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Collegiate and Professional Sports

Many of the issues faced on and off the field in the sports world mirror workplace law challenges faced by employers from all industries.


Comprised of attorneys with deep, practical experience in the sports world, our Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group is uniquely situated to serve the diverse needs of collegiate and professional sports entities. Our attorneys have a profound understanding of the issues affecting the realm of sports and athlete management.

At the collegiate level, we are regularly retained to conduct investigations into alleged infractions of NCAA rules, and to represent universities before the NCAA Committee on Infractions and NCAA Infractions Appeals Committee. We advise college and university clients on compliance with the growing number of NCAA and NAIA rules and guide institutions through increasingly complex regulations governing collegiate sports. We have vast experience advising institutions on Title IX and civil rights laws, representing colleges and universities at every stage of the compliance process, including audits, civil rights reviews and government investigations.

At the professional level, our attorneys provide valuable counsel to sports franchises during acquisitions, in times of crisis and throughout the life of a franchise. We also counsel agents and sports agencies on the current regulatory and enforcement environment, including the myriad of state licensing and sports union certification requirements. While our priority is litigation avoidance, where prevention is not enough, our attorneys vigorously defend clients in cases of alleged non-compliance, player association investigations and in numerous areas of civil litigation.

With the growing number of foreign athletes throughout the collegiate and professional ranks, our firm can provide assistance in sports-related global immigration matters. Whether it is guiding teams, coaches, managers or players through the immigration process or developing strategies to overcome potential immigration barriers, we provide timely, cost-effective solutions that help meet organizational needs.

Our Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group can assist in all the following areas:

The Team

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February 23, 2017

Trump Administration Rescinds Guidance on Transgender Rights under Title IX

February 23, 2017

The Trump Administration has announced that the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) rescinded the Obama Administration’s May 2016 Dear Colleague Letter directing that schools “treat a student’s gender identity as the student’s sex for purposes of Title IX and its implementing... Read More

February 9, 2017

What to Expect under Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos

February 9, 2017

After an unusually contentious Senate confirmation process, Betsy DeVos was confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education on February 7, 2017. DeVos has a record of promoting charter schools and school vouchers at the K-12 level, but little is known about her priorities for higher education. Her prepared comments and responses during her... Read More

February 2, 2017

NLRB General Counsel Concludes Division I Scholarship Football Players are Employees under Labor Law

February 2, 2017

Scholarship football players in Division I FBS private sector colleges and universities are employees under the National Labor Relations Act, National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Richard F. Griffin has concluded. Accordingly, he explained, the players have all of the rights and protections available to employees under the Act... Read More

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May 15, 2017
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal

Patrick O. Peters, Kathleen M. Tinnerello and Stephen R. Beiting Author "The Impact of a Republican-Majority National Labor Relations Board"

May 15, 2017

Patrick O. Peters, Kathleen M. Tinnerello and Stephen R. Beiting author "The Impact of a Republican-Majority National Labor Relations Board," published by Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Journal (Page 12). Subscription may be required to view article Read More

May 5, 2017
The Hockey News

Paul Kelly Comments on Former NHL Player Kevin Stevens Sentenced to Probation on Drug Dealing Conviction

May 5, 2017

Paul Kelly comments on former NHL star Kevin Stevens sentenced to probation and community service for drug offense in "Kevin Stevens Avoids Jail Time and Continues Working to turn his Life Around," published by The Hockey News.  Subscription may be required to view article Read More

April 27, 2017
Bloomberg BNA

Paul DeCamp Comments on USC Student-Athlete Ruling in FLSA Suit

April 27, 2017

Paul DeCamp comments on the recent ruling of a USC student-athlete deemed not entitled to wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act in "NCAA Sacks Former USC Linebacker’s Lawsuit Seeking Pay," published by Bloomberg BNA. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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Jackson Lewis Attorneys Speaking at the Sports Lawyers Association’s Conference in Denver
May 17, 2017

Jackson Lewis attorneys Gregg Clifton and Paul Kelly, leaders of our Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group, will be guest panelists at the Sports Lawyers Association’s 43rd Annual Conference in Denver from May 18-20.  Gregg is speaking on the panel “TMZ Posted What!? Read More

Former NHL Player Receives Probation For Drug Offense
May 6, 2017

Former NHL player Kevin Stevens avoided a federal prison sentence following a hearing this week in U.S. District Court in Boston.  Stevens, who played in the NHL for 16 years (1987-2002), including  parts of 11 seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins, also starred at Boston College and for the 1988 U.S. Read More

Campus Sexual Assault Investigations Need Greater Fairness for All Parties, Trial Lawyers Group Says
April 24, 2017

The American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) has released a White Paper on Campus Sexual Assault Investigations aimed at improving the process employed by universities to address campus sexual assaults. Concerns over sexual assaults on college campuses had prompted the U.S. Read More