'Reverse Field' panel to rule on commercialization, race and labor in sports law

By The West Virginia Record | Sep 27, 2007

MORGANTOWN -- Among the pundits of sports law, this is the varsity.

Leonard J. "Len" Elmore –- former NBA standout, ESPN analyst and accomplished attorney -– joins a group of prominent speakers and panelists for the symposium, "Reversing Field: Examining Commercialization, Labor and Race in 21st Century Sports Law" Oct. 4-5 at the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at West Virginia University's College of Law.

Elmore, a senior counsel at the New York City law firm of LeBouef, Greene & McRae LLP, is on the roster with other nationally known speakers and panelists – all of whom will offer their unique perspectives on some of the most sensitive, hot button topics in a multibillion dollar industry:

the commercialization of today's college athlete
race and issues of equality, continuing gender equity difficulties
economic weapons employed by owners and athletes
the use of mandatory drug testing in college and professional sports
Dr. Bernard Franklin, NCAA senior vice president for governance, membership, education and research services, will make keynote remarks. Franklin is a former vice chair of the NCAA Division II Presidents Council, served on the NCAA Executive Committee and also has seats on the executive committee and board of directors of the United Negro College Fund.

Acclaimed author and sports administrator Kenneth Shropshire will speak at a special banquet event hosted by the symposium's organizers in the Touchdown Terrace at Milan Puskar Stadium on Thursday, Oct. 4. Critics are hailing his most recent book, "Being Sugar Ray: The Life of Sugar Ray Robinson," as "a fascinating look at America's original celebrity sportsman."

Also featured on the panel is William B. Gould IV, of Stanford University's law school, who is a recent chairperson of the National Labor Relations Board – a role in which he arbitrated and mediated more than 200 labor disputes, including the 1992 and 1993 salary disputes between the Major League Baseball's Players Association and its Player Relations Committee.

"This conference will assemble one of the most accomplished and diverse groups of practitioners, academics and thinkers ever gathered to debate these cutting edge issues of critical importance," Symposium Chair and WVU Associate Professor of Law andre douglas pond cummings said.

The symposium will include more than 30 distinguished panelists from across the nation, who will converge in Morgantown to discuss and grapple with legal issues currently affecting collegiate and professional athletics.

For more information or to register and purchase tickets for either of the lunch sessions or the Thursday evening gala, visit http://www.law.wvu.edu/reversingfield/

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