• 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 also taught the first law school course on “Name, Image and Likeness” and the undergraduate “Deflategate” course. He was previously on the faculties of Vermont Law School and Mississippi College School of Law and was a visiting professor at Boston College Law School.

    McCann is one of the nation’s leading experts in sports law and an award-winning journalist. In June 2020, McCann joined Sportico as a writer and legal analyst. Sportico is the newest addition to Rolling Stone, Variety and other Penske Media publications. From August 2007 to June 2020, McCann was a writer and legal analyst for Sports Illustrated. He authored more than 1,000 legal and investigative stories for SI, 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 collusion grievance, NIL, concussion class actions, the legality of sports betting and many other controversies.

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

    As a journalist, McCann has broken several national news stories. They include that attorneys for Colin Kaepernick deposed New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, that Arkansas coach Bobby Petrino hired his mistress over more qualified candidates, that Donald Sterling planned to sue the NBA, and that the Los Angeles Angels would trade outfielder Josh Hamilton.

    McCann is also a best-selling author and an accomplished legal scholar. McCann and former UCLA basketball star and NBA player Ed O’Bannon co-authored “Court Justice: The Inside Story of My Battle Against the NCAA” (Diversion Books, 2018). The book — which was named by The Christian Science Monitor as the No. 1 Sports Book in Spring 2018 and has been a best-seller in several Amazon categories — tells the story of O’Bannon’s life and his historic court case against the NCAA. McCann is also the Editor and co-author of “The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law” (Oxford University Press, 2018).

    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 law review article is “American Needle v. NFL: An Opportunity to Reshape Sports Law”, 119 YALE L.J. 726 (2010).

    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 and Social Psychology.

    McCann’s work as a sports attorney is extensive. In 2004, McCann served on the legal team of college football star Maurice Clarett in his lawsuit against the NFL and its age eligibility rule. Clarett v. NFL is considered one of the most important cases in sports law history. McCann has also represented Your Call Football and other sports industry 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.

    At UVA Law, McCann was the Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, a Hardy Cross Dillard Fellow and winner of the Best Oral Argument Award.

    McCann is a native of Andover, Massachusetts and a graduate of St. John’s Prep.
  • Selected Publications

    Academic Article

    Year Title
    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


    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


    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