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Pepperdine Caruso Law Students Participate in National Sports Law Negotiation Competition 2020

Pepperdine Caruso School of Law students, Austen Thompson, Benjamin Davies, Bryce Wallgard, and John Latson competed in the tenth annual National Sports Law Negotiation Competition (NSLNC), hosted and organized by the Center for Sports Law and Policy at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California.

The NSLNC is widely regarded as one of the premiere law student negotiation competitions in the country. The NSLNC was created by sports and academic professionals to give law students a realistic experience negotiating matters vital to the modern sports law industry. The fact patterns for the NSLNC are modeled on current issues being debated, analyzed, and negotiated by professionals in the sports industry.

This year, for the first time, the NSLNC was held entirely online due to COVID-19. A total of forty (40) teams of student competitors from law schools across the country engaged in mock negotiations whose case scenarios involved representing the National Basketball Association in collective bargaining negotiations with the NBA Players Association, and in a second round, representing Members of Congress in discussions with the NCAA regarding proposed legislation addressing college athletes endorsements and licensing for use of their name, image, and likenesses.

Teams worked remotely from locations in California and across the United States and demonstrated how online dispute resolution is the future of sports negotiation. After negotiating for over two hours on Saturday and encountering technical issues throughout the competition, Pepperdine's teams were not chosen as one of the four finalist teams. However, Pepperdine Caruso Law and the Straus Institute fostered a unique and valuable experience for the participants.  Pepperdine Entertainment, Media, and Sports Law students look forward to the 2021 NSLNC competition as a potential mix of online and in-person negotiations, as well as more upcoming competitions.

Professor Maureen Weston serves as the faculty advisor to the EMS competitions.