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Independent Investigations Have Proved Valuable For College Athletics

By Tyrone P. Thomas

As recently noted by ESPN senior college basketball writer Andy Katz, the various crises facing intercollegiate athletic programs across the country could benefit from a fresh set of eyes.  Increasingly, university presidents, general counsels and athletic directors have taken the proactive step of engaging outside lawyers to conduct an independent investigation when facing allegations of inappropriate conduct.

While the NCAA enforcement process has struggled in the wake of missteps from the University of Miami investigation, an inquiry with oversight from an external law firm can provide key findings, risk assessment and corrective actions in a fraction of the time of the average enforcement review.

As Rutgers University can painfully attest, the selection of outside counsel knowledgeable about rules governing intercollegiate athletics and effective internal investigations is essential.  With the scope of allegations facing athletic departments increasing more than ever, universities would be wise to protect the investment they have made on their programs.

Our higher education group is happy to provide expert assistance on these matters.

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Martha Zackin