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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:

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June 21, 2017

Investigating Transgender Student Discrimination under New Education Department Directives

June 21, 2017

Department of Education regional directors have been given new instructions on sex discrimination protections for transgender students under Title IX of the Education Act of 1972. Two updated, internal Office of Civil Rights (OCR) guidance documents outline changes to the appropriate scope of OCR investigations and to the Department’s... Read More

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

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June 15, 2017

Paul Kelly Comments on Implications of Riot Games Announcing Formation of Players' Association

June 15, 2017

Paul Kelly comments on implications of Riot Games starting the League of Legends players' association in "Riot's players' association lays groundwork for unionization," published by ESPN. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

June 15, 2017
Sports Illustrated

Gene Marsh Comments on NCAA’s Enforcement Group and Committee on Infractions

June 15, 2017

Gene Marsh comments on cases in Louisville, Ole Miss and North Carolina as they offer critical tests for the NCAA’s enforcement group and Committee on Infractions in "Louisville's sanctions bear close scrutiny at Ole Miss, North Carolina," Published by Sports Illustrated.  Subscription may be required to view article Read More

May 30, 2017
The Boston Globe

Paul Kelly Discusses Former NHL Player Kevin Stevens' Plans for the Future

May 30, 2017

Paul Kelly discusses former NHL player Kevin Stevens' road ahead after his recent probation sentence in "Former NHL star Kevin Stevens putting his life back together," published by The Boston Globe. Subscription may be required to view article Read More

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Former Big League Pitcher Awarded More than $1.5 Million for Wrongful Termination
July 5, 2017

A New Jersey jury in the Superior Court of New Jersey for Camden County has awarded former Major League Baseball pitcher Mitchell Williams $1,565,333 in a wrongful termination action he filed against MLB Network, Inc. Mitchell Williams v. The MLB Network, Inc., et al., No. L-3675-14. Read More

Pacific Pro League To Provide Amateur Football Alternative, Glimpse Of Value Of College Athletes
June 20, 2017

NFL agent Don Yee, longtime representative of Tom Brady, and a list of football notables including ESPN’s Adam Schefter and two-time Super Bowl winning coach Mike Shanahan intend to form the Pacific Pro Football League (“PPFL”) with four teams in the Southern California region and commence league play in the summer of 2018. Read More

National College Players Association Urges Prospective Student-Athletes To Negotiate Scholarship Terms With Colleges
June 16, 2017

The College Athletes Players Association (CAPA) and Executive Director Ramogi Huma’s (Huma) efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team failed when the National Labor Relations Board refused to rule on the legal ability of these student athletes to form a union. Read More