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Professor Steinberg ready to take you to school

Steinberg Says

January 07, 2012|By Leigh Steinberg

A letter came last week addressed to Professor Steinberg and I was about to write, "Return to Sender," when I realized with shock this Thursday afternoon kicks off a course in "Sports and Entertainment Law" that I've agreed to teach at UC Irvine's School of Law.

While I have spoken on over 75 different campuses over the last 40 years, I have zealously turned down every invitation to commit to an actual teaching responsibility and avoided it like the plague.

So why now?

The legal side of sports has never needed an infusion of idealistic, principled professionals more than now. Dean Erwin Chemerinsky is a shining beacon of legal expertise and vision. He created a law school several years ago with the goal of giving students actual experience with local attorneys and providing them with real life practical experience.

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They were able to attract the best and brightest students from across the nation by offering them full or partial scholarships. The law school has leaped rapidly into the top tier. We have had the privilege of the services of one of these students, Justin Greely, who has been enterprising and indispensable.

The first emphasis in this course will be values. It is critical these students understand that a sense of self respect, living in a nurturing family and being an active part of a community are essential. They need to be committed to ethical and fair dealings in all their transactions.

Sports does not need more monomaniacal plumbers adding to corrupt systems. And, they must have a passion for whatever work they do. The world of sports has exploded with the content and financial impact of expanded television creating new job concepts. There are legal and management positions at national and regional networks, in radio, and at newspapers.

The field of sports marketing and memorabilia offer ample opportunity. Leagues, conferences, individual franchises and colleges all need legal service and administration.

The Olympics and amateur sanctioning bodies have needs. New stadia and arenas have positions. Corporations interested in sports marketing have positions. Each team sport has a union or players association representing the players and legal and management needs.

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