Skip to main content

Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law hosts sports symposium in background of Final Four

February 23, 2017

The nation’s leading university presidents, athletic directors, conference commissioners, and media and sports industry professionals will converge in Phoenix on April 3 for a symposium exploring the future of college sports.

The timing of this symposium, which is being hosted by the Sports Law & Business Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, is not by chance.  By arranging the event to coincide with the Final Four — the NCAA's primary revenue generator — ASU Law hopes to prompt an in-depth examination of college sports, conference autonomy, the role of media rights deals in college basketball, and legal and business issues facing the NCAA.

“By bringing together officials from both in- and outside collegiate athletics, this symposium will meld the major forces influencing college sports and push discussions on the future of college athletics to new levels,” said Glenn Wong, executive director of the Sports Law & Business Program.

“To me, one of the most critical issues facing college sports is the widening revenue gap between the institutions in the Power 5 conferences, and those in the remainder of Division I Football Bowl Subdivision. Will those other schools ... still be able to compete in basketball despite these significant revenue disparities? Will a non-football conference like the Big East continue to survive? Our symposium will delve into these questions and many more,” said Wong.

"Full Court Press: Media, Autonomy, and the Future of College Sports" will take place during the NCAA Final Four in Phoenix. Among the participants are Gordon Gee (President, West Virginia University); Gene Smith (Athletic Director, The Ohio State University); Larry Scott (Commissioner, Pac-12 Conference); Janet Judge (President, Sports Law Associates); Mark Hollis (Athletic Director, Michigan State); Steve Smith (Basketball Analyst) and Hania Poole (Director, NCAA Digital, Turner.)

“With the breathtaking pace of change taking place in major college sports, driven by technology advances and new delivery platforms as well as legal and political challenges to the very structure of the industry, this conference is both exciting and timely. I am grateful and honored to be a part of it,” said Dr. Gary Roberts, president of Bradley University.

Gene Smith, athletic director of Ohio State University, added, “College basketball is so embedded in the social fabric of our society and impacts so many people in different ways that we need to continue to discuss its role and impact on people.”

The half-day symposium will be held at the Beus Center for Law & Society, home to ASU Law, in downtown Phoenix. For more information or to register for the event, click here