ASU sports law and business program offers students a premier experience leading to top jobs in the field

September 13, 2021

If you want to know why the Allan “Bud” Selig Sports Law and Business program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University is so unique and special, just ask the students:

“It is truly unlike any other sports law program in the country.” Photo of ASU Law student Jada Allender, MLB Commissioner Emeritus Bud Selig, and ASU Law student Heather Udowitch Alums of ASU Law’s Selig Sports Law and Business program, Jada Allender (left) and Heather Udowitch, with the program’s namesake, MLB commissioner emeritus Allan “Bud” Selig, photographed in 2019. Download Full Image

“From top to bottom, everyone involved in the Selig SLB program is genuine, charismatic, motivated, friendly and determined to find students jobs in sports.”

“The exclusivity that the program provides into the sports industry is unmatched, and the passion and desire to be successful is so evident.”

“Tight-knit and genuine community.”

“A supportive, lifelong family.”

“Amazing connections.”

“Specialized curriculum.”

“Always room to learn and grow as an individual in the sports industry.”

“When I think of the Selig SLB program, I automatically think of the people who shaped the program whether that’s the students, the faculty or the administrative and leadership teams.”

One of those who helped shape the program is Allan “Bud” Selig, Major League Baseball commissioner emeritus and distinguished professor of sports in America, for whom the program was named in 2019. A legendary and transformative figure in professional sports, Selig’s teaching, advice, mentorship and financial contributions have been instrumental in the program’s growth and success.

Offering students the opportunity to earn a Master of Sports Law and Business (MSLB) degree or a concurrent Juris Doctor/MSLB degree, the program is the only one of its kind in the nation that blends sports, law and business.

Selig has supported the program since it was started in 2014 and was the founding member of the Sports Law and Business Advisory Board. His record of accomplishments in the sports industry provides a front-row perspective that has greatly benefited the advisory board, along with ASU Law faculty, staff, alumni and the students he teaches.

At the time the program was named for Selig, the Marie Selig Professorship at ASU Law was established in the name of his mother — who was also an educator.

Glenn Wong, distinguished professor of practice and executive director of the sports law and business program, recalls how early in Selig’s tenure as commissioner, he took a leadership position on social justice issues, realizing that baseball was more than a game, that it is a social institution.

“The ASU Law SLB program was planned and developed to prepare students for the sports industry and its direction, which is increasingly relying on both business and legal expertise as decisions are made, along with strategic planning for the future,” Wong said. “Commissioner Selig’s involvement with the program has impacted and will continue to impact our students and alumni — the future leaders in the sports industry.”

Program Director Aaron Hernandez was Selig’s student in 2012 when Hernandez was pursuing his JD at Marquette Law School. Selig taught the school’s professional sports law course with Professor Matt Mitten, executive director of the National Sports Law Institute and a mentor of Hernandez.

“What struck me about Commissioner Selig was his candor and preparation,” Hernandez said. “He really cared about his students, and it was crazy to think he was investing this much time into us, while still being the commissioner of Major League Baseball. He preached the importance of sports in society and how we were the next stewards of that important enterprise.

“I have to pinch myself sometimes when I think about being the director of the sports law and business program named after such a great man,” he added. “It is such an honor to be his former student in this role. Life really came around full circle, and I still try to embody his teachings today.”

And now Hernandez is helping to ensure the next generation of sports law and business students land their dream jobs.

“Our No. 1 priority and every decision we make in the program is based on making sure our students get a job in sports,” Hernandez said. “The pandemic created a situation in which we had to shift gears and ensure we were preparing our students for alternate jobs in the event they weren’t able to land a job in sports right away given how everything had shut down. What happened instead is we were still able to place more than 70% of our 2021 grads in full-time sports jobs — a remarkable feat and one that reminds us of how important it is every day to help students then take the practical experience they gain here to becoming the next leaders in sports.”

Alumni of the program are working in over 20 states across the country, following careers that include leadership roles in athletic conferences and associations, marketing jobs for iconic sports brands, and player representative and relationship management roles for top sports agencies and national sports teams.

In addition to access to world-class faculty, the program offers students the opportunity to meet and network with other top sports industry professionals who serve on the Sports Law and Business Advisory Board that Selig founded. The advisory board includes individuals from every major sports league, including individuals at the collegiate and Olympic level, who have excelled and created a reputation for themselves as the best in the sports industry. The board has provided students with internship and job opportunities, unique insight to current topics within the sports industry, as well as additional career and professional insight.

The program welcomed more than 60 new students to this fall’s incoming class. With 67% coming to the ASU Law program from out of state and 10% international, the students hail from 26 states and seven countries. Forty percent of the class also were student athletes, and 100% have prior sports experience.

“When I decided to apply to graduate school, what made the Selig SLB program so special to me was the uniqueness of the program,” first-year student Griffin Limongelli said. “This is the only program of its kind in the entire country that provides a comprehensive outlook of law, business and sports. When you hear ‘only program of its kind in the country,’ I felt I was applying to become part of something very exclusive, competitive and advantageous in earning a career in sports.”

“As a concurrent JD/MSLB student, the Selig SLB program presented a unique opportunity to combine my interests in sports, law and business,” added Miranda Martinez, who was ASU Law’s 2020–2021 JD recipient of the Allan “Bud” Selig Scholarship. “The program is truly unlike any other sports law program in the country, not only because of its specialized curriculum, but also because of the professors, students and opportunities. Beyond the practical industry experience that the program offers, the wonderful people in the program are undoubtedly what make it special. The program equips students with every tool needed to succeed, and you meet some really great people along the way.”

Hear from more ASU Law Selig SLB students on why they chose the program and what makes it stand out.

Julie Tenney

Director of Communications, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

ASU Music Theatre and Opera announces 2021-22 performance season

September 13, 2021

ASU Music Theatre and Opera announces a 2021–22 season that includes works selected with a focus on providing equitable opportunities for all students.

“We created a self-nominated season selection committee of students, faculty and staff, and worked with the committees, our Student Leadership Team and multiple areas to identify a season that provides equitable opportunities for all students,” said Brian DeMaris, associate professor and artistic director for Music Theatre and Opera. “Offering over 100 named roles, we strived to create a season where any student could see themselves performing any number of roles.” Music Theatre and Opera productions graphic. Download Full Image

This year’s season provides for a safe return to in-person performances with live audiences, with some productions presented as a livestreamed performance.

The mainstage season — “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “We've Got Our Eye on You” and “Bright Star” — features all female writers and/or librettists, and ASU's first opera by a Black female composer.

“Spelling Bee” is a modern classic centered on a quirky group of mid-pubescent spellers competing for the championship title.

Based on the classic fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, “Hansel and Gretel” is the perfect introduction to opera for children (and adults) of all ages — a charming, touching and funny adaptation that is filled with some of the most beautiful and tuneful music ever written.

An opera double bill by Nkeiru Okoye includes “We’ve Got Our Eye on You” and “600 Square Feet.”  “We’ve Got Our Eye on You” is a chamber opera loosely based on an ancient Greek myth made famous in the “Stygian Witches” episode from the 1981 fantasy classic “Clash of the Titans.An operatic romantic comedy about trust, boundaries and real estate, “600 Square Feet” ponders the question: Can ex-lovers cohabitate in only 600 square feet without total honesty?

Broadway’s “Bright Star” is a tale of love and redemption set against the backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s.

Visiting guest artists are equally as diverse and include Seth Tucker, UCAT artist and ASU alum, as director and choreographer of “Spelling Bee”; Michael Ching, conductor for “Hansel and Gretel”; and a residency with composer and librettist Okoye.

A new-work reading of “The Valley” by local writer Jamie Maletz is a contemporary dramatic comedy about redemption, taking action in the face of impossible odds and discovering what it means to find a new normal.

Student-led productions include the intimate musical “The Last Five Years” and the 1970s off-Broadway musical “Godspell.”

A new fully produced “Color Cabaret” led by BIPOCBlack, Indigenous and people of color students and mentored by Nathan De’Shon Myers, assistant professor of voice, rounds out the upcoming season.

In addition, individual student performers will be featured in the ASU Class of 2022 Cabarets, the Opera Gala and the Musical Theatre Showcase.

“We continue to offer new work readings and student-led productions to give students opportunities to stretch their skills in a wide variety of areas,” DeMaris said. “We are excited to work with local artists Seth Tucker and Jamie Maletz, and welcome guest artists Nkeiru Okoye and Michael Ching. All bring years of experience in both musical theater and opera, and a wide variety of skills and experience to help all students grow.”

Tickets are available online three weeks in advance through the Herberger Institute Box Office. Ticket prices and venues vary. 

2021–22 season

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee"
Music and lyrics by William Finn, book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman.
7:30 p.m. Sept. 30–Oct. 2
2 p.m. Oct. 3
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

"The Last Five Years" (student production)
Written and composed by Jason Robert Brown.
7:30 p.m. Oct. 22 and 23
2 p.m. Oct. 23 and 24
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

"Healing Wars"
A music, dance and theater collaboration, by Liz Lerman.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 5, 6, 12 and 13
2 p.m. Nov. 7 and 14
Galvin Playhouse Theatre

"Hansel and Gretel"
Music by Engelbert Humperdinck, based on an original libretto by Adelheid Wette.
Sung in German with super-titles.
7:30 p.m. Nov. 18–20
2 p.m. Nov. 21
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

"Godspell" (student production)
Conceived and originally directed by John-Michael Tebelak, music and new lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
Originally produced on the New York Stage by Edgar Lansbury, Stewart Duncan and Joseph Beruh.
7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 and 15
2 p.m. Jan. 15 and 16
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

The Color Cabaret (student production)
Directed by Jonice Bernard (‘22), music direction by Mario Yniguez (‘23).
Faculty mentor: Nathan De’Shon Myers.
7:30 p.m. Jan. 29
2 p.m. Jan. 30
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Opera double bill:

"We’ve Got Our Eye on You"
A chamber opera. Music and story by Nkeiru Okoye, libretto by David Cote.
"600 Square Feet"
A micro-opera. Music by Nkeiru Okoye, libretto by David Cote.
7:30 p.m. Feb. 17–19
2 p.m. Feb. 20
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

"The Valley" (new-work reading)
Book and lyrics by Jamie Maletz, music by Eric Fegan.
7 p.m. Feb. 26
2 p.m. Feb. 27 
ASU Kerr Cultural Center

ASU Class of 2022 Cabarets
Feb. 28–March 4, times TBD
Location TBD

"Bright Star"
Music, book and story by Steve Martin; music, lyrics and story by Edie Brickell.
7:30 p.m. April 21–23
2 p.m. April 24
Evelyn Smith Music Theatre

Musical Theatre Showcase
7:30 p.m. April 25
Location TBD

Opera Gala
7:30 p.m. April 29
Location TBD

"The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

"The Last Five Years" is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

"Godspell 2012" is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

"600 Square Feet" and "We've Got Our Eye on You" are presented by arrangement with Nkeiru Okoye.

"Bright Star" is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide 1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036.

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music