Sports Law


Sports law is a growing body of law that requires unique knowledge and understanding of the sports community. With an inside view of the sports world, our attorneys have the perspective and knowledge to help clients identify and respond to emerging trends in the industry. The Firm has attorneys with proven experience in sports-related disputes and negotiations. Our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to represent professional and amateur sports organizations, entities, administrators, and athletes in a variety of transactions and legal disputes, including, commercial litigation; contractual disputes; licensing, media, and sponsorship agreements; real estate acquisition and leases; preparation of policies and procedures; labor and employment issues; and many others. Professional and amateur sports organizations, schools districts, institutions of higher learning, sports related businesses, media personalities, coaches, and athletes cannot afford to be without knowledgeable and effective legal counsel.

NCAA Compliance and Infractions

NCAA member institutions, coaches, administrators, and student-athletes need effective and zealous representation when faced with potential infractions and investigations conducted by regulatory bodies. The Firm combines extensive litigation experience with the on-campus knowledge of NCAA compliance. The Firm will provide its extensive investigative experience to determine all of the facts and evidence that comprise each individual case and will work cooperatively with NCAA and conference representatives while advocating for the rights of the institution, administrators, coaches, and student-athletes. If an alleged violation is not supported, the Firm will develop focused and persuasive arguments on behalf of its client through pinpointed evidence, zealous oral advocacy, and multimedia presentations. When an alleged violation is proven, Barlow Garsek & Simon’s team will help the institution to mitigate the consequences and identify ways to enhance its rules education and monitoring programs to ensure violations will not reoccur.

Barlow Garsek & Simon has developed the “Champion” program to help an institution to adequately monitor athletics programs and maintain the integrity of the institution. The “Champion” program provides direction for institutions to establish compliance guidelines in an effort to remain free of NCAA infractions and penalties. The “Champion” program is as follows:

  • Complete Department Involvement
  • Have Documentation
  • Adhere to University, Conference, and NCAA Rules
  • Maintain Checks and Balances
  • Policies and Procedures
  • Institutional Control
  • Ongoing and Comprehensive Education
  • Never Forget to Ask
  • When the NCAA enforcement staff calls, the Firm will provide the legal assistance and investigative skills necessary to walk institutions, coaches, administrators, and student-athletes through the difficult process. No investigation is too big or too small.

Amateur Sports

Amateur sports are growing at a rapid pace and media outlets are becoming more concentrated with amateur sporting events. Barlow Garsek & Simon is uniquely qualified in its ability to counsel school districts, financial institutions, athletes, amateur sports organizations, event organizers, and governing bodies in a variety of areas, including, radio and television agreements; facilities agreements; licensing, media, and sponsorship agreements; contractual issues; and publicity surrounding amateur sporting events.

Representation of Coaches

A coach’s success is of vital importance to the Firm. The Firm offers creative advice and counsel that can help you succeed personally and professionally. Our team of attorneys provides business and legal solutions to coaches on a wide array of issues including: negotiation of contracts and employment matters, career management, representation involving NCAA compliance matters, marketing and endorsement opportunities, and quick and decisive legal strategy in times of crisis and scandal. Our goal is to see each coach maximize financial opportunities, locate the best opportunity that will allow the coach to flourish personally and professionally, and manage your career with you.

Labor Unions and Trade Associations

The Firm actively represents labor organizations and trade associations in, among other things, negotiations and disputes with employers and professional bodies. Barlow Garsek & Simon has been actively involved in collective bargaining negotiations and representing unions and trade associations and members in disputes and grievances with employers. Additionally, the Firm provides counsel to labor unions and trade associations on a number of other matters including barter agreements and sponsorship agreements, entity creation and filing, non-profit status, tax matters, and a number of other matters.

Professional Athletes and Athlete Representatives

Professional athletes are bombarded with requests and demands on their time and pocketbooks. The Firm has counseled and worked with professional athletes on a number matters including pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, career counseling, right of publicity matters, ICANN disputes, sponsorship agreements, and preparing wills and trusts. The attorneys at Barlow Garsek & Simon can advise and prepare professional athletes and their representatives for major business decisions. Additionally, the Firm represents professional athletes and their representatives in litigation before a number of tribunals including state and federal courts and arbitration panels including matters relating to salary arbitration, grievances, and appeals from decisions of governing bodies and teams.

Athletics Business Matters, Bargaining, and Litigation

Over the course of the last twenty years, agreements relating to athletics have changed from “handshake” deals to heavily negotiated contractual agreements and litigation has increased substantially. Barlow Garsek & Simon has provided counsel to major professional sports franchises, public and private institutions, sports unions, amateur sports organizations, athletes, and several other athletic-related entities in a variety of disputes and business matters. Additionally, the Firm provides counsel and support on a wide range of matters impacting athletic-related businesses, including, but not limited to, negotiation and preparation of employment agreements for coaches and administrators; negotiation and preparation of radio and television agreements; negotiation and preparation of licensing, media, and sponsorship agreements; drug test policies; negotiation and preparation of bowl game and championship event agreements; negotiation and preparation of facilities agreements; collective bargaining; intellectual property protection; antitrust disputes; litigation and dispute resolution; economic development initiatives; and real property transactions.

Apparel, Equipment and Athletic Service Businesses

Professional sports organizations and the NCAA heavily regulate the use of athletic apparel, equipment, and services in professional and intercollegiate athletics, respectively. Athletic apparel, equipment, and service companies desiring to have their products and services made available to professional sports franchises and NCAA member institutions will need counsel with working knowledge of professional and NCAA rules and governance to guide them through the requirements necessary to sanction their products. Barlow Garsek & Simon will assist athletic apparel and equipment companies in obtaining approval by explaining the sanctioning process, determining required technical specifications pursuant to organization rules, and making product presentations to appropriate committees.

Attorneys practicing in this practice group are:

Elliott S. Garsek

Judd Pritchard