12 SEC Law Schools Collaborate to Host NIL Conversation Series

The 12 law schools in the Southeastern Conference are collaborating to host virtually “A Series of Conversations on Name, Image and Likeness and the Future of Intercollegiate Athletics” throughout the academic year.

Professors from each law school, as well as professionals within the athletics industry, will speak on a variety of legal topics surrounding the NIL policy for college athletes that took effect July 1, 2021. The NCAA policy allows college athletes to directly benefit financially from their own name, image and likeness. NIL activities include endorsements, appearances, and autograph signings, among others.

“With the adoption of state NIL laws last summer, a wide variety of legal issues have emerged with participants and legal experts trying to figure out this exciting new landscape in intercollegiate athletics,” said organizer Will Berry, a law professor at the University of Mississippi. “This conversation series will provide an important window into these issues for students, athletes, lawyers, athletic departments and members of the general public interested in the effect of state NIL laws on college sports.”

The first event of the semester will be held via Zoom Wednesday, Feb. 2 at noon on the topic of “NCAA v. Alston and Antitrust Laws” with panelists Thomas Lambert and Gary Myers, both professors at the University of Missouri School of Law, and Laura Phillips Sawyer, professor at the University of Georgia School of Law.

This is yet another effort by the SEC law schools as a group. Last year, law professors from each school came together to discuss ways to incorporate topics dealing with diversity into the 1L curriculum.

“I’m thrilled to see all the SEC law schools once again collaborate on timely and important topics,” said Susan Duncan, Dean of UM Law. “NIL brings us another opportunity to share the talents and expertise of the cadre of professors at our respective institutions.”

UM Law kicked off the series in October with the 10th Annual Mississippi Sports Law Review Symposium: NIL and Intellectual Property Summit. Speakers included: Steinberg Sports agent Chris Cabott; Loeb & Loeb attorney Lisa Wiznitzer; New York University law professors Dan Lust and Anthony Iliakostas; NCAA associate general counsel Curtis Franks; Greenspoon Marder attorney Bruce Siegal; and William Kava, senior associate athletic director for compliance at Ole Miss. The panel was moderated by UM Law Professors Will Berry and Stacey Lantagne.

Updates and information to join the conversations are available on the UM Law website.

Here is the full list of upcoming events:

Wednesday, Feb. 2 at Noon

Alston and Antitrust with speakers: Thomas Lambert & Gary Myers, University of Missouri School of Law, Laura Phillips Sawyer, University of Georgia School of Law

Thursday, Feb. 17

The Future of the NCAA with speakers: Neal F. Newman and Meg Penrose, Texas A&M School of Law

Friday, Feb. 18

Whose Name, Whose Brand? NIL and Collegiate Trademarks with speakers: Lee Ann Lockridge and David Fleshman, Louisiana State University School of Law, Darren Heitner, University of Florida School of Law

March 2022

How To Help Students Understand Their Publicity Rights with Brian L. Frye, University of Kentucky School of Law, Etienne Toussaint, University of South Carolina School of Law.

The Impact of Sports Betting Legislation and Conference Realignment on College Sports with Ron Rychlak, Ole Miss Law and David Shipley, University of Georgia School of Law

April 2022

Tax Aspects of NIL with Tessa Davis, University of South Carolina School of Law and Jennifer Bird-Pollan, University of Kentucky School of Law

NCAA Infractions: Past, Present, and Future with Howard Brill, University of Arkansas School of Law and Joshua Lens, University of Arkansas School of Health, Human Performance, & Recreation

College Athletes as Employees? With Deepa Das Acevedo, University of Alabama School of Law, Blair Druhan Bullock, University of Arkansas School of Law, and Jennifer Shinall, Vanderbilt University Law School

NIL Implementation Considerations with Brian Krumm, University of Tennessee School of Law, Lynn Youngs, University of Tennessee College of Business, and Bobby Bramhall, President of Athlete Licensing Company