Board of Advisors
A dynamic group of industry leaders help to guide SLI and provide opportunities for students. Our board consists of:
Jeff Benedict – an award-winning investigative journalist and attorney and the best-selling author of nine books, including Out of Bounds: Inside the NBA’s Culture of Rape, Violence and Crime (HarperCollins, 2004). Benedict has been a contributing writer for Sports Illustrated and the Los Angeles Times, and has worked on features for 60 Minutes, ABC News 20/20, Dateline, HBO Real Sports and the Discovery Channel. He is also a distinguished professor at Southern Virginia University, where he teaches writing and mass media. Benedict holds degrees from New England College of Law, Northeastern University and Eastern Connecticut State University.
Chris Brown – President of the Basketball and Entertainment Divisions of the Orpehus Sports and Entertainment, which he co-founded with Joe Rosen, in Boston, Massachusetts. Brown's clients include NBA players and music stars, such as Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan and former Indiana Pacers point guard Travis Best. He is also an adjunct entertainment law professor at Boston College Law School. Brown holds degrees from Boston College Law School and Colgate University.
Christopher Callanan – Founding partner of Stevenson McKenna & Callanan in Boston, Massachusetts. Callanan is a seasoned sports litigator and agent. He has represented professional and Olympic athletes and sports agents in various business dealings, including the negotiation and drafting of endorsement, appearance and public speaking agreements. In one matter, he served as lead trial counsel for Top 30 PGA Tour golfer against claims brought by major golf equipment manufacturers alleging breach of contract, breach of good faith and fair dealing and violations of Chapter 93A arising out of an endorsement agreement dispute. Callanan holds degrees from Boston College Law School and College of the Holy Cross.
Ralph Cindrich – Ralph Edward Cindrich is a sports agent and former NFL player. A linebacker for the New England Patriots (1972), the Houston Oilers (1973, 1974, 1975) and the Denver Broncos (1974), During his more than three-plus decades as an NFL agent, he has represented stars such as James Farrior, Bruce Gradkowski, Tarik Glenn, Jeff Blake, Brian Griese, Al Toon, Dermontti Dawson, and Will Wolford among others. As an agent, Cindrich also negotiated one of the landmark contracts in sports history, one that forever altered the salary hierarchy in the NFL, and would be prominently featured in Michael Lewis‘ book The Blind Side, which became a major motion picture and Academy Awards contender. He holds degrees from South Texas College of Law and the University of Pittsburgh.
Neil Cornrich – An NFLPA-certified agent/attorney and President of NC Sports, which is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Cornich represents a number of prominent football coaches, including New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, University of Oklahoma head football coach Bob Stoops and University of Iowa head football coach Kirk Ferentz. He also represents top NFL players, including Ted Ginn of the San Francisco 49ers and Marshal Yanda of the Baltimore Ravens. Cornich holds degrees from Ohio State University College of Law and the University of Michigan.
Timothy Epstein – Partner in the Chicago, Illinois office of Smith Amundsen, where he is Chair of the firm’s Sports Law Group. He is also Vice Chair of the DRI (Voice of the National Defense Trial Bar). Epstein has represented a number of athletes in litigation, including Enes Kanter of the Utah Jazz, and has been published in law reviews on sports law matters. He holds degrees from University of Illinois College of Law and Boston College.
Daniel Fitzgerald -- Sports attorney at Brody Wilkinson in Southporth, Connecticut. Fitzgerald provides counsel to clients concerning legal issues that arise in amateur, collegiate and professional athletics. He serves as general counsel to a minor league hockey team in Connecticut and frequently assists student-athletes and their families with eligibility and transfer matters involving the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In addition, he provides trademark counsel to the charitable foundation of a professional athlete and often represents health and fitness clubs in connection with liability issues. He is also the publisher of Connecticut Sports Law. Fitzgerald holds degrees from the University of Connecticut School of Law and Fairfield University.
Robyn Glaser – Senior Adviser to the Kraft Sports Group in Foxboro, Massachusetts and Club Counsel to the New England Patriots. Glaser was previously an attorney for Atlantic Records. She hold degrees from Washington University School of Law and Colby College.
Joshua Golka – a California based sports attorney who provides counsel to athlete agents, athletes, and others with a focus on the laws and regulations governing athlete agents. Gollka is an Adjunct Professor at Pacific McGeorge School of Law where he teaches Sports Law. He holds degrees from Pacific McGeorge School of Law, Indiana University-Kelley School of Business and Thunderbird School of Global Management.
Betsy Goff – Sports attorney based in Hartford, Connecticut. Previously was a Lecturer and Director of Internships at UMass Amherst, an executive at ABC, and Vice President of ESPN and IMG Legal. Primary area of expertise is sports and the media, most particularly sports television and the relationship sport organizers and television rights' holders should have with the international broadcast community. Has hands-on experience in sports law, sports agency, event management, integrated sales and marketing, product licensing and merchandising, and sports on the Internet through her years at ABC, IMG, and ESPN.
Jimmy Golen – Associated Press sports writer based in Boston and adjunct professor of journalism at Boston College. He has extensive experience covering legal matters of sports, especially those relating to Boston sports. Golen holds degrees from Yale Law School and Harvard College.
Ken Gordon – Senior Director and Assistant General Counsel of ESPN. Based in Bristol, Connecticut. Ken joined ESPN in 2003 and has served as lead counsel for motorsports, X Games, Golf, ESPN Outdoors and Boxing programming properties. Additionally, he has represented ESPN in several high profile acquisition matters, as both target and acquirer and served as corporate counsel in network carriage negotiations. Gordon was awarded a B.A. from Dartmouth College in 1995, and played varsity football for the Big Green. He is a 2000 graduate of the University of Virginia’s JD/MBA program.
John Harper – Vice President Consulting at Wasserman Media Group in Los Angeles, California. Harper was previously a Project Leader at The Boston Consulting Group. He also managed business development and brand initiatives with Sony and Nike. Harper holds degrees from Harvard Business School and the University of Western Ontario Richard Ivey School of Business.
Jaimesen Heins – Associate General Counsel at Burton Snowboards in Burlington, VT. He manages transactional legal matters for Burton and its global family of surf, skate and snow brands. This includes drafting, review and negotiation of professional athlete, sponsorship, manufacturing, licensing and related commercial agreements. In addition, Mr. Heins provides advice and strategic counsel to Burton with respect to mergers and acquisitions, intellectual property, employment, real estate and litigation matters.. Previously, Mr. Heins served as a Project Manager for Toll Brothers, Inc., a publicly traded real estate development company. Mr. Heins also held associate positions with Hughes Hubbard & Reed, LLP in New York and Eggleston & Cramer, Ltd. in Burlington, Vermont. Mr. Heins holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Tulane University.
Darren Heitner – a Miami, Florida-based attorney who focuses much of his legal practice on sports, entertainment, and music litigation and transactional work. He is also a Professor of Sport Agency Management at Indiana University Bloomington, Co-Founder of Collegiate Sports Advisors, and the Founder/Chief Editor of Sports Agent Blog, a leading niche industry publication. In 2010, Heitner was named to Miami, Florida's Power 30 Under 30 in the Sports category. In 2011, SportsPro Magazine named Heitner as a part of its inaugural NEXT 10, which recognizes ten stars of the sports business industry under the age of 30. He holds degrees from University of Florida Frederic G. Levin School of Law and the University of Florida.
Mark Hicks (VLS' 06) – Associate Director of High School Review at NCAA and NCAA Eligibility Center. He leads a unique group that collects, reviews and conducts analysis on issues such as academic fraud, academic quality control and academic performance at the secondary level as they apply to both NCAA legislation, general education standards and/or various federal and state statutes. Holds degrees from Vermont Law School ('06) and University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Terence High – NFLPA-certified agent and attorney at The High Law Firm in Ridgeland, Mississippi. High represents NFL and college coaches. He holds degrees from Capital University Law School, the University of Mississippi, and Mississippi State University, where he was a starting running back for the football team.
Donald Jackson – Agent and attorney at The Sports Group in Montgomery, Alabama. Jackson's clients include former St. Joe's basketball player Todd O'Brien in dispute with NCAA, as well as coaches. He is active in the sports law community and is the author of Fourth Down and Twenty Five Years to Go: The African American Athlete and the Justice System. He is also a former staff member to President George H.W. Bush. Jackson holds degrees from the University of Virginia School of Law and Alabama State University.
Nate Jones – Digital media and professional athlete marketing at Goodwin Sports Management in Los Angeles, California. With a deep background in intellectual property law and digital media, Jones works closely with such clients as Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks to build their digital media brands and pursue digital based business opportunities. He also develops digital based sponsorship and endorsement campaign activation strategies for clients and their sponsorship and endorsement partners. Jones client sponsorship and endorsement partners include Nike, T-Mobile, Adidas, Gatorade, Skullcandy, McDonalds, Degree Men and EA Sports. He is also one of the most respected sports voices on Twitter. Jones holds degrees from the University of California School of Law and the University of Southern California Marshall School of business.
Rob Kaler (VLS' 90) – Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of U.S. Soccer Foundation in Washington, D.C. He previously litigated on behalf of the National Football League Players Association, including in an antitrust action that was argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Kaler also served as Deputy General Counsel for the Continental Basketball Association. He holds degrees from Vermont Law School ('90) and Dennison University.
Jon King – Partner in the San Francisco office of Hausfeld LLP. He is one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs in In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Licensing Litigation, a nationwide class action pending in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of CA. In this action that has drawn intense national interest, also known as the Ed O’Bannon and Sam Keller litigation, Mr. King represents putative classes of current and former NCAA men’s Division I basketball and football players who assert antitrust and right of publicity claims and contend that the NCAA, Electronic Arts, and others unlawfully used the players’ images and likenesses in video-games in addition to a host of other products. Holds degrees from University of California, Hastings College of Law and Santa Clara University.
Matthew Lane – A sports attorney at Preti Flaherty in Portland, Maine. His clients include Olympic athletes, professional runners, the American Milers' Association and the NJNY Track Club. Prior to becoming an attorney, Lane was a professional runner, sponsored by Nike, and was a member of two U.S. national teams. As a collegiate, he was an 11-time NCAA Division I All-American and the 2001 U.S. Track Coaches Association Athlete of the Year. He also served as the Head Indoor Track & Field coach at Yarmouth (Maine) High School, and currently serves as Assistant Coach to the school's cross-country team. Lane holds degrees from the University of Maine School of Law and the College of William & Mary.
Jason Levien – Co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers. He is an attorney and has served as both a sports agent, who represents professional athletes in the NBA, NFL and other sports and leagues in the United States and across the globe, and as Senior Vice President for the Sacramento Kings. He is an adjunct professor at UC Berkeley Law School, where he teaches sports law. Levien negotiated the largest contract in the history of the Chicago Bulls' organization, a $80 million, 6-year agreement for his client, Luol Deng. He also negotiated a $55 million deal with the Sacramento Kings on behalf of the Kings' leading scorer, Kevin Martin. Levien also served as a Democratic strategist and campaign consultant. He was credited as the speechwriter for the Keynote Speech at the 2000 Democratic Convention in Los Angeles given by Congressman Harold Ford, Jr. Levien holds degrees from the University of Michigan School of Law and Pomona College, where he played for the basketball team.
Lisa P. Masteralexis – the Department Head and an Associate Professor in the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a member of the Massachusetts and U.S. Supreme Court Bars and co-authored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of professional golfer Casey Martin. Prof. Masteralexis is the editor of The Principles and Practice of Sport Management. A certified player agent with the Major League Baseball Players Association, she is also a consultant with DiaMMond Management Group, a professional athlete management firm. She holds degrees from Suffolk University School of Law and the University of Massachsuetts.
Edward Mattes (VLS' 83) – Chairman of the Vermont Law School Board of Trustees and Co-Owner of the Ogden Raptors baseball club, a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and the Connecticut Tigers, a minor league affiliate of the Detroit Tigers. Mattes is also Co Founder and CEO of Avant Garde Therapeutics and Technologies LLC. He holds degrees from Vermont Law School ('83) and the University of Pennsylvania, with studies at Cambridge University.
Alan Milstein – Co-managing shareholder of Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky, P.A. in Pennsauken, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In addition to a robust practice in bioethics and the law and clinical trials litigation, Milstein has litigated on behalf of star athletes, including Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, Eddy Curry, and Maurice Clarett. He has received numerous honors for his legal work and is widely-recognized as one of the leading sports litigators in the country. He is also co-authoring book with Michael McCann on cheating in sports. Milstein holds degrees from Temple University School of Law, University of Kansas and University of Maryland.
James "Jim" McCurdy – President of the Pioneer Baseball League, former minor league team owner and distinguished sports law professor and author. He is also a member of the Council of League Presidents for minor league baseball. McCurdy holds degrees from University of Texas at Austin School of Law and University of Houston.
Jim Munsey (VLS' 84) – President of Munsey Sports Management, based in Palm Beach, Florida. He is a MLBPA certified agent whose clients include Jarrod Saltalamacchia of the Boston Red Sox, Sam Fuld of the Tampa Bay Rays and other top Major League Baseball players. Munsey holds degrees from Vermont Law School ('84), University of New Hampshire and Stetson University.
James "Jamie" Murphy – MLBPA certified agent at TWC Sports. A native Vermonter, Murphy has represented some of the top Major League Baseball players in the game including Troy Tulowitzki, Evan Longoria, Nick Markakis and Tim Hudson. He negotiated six-year $66.1 million deal for Baltimore Orioles OF Nick Markakis, the largest contract extension in the history of the Orioles franchise. Previously Murphy worked for Woolf Associates in Boston and Octagon, a large multi-national sports management and marketing firm. He resides with family in both St. Johnsbury, Vermont and Phoenix, Arizona. Murphy holds degrees from Boston College Law School and McGill University.
Eric Nyquist – Vice President of Strategic Development of NASCAR, where he leads the strategic planning discipline for the company and oversees entertainment initiatives. Formerly he was Executive Vice President of the Chicago White Sox Enterprises and Manager of Business Planning for the NFL. Nyquist was recently named by Sports Business Journal as a rising star under the age 40. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago Law School, University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Carleton College.
Buster Olney – Senior Baseball Writer for ESPN The Magazine and Analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight. A native of Randolph, Vermont, Olney has organized relief efforts for Vermont victims of Hurricane Irene, including through Going to Bat For Vermont Farmers. Olney is one of the most respected commentators on baseball, including on the business and economics of the game. He has also authored best-selling books, including How Lucky You Can Be: The Story of Coach Don Meyer and The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty New Edition: The Game, the Team, and the Cost of Greatness. He holds a degree from Vanderbilt University.
Katherine Potter – A sports attorney at Burns Levenson in Boston, Massachusetts. Potter represents teams/stadiums in mergers/acquisitions and in tax matters. She is also on the Board of Directors of Good Sports, Inc., a not-for-profit company helping underserved children gain access to sports and athletics. Potter holds degrees from Boston University School of Law, Syracuse University College of Law and the University of Maryland.
Jay Reisinger – Attorney for Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Sammy Sosa, Francisco Rodriguez, among other big league players. He is a founding partner of the Pittsburgh-based Farrell & Reisigner, where he manages the sports law practice. Reisingner's sports law practice includes representation of professional athletes and certified agents in salary arbitration proceedings, contract analysis and negotiation strategy. He has also represented numerous athletes in performance enhancing substance/drug appeals and other disciplinary matters in MLB, the NFL, the NHL, and the NBA. Additionally, he represents both players and agents in fee dispute matters. Reisinger also represents NCAA and other amateur athletes in eligibility and related matters. He holds degrees from Ohio Northern University School of Law and Allegheny College.
Ryan Rodenberg – An assistant professor at Florida State University in Tallahasse, Florida. Prior to academia, he was Associate General Counsel at Octagon in its Washington, DC headquarters. He also worked at the ATP World Tour and Nike. His primary research lines involve sports law analytics and forensic sports law. He has published eight articles about the legality and efficacy of age eligibility rules in tennis, golf, basketball, and gymnastics. His current research involves the development of a legal framework and statistical screening device to detect/prevent gambling-related corruption, referee bias, and doping in sports. Rodenberg has a Ph.D. from Indiana University-Bloomington and a J.D. from the University of Washington-Seattle.
Joe Rosen – President of the Boston-based Baseball and Media Divisions of Orpheus Sports and Entertainment, which he co-founded with Chris Brown. He is an MLBPA certified agent, with such clients as Hideki Okajima (Red Sox), Eric Farris (Brewers), Chris Pettit (Angels organization), Antoan Richardson (Braves) and other players. Rosen is also an adjunct professor of sports law at Boston College Law School. He holds degrees from Boston College Law School and Syracuse University.
B.J. Schecter –Executive Editor of Sports Illustrated and SI.com and faculty member of Columbia University Journalism School. His responsibilities include running the magazine’s investigative and enterprise unit, managing content and columnists for SI.com and working closely with editors and writers at the website and magazine to integrate SI and SI.com. He also manages cross-platform projects and SI.com’s internship program.Schecter managed six-month Sports Illustrated/CBS News investigation into student athletes has revealed that many schools do not perform criminal background checks.He holds a degree from Northeastern University.
John Shinn – John Shinn is a MLBPA Certified Player Agent and attorney based in Boston, Massachusetts. Shinn regularly speaks on topics in sports law at undergraduate institutions and law schools across the country. He holds degrees from Saint Louis University School of Law and Hamilton College.
Dan Silverman – the director of compliance in the department of athletics at Yale University. Silverman had previously worked as a compliance administrator at the University of Hartford and as an intern at Boston College. He holds degrees from Boston College Law School and Kenyon College, where he pitched for the baseball team and threw the javelin for the track team.
Greg Skidmore – Litigation partner at Kirkland and Ellis in Washington, D.C. He is also the Founder and editor of Sports Law Blog. In addition, Skidmore published a leading article in the Harvard Journal of Legislation on the relationship between compensation of college athletes and Title IX. He holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Duke University.
Brian Socolow – Chair of the sports practice at the national law firm of Loeb & Loeb LLP. Based in New York City, his practice includes the representation of individuals and organizations in the sports industry in a wide range of legal matters, including intellectual property and technology issues, television and media agreements, the purchase and sale of assets, risk management and litigation. Socolow represents companies such as The Burton Corporation and Hillerich & Bradsby, promoters of sporting events, and others involved in the industry. Socolow is a frequent lecturer and contributor to publications on topics ranging from intellectual property to sports marketing and has been named a New York Super Lawyer for Sports and Entertainment 2009-2012. He holds degrees from the University of Virginia School of Law and Yale University.
Debbie Spander – Director of the Sports Lawyers Association and President of the Los Angeles-based Spander Digital Sports & Entertainment. Spander is an experienced sports and emerging media lawyer with over 17 years experience structuring and administering sports, entertainment and new media deals. From 2005 to 2011, she was vice president of business affairs of MTV Entertainment, the digital, sports and comedy division of Viacom. There she managed business affairs for MTV Entertainment Digital and structured and negotiated TV programming, licensing and sponsorship deals for Comedy Central. While at MTV Entertainment she led the first-ever wireless to TV programming deal and helped re-launch Atom Films. Spander holds degrees from UCLA School of Law and Stanford University.
Bryan Stroh – Vice President and General Counsel of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Previously he was a partner in the Chicago office of Katten Muchin, where he represented the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Oakland As. Strohh holds degrees from the University of Virginia School of Law and Princeton University, where he pitched for the baseball team.
Sarah Eaton Stuart – Associate General Counsel of Reebok, where she is the senior lawyer responsible for global marketing and sports marketing. Stuart is based in Canton, Massachusetts. She was previously Senior Counsel at Reebok International and European Counsel of NBA Europe. Stuart holds degrees from Harvard Law School and Brown University.
Michael Wall – Vice President, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary of Bauer Performance Sports in Exeter NH. Wall was previously General Counsel of TD Garden and the Boston Bruins. He also previously served as a member of the board of directors of the NHL Pension Society and continues to serve on the board of directors of The Boston Bruins Charitable Foundation. He holds degrees from Boston College Law School and The College of the Holy Cross.
Andrew Weber (VLS' 2007) – Former General Manager of the Connecticut Tigers and Oneonta Tigers. As general manager, Weber ran the day-to-day operations of team and business. Has also worked in the wealth management field. He holds degrees from Vermont Law School ('07) and Lake Forrest College.
Jon Wertheim – Sports Illustrated and SI.com columnist. Wertheim has covered every sport as well as various legal matters relating to sports. He is the author of several influential books, including the New York Times best-selling Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports and Played and Games are Won. Wertheim holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Yale University.
Mike Zarren – Assistant General Manger and counsel of Boston Celtics. Zarren reports directly to General Manager Danny Ainge on basketball matters. He is considered one of the leading minds on role of analytics in basketball. Zarren holds degrees from Harvard Law School and the University of Chicago.
Warren Zola – Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and Chair of Boston College's Professional Sports Counseling Panel. Zola advises student-athletes pursuing career opportunities in professional athletics—particularly the football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball, men’s soccer, and men’s ice hockey teams. In this role he also often serves as Boston College's primary liaison with professional sports leagues and their players’ associations. Zola holds degrees from Tulane Law School, Boston College Masters of Business Program, and Hobart & William Smith Colleges.