Sports law encompasses a wide range of legal topics, including antitrust, labor, intellectual property/licensing, contracts, commercial law, business law, immigration law, property, torts, and criminal law. That breadth makes sports law an excellent device for studying the law. Sports law is also a valuable learning tool because it presents complex legal issues in fact-patterns that students generally find approachable and understandable.
The Sports Law Institute (SLI) at Vermont Law School serves as an educational, research, and professional vehicle for exploring connections between law and sports. The SLI engages in original research, promotes experiential learning and employment opportunities for VLS students and alumni, and connects the VLS community with academic and professional sports law activities.
"Hazing In Sports: Legal, Psychological and Public Policy Implications"
In the spring of 2018, the Sports Law Institute hosted a panel discussion about the persistence of hazing in sports and its adverse consequences for individuals and institutions. The panel featured hazing educator and former University of Vermont athletic director Richard Farnham, education attorney Heather Thomas Lynn, and St. Michael's College psychology professor and faculty athletics representative David Landers. Vermont Law School professor Brian Porto, who directs the Sports Law Institute, moderated.
Alumni in Sports Law
- Christal Cuadra '10 (Assistant Director of NCAA Rules Compliance at the University of Hawaii-Manoa and extern at the NCAA Eligibility Center).
- Andrew Delaney '10 (Cofounder National Sports and Entertainment Law Society)
- Richard Eckley '09 (Assistant NCAA Compliance Officer at Dartmouth College)
- William Roth '09 (Cofounder National Sports and Entertainment Law Society)
- Matthew Synder '09 (spent his VLS Semester in Practice with Bauer Hockey)
- Nik Pundit '07 (sports and online gambling law at Pundit Law Firm in Boston)
- Andrew Weber '07 (General Manager, Connecticut Tigers)
- Mark Hicks '06 (Associate Director of High School Review at NCAA/NCAA Eligibility Center)
- Rob Kaler '90 (Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of U.S. Soccer)
- Jim Munsey '84 (Major League Baseball agent)
- Edward Mattes '83 (Co-owner of Connecticut Tigers and Ogden Raptors)
DISTINGUISHED SPORTS LAW VISITORS
The Sports Law Institute at VLS regularly sponsors lectures and panel discussions on current topics in sports law. Recent events have included the following participants:
- J. Scott Cameron, VLS '80, is a Montpelier attorney, a veteran referee of high school lacrosse in Vermont, and a former high school lacrosse coach.
- Jaimesen Heins is Associate General Counsel at Burton Snowboards in Burlington.
- Bob Johnson is Associate Executive Director of the Vermont Principals Association and a former high school athletic director and coach.
- Andy Maass is a Rutland attorney and a past president of the Association of Ski Defense Attorneys.
- Parker Riehle, VLS '92, is Executive Director of the Vermont Ski Areas Association.
- Kevin Ryan is an attorney who serves as Director of Education and Communication for the Vermont Bar Association. He has coached basketball and baseball at Northfield (VT) High School and presently is the assistant baseball coach at Norwich University.