Q&A with the Expert – Gil Fried

Q&A with the Expert – Gil Fried

Gil is a Chair/ Full Professor at the University of New Haven, College of Business, in the Sport Management Program. He is a specialist in sport law, finance, and facility management. He has handled many sport/music industry cases (through his company Gil Fried & Associated, LLC) and has worked as an expert witness in various cases from stadium stampedes to foul ball cases.

What were the circumstances that caused you to gravitate to sports law?

I coached sports and came to The Ohio State University to coach and then take both law and sport management classes.  I fell in love with sport law, especially issues associated with sport facilities and how they operate.  When I moved to California I launched the Sport Law Center and did some insurance defense and sport facility related work.  From there I transitioned to teaching sport management with an emphasis in sport law.

Within the sports law field, what are your areas of expertise?

Sport facility safety with several subcategories such as public assembly facility safety associated with crowd management to general risk management for running sport facilities and programs.  These are my primary areas of focus, but have handled numerous other cases over the years where I have examined policies/procedures and what is done to provide a safe environment or to show whether a facility has met or failed to meet appropriate industry standards.

What is the most significant sports law case that you’ve been involved in?

Stow v. Los Angeles Dodgers.  I have also handled numerous other major cases such as all the Camp Randal stampede cases, Wal Mart Black Friday crowd rush case, Verni v. Aramark dram shop case from the Meadowlands, and Aurora theater shooting case.

What is the most rewarding thing about being a sports law professor?

Getting phone calls or emails from students who took my classes years ago and mention that they never believed an example I used in class…and then they faced that very same issue years later… and were prepared based on what they had learned.

Do you have a pedagogical philosophy when it comes to your academic practice?

Experiential education is the key.  It is one thing to learn material from a book, but it is another to apply it firsthand.  Thus, when I teach risk management we cover the topic, but then students have to actually go out there and apply it.

Do you teach in the fall, spring and/or summer?

I teach every term, whether live or online.

Do you use a text? If so, which one?

I use my own textbook on sport finance and sport facility management.  For sport law I use: Introduction to Sport Law, Second Edition.  Spengler, Anderson, Connaughton, and Baker.  Human Kinetics.  2016.