Sports law

The Future of College Sports

The Future of College Sports: Examining Legal Issues Today for the Leadership of College Sports Tomorrow 

Presented by
The University of Washington Center for Leadership in Athletics
Gonzaga University School of Law Center for Law, Ethics & Commerce
Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics

May 25-26, 2021

This event is approved by the Washington State Bar Association CLE: 4.5 Law & Legal credits and 1 Other credit. Credit for this event is $50.

Watch the recordings of this event here!

Colleges and universities have long struggled with the financial demands necessary to operate their athletic programs at a high level. Institutions have also wrestled with the tensions between these economic realities and their educational values. Today, legal issues are at the forefront of these economic and educational tensions in college sports.

How do leaders in athletics and higher education make sense of the forthcoming state and federal legislation over name, image, and likeness compensation in the midst of the Supreme Court’s review of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals decision in the NCAA vs. Alston antitrust lawsuit?

This forum convenes legal experts and college and athletic department leaders from our campuses, our region, and beyond to examine the legal and legislative issues and offer practical perspectives on the swiftly changing environment that college and university athletic programs must prepare for.

Recordings, transcripts and a summary report will be made available to the audience and panelists at the conclusion of the forum. 

Forum Handouts


Forum Agenda

Subject to change. All times in Pacific Time.

Tuesday, May 25 | 8:45 AM – 12:45 PM PDT 

Opening Remarks | 8:45 AM

Keynote Address

Michael Mccan


Michael McCannFounding Director of Sports & Entertainment Law Institute & Professor of Law, University of New Hampshire School of Law

Situate the current college sports landscape around a specific set of legal topics - state and federal, NIL, 'collective licensing,' and NCAA vs. Alston. Perspectives for how university leaders, athletic administrators, law and higher education scholars, college athletes, law students and sports management students, can prepare for the swiftly changing legal landscape.

Legal Perspectives Panel | 9:30 AM

Focus on understanding the uncertain and quickly changing legal terrain of college sports. This panel discussion highlights the legal perspectives of current state and federal legislation and current status of the NCAA vs. Alston case before the Supreme Court. Panelists discuss the legal implications for college athletes, athletic administrators, and NCAA governance.

Moderator: Agnieszka McPeak, Associate Professor and Director, Center for Law, Ethics & Commerce, Gonzaga University School of Law, Gonzaga University

  • Deborah Brake, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development, School of Law, University of Pittsburgh
  • Gabe FeldmanSher Garner, Professor of Sports Law and Paul and Abram B. Barron Professor of Law, Tulane Law School Director, Tulane Sports Law Program, Tulane University
  • Michael McCann, Professor & Director, Sports & Entertainment Law Institute, University of New Hampshire
  • Meg Penrose, Professor of Law, Texas A&M University School of Law, Texas A&M University

Practical Approaches in Leadership Panel | 11:15 AM

Featuring athletic program leaders, this addresses how to prepare for implementing legal and legislative changes under NIL, the upcoming NCAA v. Alston case, and bills proposed in the U.S. congress. This panel sets an agenda for how college athletic program leaders can respond, while still advancing the educational mission of institutions in these new times.

Moderator: Dr. Karen Weaver, Adjunct Assistant Professor and Academic Director, Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania

  • Valerie Cleary, Athletic Director, Portland State University
  • Mario Morris, Deputy Athletic Director, University of Notre Dame
  • Mike Roth, Athletic Director, Gonzaga University
  • Etienne Thomas, Director of Athletics, Winston-Salem State University


Wednesday, May 26 | 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM PDT 


The Future of College Sports in Higher Education Panel | 9:00 AM

Perspectives and strategies for moving institutions forward through this new legal milieu and how to shape the future of college athletics in higher education. This panel discussion highlights the leadership perspectives for steering institutions through these changing legal and legislative influences on colleges sports and their universities.

Moderator: Dr. Carol A. Cartwright, President Emeritus, Kent State University and Bowling Green State University

  • James Danko, President, Butler University
  • Dr. Brian PusserAssociate Professor, School of Education and Human Development, University of Virginia 
  • Dr. Kirk Schulz, President, Washington State University
  • Dr. Candice Storey Lee, Vice-Chancellor for University Affairs & Athletics and Athletic Director, Vanderbilt University 

Closing Keynote | 10:45 AM

 Ramogi Huma

Ramogi Huma, Executive Director, National Collegiate Players Association

Laws and Lawsuits: The Path Toward Racial Justice, Gender Equity, and Key Athlete Protections in College Sports

Closing Remarks

  • Amy Perko, Chief Executive Officer, Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
  • Dr. Jeff Geldien, Assistant Vice President, Academic Advancement, Gonzaga University