Sports & Entertainment Law Section
By Mike Ingersoll
As an increasingly contested topic since the rise of the Bowl Championship Series in the early-2000s and the NCAA’s 2010 multi-billion dollar March Madness broadcasting deal, as well as the recent advent of the College Football Playoff, the NCAA’s amateurism model has come under intense scrutiny—and with it the employment status (or lack thereof) of the student-athletes over which it governs. Public opinion and scholarship has virtually wed the two issues at this point, and the modern revenue sport landscape has dictated heated discussion but yielded none of the drastic changes for which proponents of reform have called.
By Ben DeCelle
Perhaps the most difficult challenge, legal or otherwise, faced by the NCAA and its member institutions today is how to manage the risks associated with concussions in sports. Particularly within the last decade, these organizations have focused on risk management—“the process of evaluating the chance of loss or harm and then taking steps to combat the potential risk”1—as a way to minimize harm to individual athletes and decrease the likelihood that they will be subject to massive lawsuits. However, as the NCAA and member institutions have now discovered, risk management as a strategy is much more effective in other aspects of their business than with the risks associated with concussions. For example, many universities have begun to hire outside law firms or other specialists to conduct internal investigations and risk assessments in an effort to minimize the chance that they would bring in a coach or player with a risky past (and perhaps to minimize liability if a situation were to occur in the future).2 Risks associated with concussions, on the other hand, are much more difficult to manage because their occurrence is inherent in almost every existing sport. In other words, how can schools and the NCAA effectively manage a risk that is absolutely certain to occur no matter how much money or effort is diverted to it?
By Matt Kelly and Neil Magnuson
The Sports & Entertainment Law Section of the NC Bar Association is pleased to announce that, in lieu of continuing to issue a quarterly newsletter, it has launched and will deliver news, articles, and other scholarship via this blog.
If you are a member who has been receiving the newsletter, you are automatically enrolled to receive notices of new SEL Section blog content. Please also bookmark this page and return often for news and announcements!
To kick off this blog, we are pleased to be able to share with you comments from our new Section Chair Shannon L. Vandiver. Please take a look to find details about our plans for the year, including our CLE upcoming on Dec. 1, The Rise of Daily Fantasy Sports and the Challenges Posed by Anti-Gambling Laws.
If you have content that you would like to share on our blog, please contact our blog chair, Matt Kelly, at email@example.com or co-chair, Neil Magnuson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Shannon Vandiver
With over 150 member attorneys in industries spanning the sports and entertainment worlds including those that serve as in house and outside counsel for all of North Carolina’s major league sports teams and properties as well as many of its minor league, amateur, collegiate and youth sports entities and attorneys representing artists, entertainers and media outlets all over the state, the Sports and Entertainment Law Section is truly the hub of the sports and entertainment legal world for North Carolina.
Our attorneys serve clients that include NASCAR and other motorsports teams, drivers and sanctioning bodies as well as NFL, NHL and NBA teams; athletes, coaching staffs and support personnel; NCAA schools and conferences including the Atlantic Coast Conference and the Southeastern Conference; the North Carolina High School Athletic Association; media companies, stations and providers; musical, visual and performing artists, labels and venues; literary authors and publishers; and many, many others. Section members include corporate counsel, business transactional and litigation attorneys, attorneys who provide immigration law services for athletes, entertainers, performers, investors and producers; those whose practices are focused on technology or intellectual property, copyright, trademark or privacy law, promotions, digital media, internet, gaming and many other areas of the law that touch sports or entertainment. The largest concentrations of our section members are in the Charlotte and Triangle areas but we are also well represented in the Triad and in areas from Western North Carolina to the coast.