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Sports Industry Leaders to Advise Sports Law Institute

April 4, 2012

Vermont Law School's Sports Law Institute recently announced its Board of Advisors, which includes some of America's top sports industry leaders, and the start of a Blue Chips program designed to give students the core skills, hands-on experience and research opportunities needed to succeed in the sports world.

Among the luminaries on the SLI's board are Alan Milstein, one of the leading sports agents and litigators in the country; Jay Reisinger, attorney for Alex Rodriguez and other star baseball players; and B.J. Schecter, executive editor of Sports Illustrated and SI.com.

Image of Michael McCann"We're  honored that such an illustrious and dynamic group of people have stepped forward help to guide the Sports Law Institute and to provide opportunities for Vermont Law School's students," said Professor Michael McCann, director of the SLI and a nationally recognized expert in the fields of sports law, antitrust, and law and economics. He also is a legal analyst for Sports Illustrated and NBA TV and the sports law columnist for SI.com (CNNSI).

Blue Chips, which will start in fall 2012, is an innovative program that will provide students with real-world, practical skills in sports law. Those skills include the drafting of employment and endorsement contracts, foundational knowledge in sports litigation and arbitration, and application of NCAA regulations. It will also include assistance on helping students obtain internships and jobs in sports law.

The SLI  also recently held a successful Ski, Snowboarding and Resort Law panel discussion. "The panel was highly informative, wide-ranging and a great introduction for our students to the kinds of legal issues that arise in the skiing and snowboarding industries," said Associate Professor Brian Porto, deputy director of the SLI whose most recent book is titled "The Supreme Court and the NCAA: The Case for Less Commercialism and More Due Process in College Sports."

The SLI's Advisory Board members are:

  • Jeff Benedict, award-winning investigative journalist, attorney and best-selling author.
  • Chris Brown, president of the Basketball and Entertainment Divisions of Orpehus Sports and Entertainment, whose clients include NBA players and music stars.
  • Christopher Callanan, founding partner of Stevenson McKenna & Callanan and a seasoned sports litigator and agent who has represented professional and Olympic athletes and sports agents.
  • Ralph Cindrich, sports agent and former NFL player who negotiated one of the landmark contracts in sports history that altered the salary hierarchy in the NFL.
  • Neil Cornrich, NFLPA-certified agent/attorney and president of NC Sports who represents a number of prominent NFL coaches and players.
  • Timothy Epstein, partner in Smith Amundsen where he is chair of the firm's Sports Law Group.
  • Daniel Fitzgerald, sports attorney at Brody Wilkinson who provides counsel to clients on legal issues in amateur, collegiate and professional athletics.
  • Robyn Glaser, senior adviser to the Kraft Sports Group.
  • Joshua Golka, sports attorney who provides counsel to athlete agents, athletes and others with a focus on the laws and regulations governing athlete agents.
  • Betsy Goff, sports attorney who previously was an executive at ABC and vice president of ESPN and IMG Legal.
  • Jimmy Golen, Associated Press sports writer and Yale Law School graduate who has extensive experience covering legal matters in sports.
  • Ken Gordon, senior director and assistant general counsel of ESPN.
  • John Harper, vice president consulting at Wasserman Media Group who previously managed business development and brand initiatives with Sony and Nike.
  • Jaimesen Heins, associate general counsel at Burton Snowboards.
  • Darren Heitner, attorney who focuses his legal practice on sports, entertainment and music litigation and transactional work.
  • Mark Hicks '06, associate director of High School Review at the NCAA Eligibility Center.
  • Terence High, NFLPA-certified agent and attorney who represents NFL and college coaches.
  • Donald Jackson, sports agent and attorney at The Sports Group whose clients include players and coaches.
  • Nate Jones, digital media and professional athlete marketing attorney at Goodwin Sports Management.
  • Rob Kaler 90', chief operating officer and general counsel of the U.S. Soccer Foundation and who previously litigated on behalf of the National Football League Players Association.
  • Jon King, partner in Hausfeld LLP and one of the lead attorneys for the plaintiffs in In re NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Licensing Litigation, a nationwide class action also known as the Ed O'Bannon and Sam Keller litigation.
  • Matthew Lane, sports attorney whose clients include Olympic athletes and professional runners.
  • Jason Levien, co-owner of the Philadelphia 76ers and an attorney and sports agent who represents professional athletes across the globe.
  • Lisa Masteralexis, department head and associate professor in the Mark H. McCormack Department of Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a certified player agent with the Major League Baseball Players Association.
  • Edward Mattes '83, chairman of the Vermont Law School Board of Trustees, co-owner of the Ogden Raptors and Connecticut Tigers minor league affiliates and co-founder and CEO of Avant Garde Therapeutics and Technologies LLC.
  • Alan Milstein, co-managing shareholder of Sherman, Silverstein, Kohl, Rose & Podolsky, P.A., agent for star athletes and one of the leading sports litigators in the country.
  • James McCurdy, president of the Pioneer Baseball League, former minor league team owner and distinguished sports law professor and author.
  • Jim Munsey '84, president of Munsey Sports Management, a MLBPA certified agent whose clients include top Major League Baseball players.
  • James Murphy, MLBPA certified agent at TWC Sports who represents some of the top Major League Baseball players.
  • Eric Nyquist, vice president of Strategic Development of NASCAR and formerly executive vice president of the Chicago White Sox Enterprises and manager of Business Planning for the NFL.
  •  Buster Olney, senior baseball writer for ESPN The Magazine and analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight.
  • Katherine Potter, sports attorney at Burns Levensonwho represents teams/stadiums in mergers/acquisitions and in tax matters.
  • Jay Reisinger, attorney for Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte, Sammy Sosa, Francisco Rodriguez and other big league players and a founding partner of Farreel & Reisigner, where he manages the sports law practice.
  • Ryan Rodenberg, assistant professor at Florida State University and formerly associate general counsel at Octagon who also worked at the ATP World Tour and Nike.
  • Joe Rosen, president of Baseball and Media Divisions of Orpheus Sports and Entertainment, which he co-founded, and an MLBPA certified agent.
  • B.J. Schecter, executive editor of Sports Illustrated and SI.com and a faculty member of the Columbia University School of Journalism.
  • John Shinn, MLBPA certified player agent and attorney.
  • Dan Silverman, director of compliance in the Department of Athletics at Yale University.
  • Greg Skidmore, litigation partner at Kirkland and Ellis and the founder and editor of Sports Law Blog.
  • Brian Socolow, chair of the sports practice at the national law firm of Loeb & Loeb LLP.
  • Debbie Spander, director of the Sports Lawyers Association and president of Spander Digital Sports & Entertainment.
  • Bryan Stroh, vice president and general counsel of the Pittsburgh Pirates and previously a partner at Katten Muchin, where he represented the Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians and Oakland A's.
  • Sarah Eaton Stuart, associate general counsel of Reebok, where she is the senior lawyer responsible for global marketing and sports marketing.
  • Michael Wall, vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Bauer Performance Sports and previously general counsel of TD Garden and the Boston Bruins.
  • Andrew Weber '07, former general manager of the Connecticut Tigers and Oneonta Tigers.
  • Jon Wertheim, Sports Illustrated and SI.com columnist and graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School who has covered every sport as well as legal matters relating to sports.
  • Mike Zarren, assistant general manger and legal counsel of the Boston Celtics who is considered one of the leading experts on role of analytics in basketball.
  • Warren Zola, assistant dean for Graduate Programs in the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and the chair of Boston College's Professional Sports Counseling Panel.
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