Success requires not only a winning team, but also an understanding of the laws, rules, and regulations covering the ever-changing college athletics landscape. Goulston & Storrs’ College Sports Law Practice understands the laws, rules, regulations, and their impact on athletic programs at colleges, universities, and conferences. The College Sports Law Practice has a strong bench of seasoned experts to represent and advise colleges and universities, athletic departments and conferences on such top of mind issues as racial and gender diversity and inclusion issues in college athletic programs; creating a transparent, equitable and comprehensible NIL policy that is consistent with the institution’s values, state and federal law and NCAA regulations and advisories; opportunities and risks in developing and upgrading college athletic facilities; and employment issues including the impact of Title IX, contracts and investigations.
Specifically, the College Sports Law Practice provides advice and representation to college athletic administrators and their legal counsel in the following important areas:
- Diversity & Inclusion – Cultural Change: In the increasingly public and toxic revelations of gender and race bias, Goulston & Storrs has developed a unique cultural assessment program, which is tailored exclusively for each school, to help colleges understand and respond to diversity and inclusion issues. Also, Goulston & Storrs has investigated and reported on dozens of examples of perceived racial or gender bias.
- NIL: Goulston & Storrs works with colleges to create policies and processes that are transparent, fair and understandable to student-athletes, administrators, staff and third-parties and align with the institution’s core values, state law, Title IX, best practices and NCAA regulations and guidance. We have worked with schools to create NIL policies and processes, educational literacy programs for student-athletes, coaches and third-parties which will educate and empower the student-athletes and create revenue streams for the athlete and school.
- Sponsorship, Media Licensing, Product Licensing, and Concession Agreements: Goulston & Storrs advises and represents colleges, universities and athletic conferences in numerous contractual relations they have including sponsorship deals, agreements with apparel and equipment manufacturers, vendor and concession agreements, multi-media agencies and product licensing arrangements.
- Hospitality Services/Marketing: Game Day concerns include ADA compliance, digital marketing and ticketing strategies, privacy and the collection of digital data and concession agreements. Goulston & Storrs can assist in addressing the legal concerns and liability risks, including health and safety, digital data ownership, Wire Act issues and state and federal regulations.
- Facilities: Many colleges conduct athletic programs in aging or noncompliant stadia and arenas. Goulston & Storrs can help reduce the risks of such facilities by working to ensure that stadia and arenas are compliant with federal, state, and local laws. Also, Goulston & Storrs assists its clients in negotiating agreements to finance the construction of new or retrofitted athletic facilities, inland acquisitions, and in dealing with environmental concerns.
- Contract, Regulatory and Antitrust Advice and Guidance: Goulston & Storrs helps schools by creating employment agreements which align with the colleges’ values commitments. Goulston & Storrs also advises, litigates and arbitrates claims including representing schools when sponsors, apparel or other partners seek to avoid contractual obligations; enforcing and registering intellectual property rights to, among other things, brands, logos, marks and digital data; interpreting media and other licensing agreements; in dealing with their rights and obligations under the law, existing contracts, statutes, NCAA regulations, and court decisions.
- Title IX: Title IX represents federal policy. Goulston & Storrs can help steer through the morass of regulations to achieve compliance, including advising on LGBTQ rights, the impact of Title IX on NIL and investigations.
- E-sports and NFTs: E-sports and NFTs are developing into multi-billion-dollar industries. Goulston & Storrs helps its clients realize their revenue potential while educating them about compliance with NACE governance structure (for e-sports) and state and federal statutes.