On Friday, October 21st, the National Sports Law Institute (NSLI) of Marquette University Law School will host its annual conference at Eckstein Hall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This year’s conference will exclusively focus on the college athletics industry — from paying student-athletes above the total cost of attendance (of note, the U.S. Supreme Court recently denied writ of cert to hear O’Bannon) to Title IX compliance and everything in between.

As someone who wants to work in this industry upon graduation, it will be a great opportunity to learn more not only about college athletics as a whole, but also to learn more from some of the industry leaders that will be in attendance at Friday’s conference. To that extent, however, I appreciate the fact that the attending panelists’ backgrounds are widely diverse. That is, while the conference will feature employees from the NCAA — such as Oliver Luck (Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs), Mason Pike (Associate Director for Enforcement), and Dino Pollock (Associate Director for the Office of Committees on Infraction) — there will also be general counsel from universities, athletic directors, executive directors, compliance coordinators, and much more.

Master of the Game Award

Over the lunch hour, the NSLI will award the 2016 Master of the Game Award to Big East commissioner Val Ackerman. The Award “honors an individual who has made significant contributions to the sports industry and who exemplifies the highest level of professionalism in his or her field.”

Ackerman, who earned her law degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), served as President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) until 2005. She also was the first female to become President of USA Basketball, a position she held from 2005 to 2008. Ackerman has been in her current role since 2013.

MULS Sports Law Alumni

Given the strong emphasis placed on Sports Law at MULS, the NSLI places countless Sports Law Certificate graduates in the college athletics industry. Fortunately, some of them will be in attendance at Friday’s conference.

  • Paul M. Anderson (L ’95): Director, NSLI/Sports Law program; MULS Adjunct Professor of Law
  • Alison Fitzgerald (L’08): Assistant Director for Compliance and Life Skills, Manhattan College
  • John Long (L ’09): Counsel, Jackson Lewis, P.C., Dallas, Texas
  • Will Pridemore (L ’09): Director of Compliance, Weber State University
  • Henry Archuleta (L ’11): Assistant Director, Compliance, University of Iowa
  • Peter Prigge (L ’12): Assistant Athletic Director of Compliance, University of Wyoming
  • Teresa Covington (L ’12): Assistant Director of Compliance, Penn State University
  • Aaron Hernandez (L ’13): Assistant Director of Enforcement (Football), NCAA
  • Christian Bray (L ’14): Assistant Athletic Director, Compliance, Yale University
  • Kevin Gomer (L ’15): Athletic Compliance Coordinator, University of Minnesota

We previously interviewed Mr. Prigge for our Sports Law Brief (#SLBrief) series. 

You may find more information on the conference here. The SLS Blog will have plenty more content over the weekend and throughout next week, so make sure to check it out!