Starnes Davis Florie

Collegiate Sports

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The Starnes Davis Florie Higher Education and Collegiate Sports Practice Group provides proactive advice to institutions, athletic administrators, coaches, and student-athletes to navigate the ever-changing NCAA rules as well as the applicable state and federal laws. With decades of experience working at the highest levels of college athletics, we have developed a niche as nationally- recognized attorneys in the collegiate sports arena.

 Areas of Practice Include:

– Investigating NCAA regulatory matters, including possible NCAA violations, waivers, and reinstatements and advising institutions on how to address the immediate issue as well as how to implement best practices to avoid similar issues in the future; Representing institutions and coaches in NCAA investigations by the Enforcement Staff and in proceedings before the Committee on Infractions;

– Advising institutions and collectives on Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL), including explaining best practices to comply with NCAA guidance, understanding and, potentially revising, state laws, and improving performance and transparency of collectives through the implementation of best practices;

– Conducting Title IX reviews, audits, and investigations, in particular handling high profile Title IX investigations and litigation;

– Reviewing and implementing changes to the culture, process, and practices of teams, programs, training and medical staffs, and athletic departments; and

– Advising institutions, administrators, and coaches in crisis management.

Our accomplishments in the field include the following:

– Represented multiple institutions successfully in high-profile NCAA investigations, including appearances before the Committee on Infractions;

– Advised many head and assistant coaches involved in NCAA investigations, Title IX inquiries, and litigation;

– Handled numerous investigations of student-athletes, including multiple Heisman Trophy winners and numerous NFL first round draft picks, in high-profile NCAA and Title IX investigations;

– Conducted holistic evaluations of collectives for P5 and G5 clients, including dissolution of under-performing collectives, creation of new collectives, establishing best practices in the relationships with student-athletes, institutional multimedia rights holders, donors, and licensing partners;

– Negotiated contracts between high-profile student-athletes and collectives; Conducted educational sessions for coaches, athletic department staff, institutional leadership, and boosters regarding best practices to compete within current NCAA rules and state laws regulating NIL; and

– Represented a high-profile institution in an investigation into sports wagering.

We would love to talk with you about helping with any of the following areas:

Compliance: We are available to advise universities, athletic administrators, and coaches on a variety of higher education issues, including the implementation of policies and procedures to ensure compliance with NCAA rules and Title IX. We also advise prospective and current student-athletes and their families on NCAA issues, such as eligibility, waivers, reinstatement, and navigating the transfer portal.

Investigations: We are available to handle emergency and proactive investigations for institutions, athletic administrators, coaches, and student- athletes. Whenever potential compliance issues, rules violations, culture issues, and poor performance issues are identified, we work with our clients to ensure that the matter is handled with the appropriate budget, due speed, and absolute confidentiality to investigate and prepare a comprehensive report of the facts and recommended response.

Litigation: We are ready to represent universities, athletic administrators, coaches, and student- athletes in a wide variety of civil litigation matters involving topics such as trademark infringement, breach of contract, assault, and Title IX.

NIL Consulting: We specialize in advising institutions and collectives on Name, Image, and Likeness (“NIL”) issues, including explaining best practices to comply with NCAA guidance, navigating relevant federal and state legislation, and improving performance and transparency of collectives.


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