SEC Commissioner Speaks to Sports Law Class and Surprises Students with Additional Guests

Posted: Fri, 02/28/2014 - 12:23

Late last month, Feb. 2014, Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law Adjunct Professor Donald Jackson’s spring Sports Law course, of 27 students, welcomed Southeastern Conference (SEC) Commissioner Mike Slive for a candid, intimate class discussion about his lengthy sports career. In addition, students from Jackson's fall 2013 Sports Law course were invited to attend. The fall Sports Law course focused on professional sports, whereas the spring course focuses on amateur sports.

Unrealized by many, Commissioner Slive holds a law degree and master of laws degree, and he started his professional career in the legal field.

“A large portion of the discussion involved the promotion of the upcoming SEC Network, an ESPN channel featuring SEC sporting events. There is an important balance between promoting the network efficiently, and conforming to the morals and standards of the SEC,” said Taylor Martin, third-year law student and Auburn University graduate. “As an avid SEC fan and supporter, it was a great opportunity to hear Commissioner Slive’s remarks on his path to becoming the SEC Commissioner.”

A surprise to all, Commissioner Slive brought additional guests to class including SEC Executive Associate Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Greg Sankey; Chris Turner, SEC Network/ESPN liaison; Larry Templeton, consultant and former long-time athletic director at Mississippi State University; and SEC Network Associate Commissioner Charlie Hussey.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to hear Mike Slive, Greg Sankey, and Chris Turner in class,” said Lance Goodson, a third-year law student and Vanderbilt University graduate.
“While they each have different roles in shaping and promoting collegiate sports, specifically within the Southeastern Conference, they are all working towards a common goal of providing the best possible experience for student-athletes, schools and fans. I came away most impressed with their vision for the future of collegiate sports and their passion to continue getting better in what they do,” Goodson said.  

Adjunct Professor Jackson is well-connected within the sports industry. When he is not teaching Cumberland School of Law, Jackson is the owner of The Sports Group, a unique and diverse boutique sports firm. His clients include players in the National Football League, Major League Baseball, National Basketball Association, Canadian Football League, and Women’s United Soccer Association, among others. 

Jackson was recently quoted in the NY Times article “Want to Play at a Different College? O.K., but Not There or There” as well as the New York Newsday article “MLB might have hard time penalizing A-Rod, players in latest PED case.”