Positions

Overview

  • Professor Michael McCann is the Founding Director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2017 to 2019.

    McCann has won the Professor of the Year Award multiple times for excellence in teaching. Graduating students in the Class of 2015 selected McCann to deliver the faculty portion of the commencement address. McCann has been an innovator in legal education, creating the first law school course on “Name, Image and Likeness” and designing first-of-their-kind online programs. He also built the much-publicized “Deflategate” course.

    McCann is one of the nation’s leading experts in sports law. In 2021, he testified before the United States Senate in a Commerce Committee hearing that included NCAA president Mark Emmert and centered on name, image and likeness and other reforms.

    McCann is a best-selling author and an accomplished legal scholar. He and former NBA player Ed O’Bannon co-authored “Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA” (Diversion Books, 2018). The book—named by The Christian Science Monitor as the No. 1 Sports Book in Spring 2018 and a leader in several Amazon categories—tells the story of O’Bannon’s life and his historic court case against the NCAA.

    McCann is the Editor and co-author of “The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law” (Oxford University Press, 2018). The book is used in sports law courses.

    In addition, McCann has authored more than 20 law review articles and book chapters, including placements in the Yale Law Journal, Wisconsin Law Review, and Boston College Law Review. One notable article is “American Needle v. NFL: An Opportunity to Reshape Sports Law”, 119 YALE LAW JOURNAL 726 (2010).

    McCann has frequently appeared as a legal expert on national TV programs, including: The Today Show; Good Morning America; The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer; Washington Journal; Katie; The Story with Martha MacCallum; Lou Dobbs Tonight; and The News with Shepard Smith. He also was a legal expert in Four Games in Fall (Deflategate film) and CNN’s Downward Spiral: Inside the Case Against Aaron Hernandez.

    McCann is also an award-winning journalist. In 2020, he joined the staff of Sportico, which is published by Penske Media (the publisher of Rolling Stone and Variety). From 2007 to 2020, McCann authored more than 1,000 legal and investigative stories for Sports Illustrated, including 203 stories in 2019. McCann has covered the Boston Marathon bombings, the murder trials of Aaron Hernandez, the NBA's ouster of Donald Sterling, USWNT pay litigation, Colin Kaepernick’s grievance and other controversies.

    McCann was the first journalist to interview Lance Armstrong after Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. He met Armstrong at his home in Austin, Texas and authored “My Dance With Lance” (Sports Illustrated, 5/11/2013 issue, pages 14-15).

    The International Business Times named McCann one of the “11 Entrepreneurs, Marketers, and Coaches to Follow” in 2021. The list also included Elon Musk and Eric Yuan. The Aspen Institute named McCann one of the 50 people to follow in 2021 and he has been recognized by Forbes and The Boston Globe as a leading voice in sports.

    Along with Harvard Law School Professor Jon Hanson, McCann is co-founder of The Project on Law and Mind Sciences at Harvard Law School. Hanson and McCann were recipients of the 2011 Media Prize awarded by the Society for Personality & Social Psychology.

    McCann served on the legal team of college football star Maurice Clarett in his lawsuit against the NFL’s age eligibility rule. Clarett v. NFL is one of the most important cases in sports law history. McCann has also represented Your Call Football and other sports clients. In addition, he was Legal Counsel to U.S. Congressman (now UMass President) Marty Meehan, an attorney at Boston law firms and an aide to Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly.

    A graduate of St. John’s Prep, McCann hails from Andover, Massachusetts.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    2020 Jump Ball: The Unsettled Law of Representing College Basketball Stars and Monetizing Their Names, Images, and Likeness 2020
    2014 Do you Believe He Can Fly? Royce White and Reasonable Accommodations Under the Americans with Disabilities Act for NBA Players with Anxiety Disorder and Fear of FlyingPepperdine law review.  41:397-438. 2014
    2011 Antitrust, Governance, and Postseason College FootballBoston College law review. Boston College. Law School.  52:517-549. 2011
    2010 American Needle v. NFL: An Opportunity To Reshape Sports LawYale Law Journal.  119:726-781. 2010
    2010 Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the Relationship between Leagues and Players: Insights and ImplicationsConnecticut Law Review.  42:901-923. 2010
    2010 The NBA and the Single Entity Defense: A Better Case?Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law.  1:39-61. 2010
    2008 Situationist TortsLoyola of Los Angeles law review.  41:1345-1453. 2008
    2006 It’s Not About the Money: The Role of Preferences, Cognitive Biases and Heuristics Among Professional AthletesBrooklyn Law Review.  71:1459-1528. 2006
    2006 Legality of Age Restrictions in the NBA and NFLCase Western Reserve law review.  56:731-768. 2006
    2006 Social Psychology, Calamities, and Sports LawWillamette Law Review.  42:585-637. 2006
    2006 The Reckless Pursuit of Dominion: A Situational Analysis of the NBA and Diminishing Player AutonomyUniversity of Pennsylvania Journal of Business and Employment Law.  8:819-860. 2006
    2005 Comparing Legal, Economic, and Legislative Approaches to Nutritional Labeling of Fast Food ItemsFood and Drug Law, Regulation, and Education.  4. 2005
    2005 Dietary supplement labeling: cognitive biases, market manipulation & consumer choice.American Journal of Law and Medicine.  31:215-268. 2005
    2004 Economic Efficiency and Consumer Choice Theory in Nutritional LabelingWisconsin Law Review.  2004:1161-1244. 2004
    2004 Illegal Defense: The Irrational Economics of Banning High School Players from the NBA DraftVirginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal.  3:113-225. 2004
    2003 Message Deleted? Resolving Physician-Patient E-mail through Contract LawYale Journal of Law and Technology.  5:102-140. 2003
    2002 A Vote Cast; A Vote Counted: Quantifying Voting Rights through Proportional Representation in Congressional ElectionsKansas Journal of Law and Public Policy.  12:191-219. 2002
    Catalyzing FansSSRN Electronic Journal

    Book

    Year Title
    2018 Court Justice The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA 2018
    2017 The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law.  Ed. McCann, Michael.  2017

    Chapter

    Year Title
    2018 Introduction: American Sports Law through Deflategate 2018
    2018 Leagues and Owners: The Donald Sterling Story 2018

    Teaching Activities

  • Amateur Sports Law Taught course 2021
  • Independent Study Taught course 2021
  • Intro US Sports Betting Law Taught course 2021
  • Independent Study Taught course 2020
  • Professional Sports Law Taught course 2020
  • Name Image & Likeness in Sport Taught course 2020
  • Independent Study Taught course 2020
  • Independent Study Taught course 2020
  • Intro US Sports Betting Law Taught course 2020
  • Professional Sports Law Taught course 2020
  • Sports Law Taught course 2019
  • Independent Study Taught course 2019
  • Independent Study Taught course 2019
  • Intro US Sports Betting Law Taught course 2019
  • Professional Sports Law Taught course 2019
  • Deflategate Taught course 2018
  • Deflategate Taught course 2017
  • Article II Sales Taught course 2017
  • Professional Sports Law Taught course 2017
  • Deflategate Taught course 2016
  • Sports Law & Invest Reporting Taught course 2016
  • Article II Sales Taught course 2016
  • Professional Sports Law Taught course 2016
  • Deflategate Taught course 2015
  • Sports Law & Invest Reporting Taught course 2015
  • Amateur Sports Law Taught course 2015
  • Article II Sales Taught course 2015
  • Professional Sports Law Taught course 2014
  • Education And Training

  • B.A. American Government & Politics, Georgetown University
  • J.D., University of Virginia
  • LL.M., Harvard Law School
  • Full Name

  • Michael McCann