Maintaining the Integrity & Commercial Value of Sports While Protecting Athlete’s Rights

On Friday, October 13th, 2017, the National Sports Law Institute of Marquette University Law School will host its annual conference "Maintaining the Integrity & Commercial Value of Sports While Protecting Athlete’s Rights."  The conference will provide an overview on how the integrity of sport is protected in the U.S. and will include panel discussions on legal and ethical issues related to sports gambling, sport governing body legal and ethical duties to protect player safety, intersex and transgender issues in sports, and athlete’s rights (focusing on athlete activism, appropriate due process protections, and privacy interests).

The conference will also feature a Keynote presentation from Professor Richard McLaren, focusing on the Sochi Doping Scandal.  The World Anti-Doping Agency appointed Professor McLaren as the Independent Person to head an investigation into allegations of doping related to the Sochi Olympics. The results of his investigation were the McLaren Reports #1 and #2.  Professor McLaren will be presented with the Institute's Master of the Game Award during the conference lunch.  The conference will take place in the home of the National Sports Law Institute of Marquette University Law School, Eckstein Hall.

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION (Registration is Now Closed)




TENTATIVE CONFERENCE SCHEDULE (specific details available here)

Friday, October 13, 2017

  • 8 - 9 am (Registration)
  • 9 am - 11:40 am (Conference panels)
  • 11:40 - 12:30 pm (Keynote)
  • 12:30 - 2 pm (Conference lunch with presentation of the Master of the Game Award)
  • 2 - 5:30 pm (Conference panels)
  • 5:30 - 7 pm (Conference reception)


The Master of the Game 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.  During the conference lunch the National Sports Law Institute will present the 2017 Master of the Game Award to Professor Richard McLaren, Professor of Law, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, Counsel to McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP, and Member, Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland.


  • Scott Bearby, General Counsel, NCAA, Indianapolis, IN
  • Mary K. Braza, Partner and Chair, Sports Industry Team, Foley & Lardner LLP, Milwaukee, WI
  • Erin Buzuvis, Director, Center for Gender & Sexuality Studies, Professor of Law, Western New England School of Law, Springfield, MA
  • John P. Collins, Partner, Collins & Collins, Chicago, IL
  • Janis Dolechal, Sports Law Consultant, Start Playing Safeand former Commissioner of Sports and Athletics, Milwaukee Public Schools, Milwaukee, WI
  • Atiba Ellis, Boden Visiting Professor of Law, Marquette University Law School, and Professor of Law, West Virginia University College of Law, Morgantown, WV
  • Adam Epstein, Professor of Legal Studies, Department of Finance and Law, Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, MI
  • Paul Greene, Global Sports Advocates, Portland, ME
  • Ron Katz, Counsel, GCA Law Partners, LLP, Mountain View, CA
  • Richard H. McLaren, O.C., Professor of Law, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada, Counsel to McKenzie Lake Lawyers LLP, and Member, Court of Arbitration for Sport, Lausanne, Switzerland
  • Matthew J. Mitten, Professor of Law and Executive Director, National Sports Law Institute and LL.M. in Sports Law Program for Foreign Lawyers, Marquette University Law School, Milwaukee, WI
  • Barbara Osborne, Professor, Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Joint appointment, Adjunct Professor, UNC School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC
  • Jill Pilgrim, Pilgrim & Associates Law Office, Founder & President, The Center for the Protection of Athletes' Rights, Inc., New York, NY
  • Megan Ryther (L'07), Associate Attorney, Ice Miller, Indianapolis, IN, member, Board of Directors, United States Center for Safe Sport
  • Jeffrey Standen, Dean and Professor of Law, Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, KY
  • James Sullivan (L’01), President, Poker Royalty, LLC, Las Vegas, NV
  • David Tamburrino (L’15), Director of Development, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, Olympic Speed Skater, Lillehammer (1994) and Nagano (1998)
  • Aaron Tantleff, Partner and Member, Sports Industry Team and Privacy, Security & Information Management Practice Group , Foley & Lardner LLP, Chicago, IL
  • Daniel Wallach, Shareholder, Becker & Poliakoff, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Stephanie Vardavas, Law Office of Stephanie J. Vardavas, Adjunct Professor of Sports Business, University of Oregon, Portland, OR
  • John Wolohan, David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY​


For a limited time, rooms are available at a discounted rate at the Courtyard by Marriott (@ 4 blocks from the conference site).  Book by October 1st to get the special rate of $124.00 (click the registration link here).  Other hotel recommendations near the Marquette University campus can be found here.


The NSLI will seek approval for CLE credits from the Wisconsin Board of Bar Examiners. The NSLI will also apply for CLE credit to any state for which a conference or seminar attendee seeks credit. Individual attorneys must pay the fees associated with any out of state applications. 

Individuals seeking CLE credit must attend the entire conference. The NSLI cannot award partial CLE credit.  All CLE approvals will take place after the conference.


Parking information and directions to Eckstein Hall can be found here.  Parking will be available at no charge for all registered conference attendees in level 1 of the Eckstein Hall parking structure.  The entrance for visitor parking is on 11th street just before Clybourn Avenue.  Please identify yourself as a "Sports Law Conference Attendee" to the parking lot attendant and get a parking ticket as you enter the parking garage. When you enter the building, please check in at the conference registration desks.  They will validate your parking and direct you to the Appellate Courtroom, room 144, where the conference will take place.