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OZ SPORTS: A Trans-Pacific Sports Law Discussion

Several years ago, I had the privilege in my capacity as Senior Fellow of the Melbourne Sports Law Program to present a seminar entitled “Trans-Pacific Lessons for Sports Leagues: What Americans and Australians Can Learn From Each Other”  [A powerpoint is attached here].  This website builds upon that discussion by offering a variety of discussion papers or blogs.  The point is not, in typical blog fashion, simply to provide me with a vehicle to pontificate; rather, the point is to provoke and invite commentary and dialogue between thoughtful commentators around the world.

Comments should be sent to Professor Stephen F Ross c/o  Absent an explicit request, I will presume that comments are ‘on the record.’  (I will happily accommodate leading industry executives, on request, by identifying them only as a “leading baseball club executive” or “an official with an Australian sports league.”)  Re-publication on this website is at the sole discretion of the Penn State Sports Law Institute.  If you would like to receive e-mail alerts regarding new content, we are happy to accommodate by a request directed to

To get started, here are some of my prior works with Trans-Pacific salience, and a few recent items worthy of comment:

  • Importing the Victorian sports gambling regime to the United States.  Building upon insights developed in collaboration with Adrian Anderson of the Victorian Bar (formerly a senior executive in the Australian Football League), the following White Paper argues that the US Congress should amend federal law to permit a regime of legal sports gambling.  Its central thesis is that transparency and full communication and cooperation among law enforcement agencies, gambling regulators, sports leagues, and authorized bookmakers actually enhances sporting integrity.  The paper is available here:
  • A “Trusteeship” model for sport governance.  Until recent years, many Australian sports operated under sub-optimal governance structures, characterized by conflicts of interest among the sports governors.  Ironically, a major exception was the Australian Football League, whose clubs had pioneered good governance concepts several decades ago in giving up their direct control of the league in favor of an elected commission with staggered terms.  Under government pressure, many boards, including the Australian Rugby League Commission, the Board of the Australian Rugby Union, and the governance of Cricket Australia, were all reformed.  The “concept” piece [attached here] suggests that this is a step in the right direction.  Further research and comment is invited as to how well Australian leagues are doing under new governance.
  • New commentary on the Jerryd Hayne phenomena and why the NFL is leaving money on the table regarding TV rights in Australia is posted here. ]