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Tyrone P. Thomas


[email protected]



Tyrone has gained national recognition for his work in employment and sports law. He advises academic institutions on executive compensation arrangements. Tyrone also provides compliance assessments on governance issues and advises clients on conflicts of interest. In addition, he focuses on legal issues pertaining to intercollegiate athletics and professional sports. Tyrone is highly regarded for his insight on sports matters and has served as a legal analyst for various publications. He also chairs the firm’s Diversity Committee.

Tyrone advises boards, presidents, and other senior executives on employment, consulting and separation agreements. In providing compliance assessments on governance issues, he advises on conflict of interests and IRS regulations governing intermediate sanctions and Form 990 reporting. He has counseled on the development and implementation of affirmative action plans and related matters with OFCCP. Tyrone is a frequent speaker for various associations in higher education on presidential compensation and executive searches, including the American Council on Education, the National Association of College and University Attorneys, the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, and the Council of Independent Colleges.

Tyrone represents clients on complex legal issues in athletics. In intercollegiate athletic matters, his experience includes enforcement investigations, the infractions process, and appeals. He advises colleges on Title IX, employment contracts, and policies for athletics personnel. In professional sports matters, he has advised teams on league compliance issues and other legal matters. He is nationally recognized for his experience in sports matters and has served as a legal analyst for the New York Times, ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Chronicle of Higher Education,Sports Business Journal, University Business, and the Sports Litigation Alert.

In general employment matters, Tyrone advises companies on reductions in force and allegations of discrimination. He successfully defended a nonprofit organization engaged in food recycling and meal distribution programs on a race discrimination charge. He advised a metro transportation authority on corrective action programs arising from a consent decree on discrimination charges. He has conducted litigation avoidance audits relating to prospective discrimination/harassment/retaliation claims for a power company, an international trucking company and a provider of cleaning and facility services.

In addition to his legal practice, Tyrone is chair of the Mintz Diversity Committee. In this role, he leads the firm’s initiatives promoting diversity in the legal profession.


  • Tulane University (JD)
  • Dartmouth College (BA)


  • Advised the Chief of the Board of Directors of Fenway Health to advise the Board regarding the compensation package and employment contract of the CEO.
  • Advised a university on certain terms for the contract of its then-head football coach, who was at the time subject to high recruitment elsewhere due to the team’s top 5 national ranking.
  • Provided employment advice and counselling to the Big Ten Conference on key employment and executive compensation issues for its senior staff.
  • Advised and counseled NBA league bylaws and polices as well as involvement in intra-team disputes and matters involving trades and health disclosures.
  • Advised a private university on a number of employment matters including compliance with Title IX, regulations applicable to athletics aid and participation, and NCAA bylaws and policies.
  • Represented a major league professional sports team in arbitration over appropriate trade disclosures; obtained a seven-figure recovery.
  • Represented Vanderbilt University and its Board of Governors regarding the compensation package and employment contract of the university's chancellor.
  • Represented the University of Florida and its Board of Trustees in connection with the recruitment process for hiring a new president.


  • Past Deputy General Counsel, National Bar Association
  • Member, Sports Lawyers Association

Recent Insights

News & Press


Tyrone Thomas discusses the changing landscape in sports with the emergence of e-sports, athlete activism, and more and the associated compliance issues organizations are likely to face in the coming years.
Join me in a discussion on the increasingly nuanced landscape of employee workplace investigations and best practices in managing their effect on corporate brand, attorney-client privilege and obligations to applicable governmental entities. The current wave of public disclosure of workplace misconduct highlights the intersection of legal compliance and employee relations.
Tyrone Thomas was quoted in the Law360 article entitled, NCAA Transfer Rule Ripe For Reform Despite Court Success, in which he assessed the opportunity for college athletics to create a clearer standard for its transfer rules and avoid the possibility of court intervention.
The “intermediate sanctions” rules under Section 4958 of the Internal Revenue Code have long governed the payment of compensation to executives of public charities. While these rules are highly prescriptive, if followed, they offer taxpayers a significant advantage in the form or a rebuttable presumption of reasonableness.
As of this writing, it has been over 850 days since UConn women’s basketball team has lost a game.
As of this writing, it has been over 850 days since the UConn women’s basketball team has lost a game.
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service recently issued comprehensive proposed regulations governing nonqualified plans subject to tax under Internal Revenue Code § 457. Code § 457 prescribes the tax rules that apply to “eligible” and “ineligible” nonqualified deferred compensation plans.
Over the course of this and next week, we will discuss the final overtime rule’s impact and address related workplace issues on which employers should focus in advance of its December 1st implementation date.  Today we focus on the rule’s impact on non-profits and educational institutions. 
It is no secret that the salaries of coaches of high profile college programs are rising steadily. In a recent report listing the highest paid public employee for each of the fifty states, 40 were college coaches.
Two horrible March Madness brackets ago, we analyzed the myriad of legal and operational challenges that could change the face of intercollegiate athletics.

News & Press

This feature story looks at reform efforts by the NCAA providing some benefits to student-athletes that pursue a professional basketball career. Member Tyrone Thomas, who regularly advises clients on complex legal issues in athletics, is quoted providing commentary.
Member and Sports Law attorney Tyrone Thomas provides commentary in this feature article looking at the NCAA, and the litigation challenging its restrictions on college basketball and football players' ability to transfer schools.
Mintz has received a perfect 100% ranking by the Human Rights Campaign for the eleventh consecutive year in the organization’s annual Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTQ workplace equality. 
Member Tyrone Thomas, an experienced sports law attorney, is quoted in a New York Times article regarding the NCAA announcement that there would be no penalties placed on the University of North Carolina for an academic issue involving the basketball team.
Tyrone Thomas, a Member in the Mintz Washington, DC office, Chair of the firm’s Diversity Committee and a member of the sports law practice, was interviewed by LEAD1 on the topic of diversity and inclusion.
Member Tyrone Thomas, an experienced sports law attorney, is featured in this Sports Illustrated article discussing three “blockbuster cases” for the NCAA’s enforcement group and Committee on Infractions and their implications for others in collegiate sports moving forward.
This article explores the possible connection between the NCAA tournament’s move to South Carolina and Duke University’s loss in the second round of the tournament. Duke lost after North Carolina’s “bathroom bill” led the NCAA to move this year’s tournament out of state.
Mintz’s Tyrone Thomas provides commentary in this article focused on the NCAA’s serious allegations against Ole Miss. Tyrone, a veteran sports attorney, is among the industry sources familiar with the NCAA process quoted within the piece discussing what could potentially happen next to the Rebels.
For the tenth straight year, Mintz has received a top rating of 100% on the Corporate Equality Index, a national benchmarking survey and report on corporate policies and practices related to LGBT workplace equality, administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation.  
Tyrone P. Thomas, a Member of the Sports Law and Employment, Labor and Benefits Practice Groups at Mintz, is speaking at the 2016 Learfield Intercollegiate Athletics Forum. In his session, Mr. Thomas will discuss legal issues facing college athletics.
Member Tyrone Thomas, an experienced sports law attorney, is quoted in The New York Times discussing the University of Louisville’s basketball coach, Rick Pitino, and his involvement in a scandal.
Member Tyrone Thomas is quoted in this Law360 article discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision denying from the NCAA and a group of former college athletes to review the existing amateurism model prohibiting college players from receiving compensation beyond scholarship packages.
Mintz Member Tyrone Thomas is quoted in this Chronicle of Higher Education on how athletic directors of student-athlete programs are taking greater care to listen to their players and provide effective responses to student activism.
Tyrone P. Thomas, a Member of Mintz's Sports Law and Employment, Labor, and Benefits Practice Groups, is speaking on a panel at the Division 1A Athletic Directors Association Annual Meeting. Mr. Thomas will discuss issues and developments regarding student-athlete activism.
Mintz Member Tyrone Thomas is quoted in this Sports Illustrated article covering the NCAA's investigation of the Ole Miss athletic department which faces allegations of misconduct.
Mintz Sports Law Member Tyrone Thomas is quoted in this Law360 article on the NCAA's removing any mention of the University of North Carolina men’s basketball and football programs from its allegations of academic fraud.  
Mintz Member Tyrone Thomas is quoted in this New York Times article describing the implications of the NCAA amended notice of allegations to the University of North Carolina for its alleged lack of control pertaining to the supervision of their student-athletes’ academic education.
Mintz Member Tyrone Thomas is quoted in this Law360 article on the end to the efforts by student-athletes to be considered employees.
Mintz Member Tyrone Thomas is quoted in this Law360 article on the NCAA's announcement that it has approved rule changes to allow college basketball players to enter the NBA draft multiple times without losing college eligibility.



Navigating the Sports Industry

A Round Table Discussion with Sports Lawyers

San Diego - Bernardo Heights Country Club, Rancho Bernardo


Executive Leadership Academy

American Leadership Institute


Collaborative 2018

Warehouse at Flynn Cruiseport Boston 1 Black Falcon Avenue Boston, MA


ACE Presentation

Washington, DC


ACE National Women's Leadership Forum

Hilton Washington Dulles Airport 13869 Park Center Road Herndon, VA


Intercollegiate Athletics Forum

Marriott Marquis, New York City, NY


Division 1A Athletic Directors' Association

Division 1A Athletic Directors Association

Hilton Dallas Fort Worth, Lakes Executive Conference Center, Grapevine, TX


Sports Law Policy


Washington, DC


Sports Lawyers Association 42nd Annual Conference

JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE 900 West Olympic, Los Angeles, CA 90015, US


Second Annual Employment Law Summit

The Princeton Club 14 West 43rd Street, New York, New York


ACE 86th National Women's Leadership Forum

American Council on Education

The Westin Arlington Gateway 801 North Glebe Road, 22203 Arlington, Virginia


2015 Millennium Leadership Initiative (MLI) Institute

American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU)

Sofitel Lafayette Square Hotel, 806 15th St NW806 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005