Overview of the Program

The University of Mississippi School of Law offers a program of concentration in Sports & Entertainment Law for students who seek to develop special expertise in these areas during their law school careers. In an increasingly competitive marketplace, the concentration provides an edge for students who have demonstrated their commitment to and interest in Sports & Entertainment Law. Upon completion of the requirements of the Sports & Entertainment Law concentration, students will be awarded a certificate evidencing completion and a notation on their official transcript.

Concentration Requirements

The requirements for the Sports & Entertainment Law Certificate are as follows:

  • Complete at least 15 credit hours in Core Sports & Entertainment Law Classes.
  • Complete at least an additional 12 credit hours in Elective Sports & Entertainment Law Classes;
  • Obtain a minimum 2.5 GPA in courses counted toward Certificate course requirements (minimum 3.2 GPA for Certificate with Honors); and
  • Receive a minimum grade of “C” in each course counted toward Certificate course requirements.

In summary, the Certificate requires completion of at least 27 hours in Sports & Entertainment Law classes with no grade lower than a “C” and minimum GPA of 2.5 in the certificate courses.

The Core Sports & Entertainment Law Courses are:

  1. Sports Law I (Amateur Sports)
  2. Sports Law II (Professional Sports)
  3. Entertainment Law
  4. Intellectual Property Survey
  5. (A) Gaming Law OR (B) Copyright Law OR (C) Trademark Law

Thus, students are required to complete 12 hours by taking courses 1-4, and the remaining 3 hours by taking course 5A or 5B or 5C. The Associate Dean may, in consultation with the Sports & Entertainment Law faculty, make adjustments to the list of Core Sports & Entertainment Law Courses.

Courses that would satisfy the Sports & Entertainment Law Elective Courses include the following courses plus any additional courses as determined by the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

  • Administrative Law (3)
  • Advanced Torts (3)
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution 651 (3)
  • Antitrust Law 621 (2-3)
  • Constitutional Law II 508 (3)
  • Copyright Law (3) (if not chosen as Core Class #5)
  • Corporations 601 (3)
  • Corporate Finance Law 606 (3)
  • Corporate Taxation
  • Emerging Issues in Intellectual Property Law (2)
  • Employee Benefits 728 (3)
  • Employer-Employee Relations 645 (3)
  • Employment Discrimination 640 (2-3)
  • Externship (3-6)
  • Gaming Law (3) (if not chosen as Core Class #5)
  • Higher Education and the Law 683 (3)
  • Income Taxation II 702 (3)
  • Int’l Commercial Arbitration 722 (3)
  • Int’l Intellectual Property 732 (2-3)
  • International Sports Law (1)(Cambridge)
  • Internet and Emerging Technologies Law (3)
  • Labor Law I 614 (3)
  • Labor Law II 617 (2-3)
  • Law and Film 744 (3)
  • Legal Accounting 573 (1-3)
  • NCAA Seminar (SLT Skills) (3)
  • Partnership Taxation 634 (3)
  • Patent Law 535 (3)
  • Sports Law Review (1-4)
  • Trademark Law (3) (if not chosen as Core Class #5)
  • Transformative Works and Copyright Fair Use (1)
  • Workers’ Compensation 618 (2-3)

The Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, with approval by the Curriculum and Practices Committee, is responsible for creating a final list and updating and revising that list on an ongoing basis as necessary.

At the beginning of the third year, a student who intends to earn a Sports & Entertainment Law Certificate must submit the “Intent to Complete Sports & Entertainment Law Concentration Form” to the Law Registrar. At the time of the submission of the “Intent to Graduate Form,” the student must submit a “Statement of Completion of the Sports & Entertainment Law Concentration Requirements” to the Law

Registrar. No Sports & Entertainment Law certificate will be awarded unless the student has completed the Sports & Entertainment Law concentration requirements and properly submitted the above-referenced forms to the Law Registrar.

Faculty

Will Berry

Professor Berry has taught Sports Law for almost a decade and has developed a national reputation as a scholar in sports law. He currently serves as Secretary to the American Association of Law Schools Section on Law and Sports. In addition, Professor Berry helped oversee the development of the Mississippi Sports Law Review in 2010. He currently serves as the faculty advisor to the Sports Law Review, which hosts an annual symposium, and the Sports Law Society, which brings in speakers each semester.

Professor Berry is co-author of two leading textbooks in the area of Sports, & Entertainment Law: SPORTS AND THE LAW (6th ed.)(2018)(WEST ACADEMIC PUBLISHING) and ENTERTAINMENT, MEDIA, AND THE LAW (5th ed.)(2015)(WEST ACADEMIC PUBLISHING). Recently, Professor Berry participated in two law review symposia on sports law—one at Stanford (May 2017) and one at Louisiana State University (January 2017).

Selected sports & entertainment law publications include:

  • SPORTS AND THE LAW (6th ed.)(2018)(WEST)(with Weiler, et al.)
  • ENTERTAINMENT, MEDIA, AND THE LAW (5th ed.)(2015)(WEST)(with Weiler & Myers)
  • Employee-Athletes, Antitrust, and the Future of College Sports, 28 STAN. L. & POL’Y REV. __ (forthcoming 2017)(symposium)
  • Exploiting “Education,” 78 LA. L. REV. __ (2017)(symposium)
  • Amending Amateurism, 68 ALA. L. REV. 551 (2016).
  • Playoff Profits for Academic Programs, 5 MISS. SPORTS REV. 1 (2016)(symposium)
  • How Labor Law Could Save the NCAA, SLATE.COM, March 31, 2014.
  • Educating Athletes, 81 TENN. L. REV. 795 (2014).

Stacey Lantagne

Professor Lantagne has taught entertainment law and intellectual property law for the past four years, and has developed a national reputation as a scholar on fan creativity on the Internet, examining fanfiction, fanart, fanvids, and other forms of fan interaction with entertainment media, such as Internet memes. She is a member of the legal committee of the Organization for Transformative Works, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting fanworks and fan creators, and currently serves as a member of the board of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Intellectual Property. She is also a member of the university’s Copyright Committee.

Professor Lantagne frequently presents on entertainment law topics. She was invited to be a guest speaker at Whittier Law School’s Law Review and Center for Intellectual Property Law’s symposium on Emerging Dilemmas in Entertainment Law in November

2016 and has for the past two years presented at the Midwest Popular Culture Association and Midwest American Culture Association’s Annual Conference on various entertainment law related topics. In May, she will present at Harry Potter and the Pop Culture Conference at DePaul University.

Professor Lantagne’s interest in entertainment law began in law school, where she served as co-executive editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology and published a note focusing on the recording industry’s reaction to the development of MP3 technology. She practiced intellectual property law for several years, handling many entertainment law cases, including cases involving computer games, fashion, and book publishing.

Selected entertainment law publications include:

  • When Real People Become Fictional: The Collision of Trademark, Copyright, and Publicity Rights in Fanfiction about Celebrities, 7 CASE RESERVE J.L. TECH. & INTERNET 39 (2016).
  • The Copymark Creep: How the Normative Standards of Fan Communities Can Rescue Copyright, 32 GA. ST. U. L. REV. 459 (Winter 2016).
  • Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Lucrative Fandom: Recognizing the Economic Power of Fanworks and Reimagining Fair Use in Copyright, 21 MICH. TELECOMM. & TECH. L. REV. 263 (2015) (reprinted in THE ENTERTAINMENT, PUBLISHING & THE ARTS HANDBOOK (Thomson Reuters (West) 2016)).
  • The Better Angels of Our Fanfiction: The Need for True and Logical Precedent, HASTINGS COMM. & ENT. L.J. 159 (Winter 2011).

Ron Rychlak

Image of Professor Ronald RychlakProfessor Rychlak has served as the Faculty Athletics Representative and chair of the University’s standing committee on Intercollegiate Athletics since 2007. He served as chair of the standing committee on Institutional Compliance from 2007-2016 (renamed and reorganized as the Athletics Compliance Committee in 2017). He also serves on the Athletics Diversity Committee. He has been a member of the Southeastern Conference

(SEC) Executive Committee since 2012 and the SEC Working Group on Compliance, Enforcement and Governance since 2016.

Professor Rychlak serves on the editorial board of The Gaming Law Review and Economics and is a co-author of the first Gaming Law textbook: GAMING LAW: CASES AND MATERIALS (with Robert M. Jarvis et al.) Matthew Bender & Co., 2003. He is also an invited member of the International Masters of Gaming Law (chair of legal educators section, 2011). He was recognized for lifetime contribution to Amateur Football by the

Ole Miss Chapter of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame (2012).

Selected publications include:

  • Unlucky Numbers: Betting on, Against, and With the Yankee$, Chapter 12 in COURTING THE YANKEES: LEGAL ESSAYS ON THE BRONX BOMBERS (Ettie Ward, 2003).
  • The NCAA: It’s Necessary, but it’s not the FBI, 5 Mississippi Sports Law Review 83 (2015).
  • The Legal Answer to Cyber-Gambling, 80 Miss. L.J. 1229 (2011).
  • Cards and Dice in Smokey Rooms: Tobacco Bans and Modern Casinos, 57 Drake Law Review 467 (2009).
  • Legal Problems with Online Gambling, 6 Engage: The Journal of the Federalist Society Practice Groups 36 (May 2005), reprinted in Orin Kerr, COMPUTER CRIME LAW 181 (Thompson-West, 2006).
  • A Bad Bet: Criminalizing Nevada’s College Sports Books, 4 Nev. L. Rev. 320 (2003-04).
  • Compulsive Gambling as a Criminal Defense, 4 Gaming Law Rev. 333 (2000) (with J. Jarrell).
  • Pete Rose, Bart Giamatti, and the Dowd Report, 68 Miss. L.J. 889 (1999).
  • Lotteries, Revenue, and Social Cost: A Historical Perspective on State Sponsored Gambling, 34 Boston College L. Rev. 11 (1992), excerpted in Franklin E. Zimring & Bernard E. Harcourt, CRIMINAL LAW AND THE REGULATION OF VICE (Thompson- West, 2007) and in Kevin K. Washburn, THE LAW OF GAMING AND GAMBLING POLICIES AND PRINCIPLES (Aspen, 2010).
  • The Introduction of Casino Gambling: Public Policy and the Law, 64 Miss. L.J. 291 (1995).
  • Videotape and Casino Lawsuits, 4 Gaming Law Rev. 241 (1999).
  • Video Gambling Devices, 37 UCLA L. Rev. 555 (1990), excerpted in Franklin E. Zimring & Bernard E. Harcourt, CRIMINAL LAW AND THE REGULATION OF VICE (Thompson-West, 2007).

Will Wilkins

Professor Wilkins is the director of the University of Mississippi School of Law’s

Mississippi Law Research Institute where, along with his administrative responsibilities, he provides intellectual property support to Mississippi’s public universities. He teaches several courses, including Copyright Law, Emerging Issues in Intellectual Property, and The Business of Intellectual Property.

As part of his work with the Mississippi universities, Professor Wilkins assists university counsel, administrators, faculty, and staff with intellectual property legal issues on their campuses. This includes helping protect and commercialize intellectual property created on the campuses, and assisting with the use and licensing of intellectual property owned by others.

An integral part of Professor Wilkins’s work also includes teaching and training university faculty, staff, and general practitioners. A sampling of training and seminars include:

  • IP Update for Higher Education, Mississippi Institutes for Higher Learning General Counsel Meeting (Co-presenter, January 2017)
  • Copyright in Academia, The University of Southern Mississippi (April 2016)
  • Patent Trolls and the Internet of Things, National Association of College and University Attorneys (Discussion Group co-leader, June 2016)
  • Intellectual Property in Business, University of Mississippi CLE – Law Alumni Weekend (March, 2016)
  • Ethical Intellectual Property, Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute (2015)
  • Intellectual Property in the University Setting, Mississippi State University (March 2014)
  • Copyright and the Artist, University of Mississippi Art Department Graduate Seminar (March 2013)

Wilkins has also served as an intellectual property expert with numerous national and local organizations and study groups including:

  • Uniform Law Commission, Committee on Technology (standing)
  • Mississippi Secretary of State, Trademark Laws Study Group (2009)
  • Mississippi Secretary of State, Technology and Intellectual Property Study Group (2011)
  • University of Mississippi, Intellectual Property Management Group for Physical Sciences and Engineering (standing)

Student Opportunities

Student Organizations

Mississippi Sports Law Review

  • Student-run law journal hosts annual symposia with attendance of 250 people
  • 20-24 2L and 3L students participate in putting on symposia and producing 2 issues of journal each year.
  • Past symposia topics: (1) social media and intercollegiate athletics, (2) the future of the BCS, (3) concussions, (4) amateurism in college athletics, (5) telecommunications and sports broadcasting, (6) the NCAA’s autonomy structure
  • Past symposia speakers include: Greg Sankey (SEC Commissioner), Ross Bjork, (Ole Miss AD), Tom Bowen (Memphis AD), Marc Edelman (CUNY), Leeland Zeller (NCAA Associate Director), Kristi Dosh (ESPN / Sports Marketing), Charles Hussey (SEC Network), Robert Frieden (Penn State Law), Babette Boliek (Pepperdine Law), Terence High (NFL Agent), Rick Karcher (Florida Coastal Law), Matt Mitten (Marquette Law), Maureen Weston (Pepperdine Law), William King (Sports Lawyer), Jason Levien (former Memphis Grizzlies CEO), Jeffrey Standen (N. Kentucky Law), Todd Wade (NFL player), Dr. Andrew Gregory (Vanderbilt University), Philip Thomas (Sports Lawyer), Rod Smith (Arizona State Law), Alfred Mathewson (New Mexico Law), Christian Dennie (Sports Lawyer), Meg Penrose (Texas A&M Law), Timothy Epstein (Sports Lawyer), Jerry Parkinson (Wyoming Law).

Mississippi Sports Law Society

Student-run organization that sponsors speakers (2010-present)

  • Hosts 1-2 events per semester
  • Membership of 50 students
  • Brings in speakers to discuss various topics related to sports law
  • Past speakers include: Paul Finebaum (SEC Network), Kristi Dosh (ESPN/Sports Marketing), Lynette Johnson (UM Associate AD), Anne Carr (Miss. St. Associate AD), Lee Tyner (UM General Counsel), Charles Ross (UM History), Warren Wiltshire (Former Referee), Patrick Strong (Sports Lawyer), Hugh Freeze (UM Football), Andy Kennedy (UM Basketball), Mike Bianco (UM Baseball)

University of Mississippi Entertainment Law Organization

Past Externships

  • University of Mississippi Athletics Compliance Department (2-3 students/year)
  • University of Southern Mississippi Athletics Department
  • University of South Alabama Athletics Department

Annual Symposia

  • Mississippi Sports Law Review Symposium
  • Mid-South Intellectual Property Institute

Alumni