Lewis Rice’s full-service athletics practice includes attorneys who use decades of experience at various levels of collegiate and professional athletic programs to lead and manage projects of all scopes and sizes. We help athletic organizations achieve their goals in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive market, all while meeting the needs of today’s athletes, fans, and other key constituents, including alumni, donors, and governmental entities.

Our Services


We ensure a thorough, confidential, and fair analysis of the facts and offer a conclusive report of our findings with an advisory opinion on remediation and resolution. We conduct investigations in a variety of areas, including:

  • Sexual harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Hazing and bullying
  • Title IX violations
  • Compliance violations
  • Academic dishonesty
  • Student discipline
  • Policy and procedure violations
  • General personnel matters

Personnel Matters

Sometimes senior officials of athletic organizations face complicated personnel matters that require legal intervention and counsel. Our team stands ready to provide expert advice for all personnel matters, such as:

  • Employment contract negotiations, drafting and review
  • Discipline and termination
  • Labor and employment litigation
  • Policy development
  • Hiring and onboarding best practices
  • Human resources audits and training for coaches and staff

Title IX and Gender Equity Compliance

Our team of legal advisors are highly experienced in ensuring compliance with Title IX laws and regulations. We will review your institution’s current compliance with Title IX and gender equity to identify positions of strength and areas of improvement. Then we will compile a comprehensive Title IX compliance report that outlines steps to maintain or come into compliance. We will conduct a three-month check-in over a two-year period to identify any continuing areas of concern and revise the report as needed based on adjusted regulations. We also have the requisite knowledge to lead and counsel an institution through OCR complaints and proactive reviews.

Strategic Planning

A solid strategic planning process is key to building a successful and sustainable enterprise, especially in a competitive marketplace. Our advisors will partner with your institution to develop and implement a visionary strategic plan that will provide a roadmap for a lucrative future.

We will organize and lead whiteboard sessions with key team members to ensure a cross-section of opinions are captured. This process can also be tailored based on the needs of your institution. We will offer three-month check-ins over a two-year period and refresh if necessary to address the evolving landscape of higher education and intercollegiate athletics.

Media Rights, Sponsorship, and Naming Rights Analysis

In a world where corporations are looking for significant return on investment and increased exposure, we can help your institution maximize its profitability. Our advisors will focus on strategic analysis and valuation of media rights, sponsorship, and naming rights. We will also lead and manage the negotiation of contracts with corporate partners and media entities that will enhance revenue generation and overall exposure.

NIL Compliance, Education, and Representation

The athletics landscape is changing, and it is our job to help you stay ahead of the curve. Our team will provide Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) services to support various market segments, including:

  • Colleges and universities: We ensure your NIL policy is legally compliant while protecting the vested interests of your institution. We also offer in-service training on NIL management for staff.
  • Student-athlete services: Our attorneys work on behalf of student-athletes to optimize their NIL earnings. Our services include researching opportunities, negotiating agreements, ensuring compliance with NCAA and local regulations, and contract finalization.
  • Collectives: We serve as general counsel to new and existing NIL Collectives addressing legal needs from startup to fund distribution and tax considerations.
  • Private businesses: Our team helps corporate entities establish NIL guidelines, ensure compliance with all laws and regulations, and create partnerships with student-athletes.

NCAA Compliance Reviews

Lewis Rice attorneys assist institutions and athletes by assessing their compliance status, educating them on NCAA rules, conducting a review of activities for potential violations, negotiating with the NCAA, and guiding them through the entire process, including appeals if needed.

Our attorneys are essential in safeguarding the interests of educational institutions and athletes, ensuring they meet NCAA compliance requirements, addressing any violations that may arise, and guiding them toward sustainable compliance practices in the future.

Student-Athlete Support Services

Lewis Rice prioritizes the well-being and development of student-athletes in successful athletic departments. We conduct a comprehensive evaluation in four critical areas:

  • Sports medicine and athletic training: We assess policies, procedures, and personnel in the sports medicine department to minimize legal risks and ensure risk mitigation strategies.
  • Mental health support: Our advisors evaluate mental health services, reduce stigma, and enhance support for student-athletes' mental well-being based on industry best practices.
  • Student-athlete leadership and development: We review life skills programming and leadership opportunities, offering recommendations to enhance personal and professional growth for student-athletes.
  • Culture and experience: Our evaluation measures employee engagement, department culture, and the student-athlete experience, with recommendations to improve these aspects.

Our Clients

We represent educational institutions throughout all divisions of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), and National Junior College Athletics Association (NJCAA) along with athletic conference offices. We also counsel athletic directors, professional teams and owners, and athletes. In the evolving field of Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL), Lewis Rice attorneys advise and educate colleges and universities, student-athletes, and private businesses to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws as well as NCAA regulations.

Our Approach

Lewis Rice’s Athletics Law Practice Group is known for its comprehensive, personalized approach that is unrivaled in the industry. Our team of advisors have been in-house at educational institutions and understand the high pressure and winning mentality of successful athletic organizations. Our unique combination of education law and athletics experience enables us to successfully address many of the important topics impacting your athletic organization.