Making the Assist in Athletic Conference Realignments
A university or athletic conference considering conference realignment faces a multitude of legal issues involving, among other things, conference constitutions and bylaws, media contracts and the seemingly inevitable threat of litigation. Holland & Knight's Education Team helps clients in this critical juncture of sports and law.
Not long ago, it was highly unusual for a college or university to move from one athletic conference to another. Not so anymore. In the past few years alone, dozens of universities have changed conference affiliations. Holland & Knight attorneys provided wide-ranging counsel to several of those institutions.
In one instance, Holland & Knight counseled a university in negotiations that enabled it to move from a mid-major conference to a major new basketball conference. In another matter, the firm defended a university in litigation arising from its move from one major conference to another, obtaining summary judgment in the university's favor over the amount of the exit fee due to the university's former conference. Recently, our attorneys were tapped to represent a leading conference in litigation against a departing member that challenged the validity of the withdrawal payment due to the conference.
Holland & Knight’s Education Practice has a significant track record in handling the myriad legal issues surrounding conference realignment, and brings to bear years of experience in representing colleges and universities on all fronts.