Sports Law

Libby O’Brien Kingsley & Champion, LLC provides a wide range of legal services nationwide related to collegiate athletics in numerous areas including: Title IX, compliance with NCAA by-laws, coaching contracts and conduct, pay equity, student-athlete eligibility and reinstatement issues, discrimination, harassment and retaliation, hazing, student athlete welfare and conduct, sexual violence, ADA compliance, and NCAA related issues. The firm provides advice, guidance, and representation before state and federal agencies and courts, the OCR and/or the NCAA in today’s litigation oriented society in each of these areas.  Our attorneys generally work closely with and/or in direct support of the institution’s or individual’s existing lawyers so as to minimize the cost of additional legal fees.

The firm also conducts timely and comprehensive internal investigations when the identification and assessment of potential problem areas are essential. Drawing on our extensive investigative and litigation experience, we use our problem solving skills to provide immediate constructive advice to help plan a solution oriented approach in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The firm also conducts audits of legal compliance areas (including Title IX) and can provide training on any of the legal areas identified above.

All of the legal services can also be structured to be delivered on the scholastic level at the school, district, association or state level.

More detailed descriptions of the legal services are below:

Title IX:  Conduct compliance audits.  Assess and develop practical solutions for achieving compliance.  Implement interim compliance and litigation avoidance strategies.  Advise on cost of attendance, benefits, stipend and name, image and likeness (“NIL”) related issues.  Assist in the litigation of Title IX claims.

Expert Witness:  Provide expert witness services in litigation related to Title IX claims involving athletics.

Reorganization and/or Restructuring of Athletics Department:  Review and provide advice on proposed plans for the reorganization and/or restructuring of an athletics department.  Provide advice on the proposed elimination of teams, coaches, staff members, and services.

Internal Investigations:  Conduct timely and cost-effective internal investigations of alleged infractions, operational concerns, potential misconduct or other problem areas. Conduct audits to assess compliance level in program areas and recommend solutions.  Conduct independent third-party investigations into alleged misconduct by coaches, staff members, and/or student-athletes.

NCAA Compliance Issues:  Assist institutions in auditing compliance levels and implementing corrective action plans to achieve compliance in required areas.

Employment Contracts and Issues:  Provide advice on the design and structuring of employment contracts and policies, hiring practices, discipline, performance and termination issues, and the defense of employment related claims. Focus on solutions and litigation avoidance strategies.

Pay Equity and Compensation:  Conduct reviews of existing contracts, compensation arrangements and pay structures.  Identify potential  issues and recommend corrective courses of action.

Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation:  Provide advice and guidance on potential or existing issues or claims and assist in developing appropriate training and/or corrective measures.

Sexual Assault and Violence:  Draft, review, and revise policies and procedures to assist institution in meeting obligations under Title IX. Conduct training on obligations under the law. Advise and assist institution in the course of responding to and investigating complaints.  Advise, assist, and represent institution when responding to threatened or actual complaints of noncompliance filed with the OCR or courts.  Provide expert witness services in relation to Title IX claims of sexual assault and violence.

Misconduct of Student Athletes:  Provide advice and representation on liability assessments, responses, and courses of action associated with the misconduct of student-athletes.

Contracts:  Assist in the design, drafting, and review of contracts for staff, facilities, vendors, service providers, marketing organizations, television, conferences or related groups and associations.

ADA Advice:  Provide advice and guidance to entities on disability discrimination and access issues.

Training and Education:  Provide training  on legal issues in sports such as Title IX, harassment, hazing, sexual violence, and codes of conduct.

Litigation:  Provide subject matter support to existing legal team on legal issues arising in collegiate sports.  Provide representation in investigations and claims involving OCR or in complaints filed in court.

Representative Clients and Geographic Scope of Practice:  Clients range from Division I universities to Division II institutions (including those transitioning in) to Division III colleges, as well as athletic directors, coaches, and student-athletes.  The firm’s clients are located throughout the United States and the firm’s attorneys work closely with the existing legal counsel.  While much work is done remotely through telephonic and electronic means of communication.  The firm also regularly travels throughout the country.