sports Management are actually private figures. Close is often described as the former agent and personal friend of Derek Jeter. Certainly there is a familiarity with him and his clients.

Niehoff said it is possible that Close could be viewed as a “limited public figure” in this case.

“General purpose public figures are people whose profile is so high that the public cares whenever they talk about pretty much anything. Oprah might be an example. Limited purpose public figures are people who have voluntarily thrust themselves into a particular controversy. These days, when so many people have such a strong presence in social media and on the internet generally, we probably have more public figures than we’ve ever had.”

It will be up to the defense to prove that Casey Close is not a private figure.

Dan Lust, a veteran sports attorney in New York, said that the discovery phase of the case will be as interesting as anything we have seen in the sports law realm. However, he would be surprised if we get there.

“Almost every single case is going to settle before you get to trial,” he said.

Lust and Niehoff agree that it is too early to tell what strategy Gottlieb’s legal team may employ in his defense. Lust noted that if Gottlieb’s report can be proven true though, none of those options matter.

“Under New York law, it is well-settled that ‘truth is an absolute, unqualified defense to a civil defamation action,’” he told Shea. “If what Gottlieb said turns out to be true, he successfully defends (the case).”

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Sports Radio News

Cumulus Announces 790 The Score in Rhode Island is Officially On The Air

In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.

Jordan Bondurant

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After reporting last week that Kevin McNamara would be the station’s only local host in the programming lineup, 790 The Score in Providence, Rhode Island is officially on the air.

The station, which was last on the air in the market in 2008, has been revived and will serve as the market’s first sports and sports betting station.

“The station features a lineup of expert personalities that deliver unique sports talk and sports betting insights that entertain, inform, and engage,” said Holly Paras, VP and market manager of Cumulus Providence. “We think Providence sports and sports betting fans will love 790 THE SCORE!”

In addition to shows like Bet MGM’s The Daily Tip and others like Bet QL Daily, listeners can catch some of the top national talent on the airwaves throughout the day and night. This includes hosts like Jim Rome and Amy Lawrence.

McNamara will host his show Kevin Mac Sports Hour daily from 5-7 p.m.

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Paul Finebaum Will Make $700K Advance Ahead of Nick Saban-Jimbo Fisher Book

Finebaum will make $700,000 plus royalties for the deep dive into the rivalry between the two SEC head coaches.

Jordan Bondurant

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Paul Finebaum

Though there’s still some time before a finished products reaches bookshelves, but ESPN’s Paul Finebaum is reportedly set to get a nice six-figure advance by Penguin Press.

According to John Ourand of Sports Business Journal, Finebaum will make $700,000 plus royalties for the deep dive into the rivalry between the two SEC head coaches.

Back in the spring things came to a head between Alabama’s Nick Saban and Texas A&M’s Jimbo Fisher, as the two engaged in a verbal spat in separate press conferences over name, image and likeness.

Saban said Fisher and his staff utilized NIL and “bought every player” in the Aggies’ spring 2022 recruiting class.

Things got so heated and drew so many headlines that SEC commissioner Greg Sankey had to step in and try to get the former colleagues to cool it.

Finebaum is teaming up with Alabama beat reporter John Talty to write the book.

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Sports Gambling Podcast Network To Stage 24-Hour Fantasy Football Draft

“The event begins at 3 pm on Tuesday and is dubbed Draft Day 2.0.”

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Sports Gambling Podcast

If you’re serious about Fantasy Football, the Sports Gambling Podcast Network is bringing back a tradition you’ll want to pay attention to. 

For the second year in a row, Ryan Kramer will draft 24 different teams over the course of a 24 hour marathon that will be streamed across multiple video platforms. 

“Fortunately, the analytics research is done so I can focus now on news coming out of the camps to sharpen my views and deliver the well-reasoned selections that people need to get an edge in their drafting,” Kramer said in a press release. “It’s a bit of an audacious undertaking, but the growing phenomenon of Fantasy Football deserves this level of commitment and our SGPN audiences always respond.” 

The event begins at 3 pm on Tuesday and is dubbed “Draft Day 2.0”. All of the content will originate from the Sports Gambling Podcast Network’s studios in Los Angeles. 

The marathon will also be a fundraiser. The network is using GoFundMe to raise funds for a colleague named Darryl injured in a motorcycle accident earlier this year. A portion of proceeds generated from the sale of Sports Gambling Podcast Network branded apperal will also go to the effort. 

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