Legal Spotlight Interviews Sports Law Expert Dave Ridpath

Legal Spotlight Interviews Sports Law Expert Dave Ridpath

What follows is shared from Hackney Publications’ LinkedIn page, where we occasionally share original content, such as the following:

Every now and then we like to share thought leadership from high-profile leaders in the sports law industry. Today, we share the thoughts of B. David Ridpath, a Professor of Sports Business at Ohio University.

❓ How did you get your start in the sports law field?
▶ It is crazy to think that I am even mentioned as being in the sports law field considering I am not an attorney and I never intended to be in this position. However, as a professor that worked in college sports for a number of years, most notably in the compliance field, I became involved in sports law by default.
Obviously, NCAA compliance is not a legal process by definition, but there are many similarities. I was also involved in a high profile lawsuit against my former employer Marshall University over NCAA matters that led to my termination from my job in the athletic department. This lawsuit connected me to many attorneys and others who had similar issues they wanted to pursue through the legal system. Many reached out to me and through my experiences in coaching and administration I have been able to be an expert witness, consultant, and even have represented clients in NCAA infractions cases. I also frequently publish in sports law publications and am mentioned in the mainstream media as an expert in NCAA rules compliance and enforcement.

❓What is your current role and what is the best part about your job?
▶ Bring a tenured professor is a great job and allows me flexibility to do expert witness and consulting gigs. Also being able to use my expertise and experience gives me more credibility as a professor. The ability to continue to write articles, research intercollegiate athletics issues and opine in the media is also helpful and strengthens my qualifications inside the classroom, but also for outside consulting an expert witness work.

❓What sports law trends are you watching in 2024 and why?
▶ So many of course even outside of college sports, but for me I am watching the legislative push in Washington DC by the NCAA for an antitrust exemption along with the myriad of court cases, such as Johnson v. NCAA, that will likely forever change the college sports governance infrastructure forever. Not that it is a bad thing for that to happen at all. I look for more wholesale changes to American college sports via the legislative and judicial system in the next five years than we have seen in the previous 100 years.

For more on Dr. Ridpath, see his bio here: