Michael McCann - Biography
Professor of Law
LLM, Harvard Law School
Amateur Sports Law: Legal Issues in Youth, College & Recreational Sports
Article II Sales (Uniform Commercial Code)
Deflategate: the Intersection of Sports, Law & Journalism
Pro Sports Law: Unique Relationship, Leagues, Team & Players
Sports Law & Investigative Reporting
Michael McCann is a Professor of Law and the Founding Director of the UNH Law Sports and Entertainment Law Institute (SELI). SELI, which is part of the top-ranked Franklin Pierce Center for Intellectual Property, offers students hands-on training and experiential opportunities in this cutting-edge area of law.
McCann is one of the nation’s leading experts in sports law, a seasoned sports attorney, and an award-winning teacher, scholar and journalist. He is Sports Illustrated ’s Legal Analyst, an Investigative Writer for both Sports Illustrated and SI.com, and the on-air Legal Analyst for NBA TV. McCann has authored more than 400 legal columns and investigative articles for Sports Illustrated and SI.com and is a key member of Sports Illustrated’s investigative team. He has covered the Boston Marathon bombings, the trial of Aaron Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd, sexual assault allegations against Jameis Winston, the Washington Redskins trademark dispute, Donald Sterling’s legal battles with both the NBA and his wife Shelly Sterling, NBA, NFL and NHL lockouts, the legality of the NFL’s tax exempt status, the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Ed O’Bannon v. NCAA, Lance Armstrong’s doping scandal and many other stories. 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, TX and authored “My Dance With Lance” (Sports Illustrated, March 11, 2013 issue, pages 14-15).
During the summer of 2014, McCann wrote a record-breaking 50 legal columns for Sports Illustrated and SI.com. McCann has also broken several national news stories, including that University of Arkansas football coach Bobby Petrino hired his mistress over 150 more qualified candidates, that Donald Sterling informed the NBA of his refusal to comply with the NBA’s sanction and that Sterling hired a legal team with a threat to sue the NBA, and that the Los Angeles Angels were set to trade troubled outfielder Josh Hamilton.
McCann is also the Editor and an author of the forthcoming Oxford University Press Handbook of American Sports Law. The book is expected to be published in 2017 and will be intended for law students, graduate students, college students and attorneys interested in the study of American sports law. McCann has authored more than 20 law review articles, with placements in the Yale Law Journal, Wisconsin Law Review, and Boston College Law Review, among other prominent law reviews. One notable law review article is American Needle v. NFL: An Opportunity to Reshape Sports Law, 119 YALE L.J. 726 (2010).
In addition to his sports law expertise, Professor McCann is an established expert in the law of private associations, intellectual property law, media law, disability law, and law and analytics. Along with Jon Hanson, the Alfred Smart Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Professor 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, an international organization of scholars devoted to social and personality psychology.
McCann is also the Distinguished Visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law and teaches bar preparation courses for Themis Bar Review. Professor McCann has also taught a sports law and analytics reading group at Yale Law School – the first such course to be offered at any law school – and sports law and administrative law courses at Boston College Law School. He was chair of the Association of American Law School’s Section on Law and Sports in 2008.
McCann’s work as a sports attorney is extensive. In 2004, McCann served as counsel to college football star Maurice Clarett in his lawsuit against the National Football League and its age eligibility rule. McCann was retained by Clarett’s legal team after a paper he wrote in law school – “Illegal Defense: The Irrational Economics of Banning High School Players from the NBA” – was published in the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal and read by Clarett’s attorneys. Clarett v. NFL is considered one of the most important cases in U.S. sports law history. McCann has also represented sports technology companies in business development and intellectual property matters. In addition, he has served as a Visiting Researcher at Harvard Law School, Legal Counsel to U.S. Congressman Marty Meehan, an antitrust and intellectual property law litigator at two Boston firms and a communications aide to Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly.
Professor McCann is a regular panelist at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conferences. He provides daily sports law commentary on Twitter @McCannSportsLaw. He has also received numerous honors for outstanding legal commentary. In 2014, Forbes Magazine named McCann on its list of “Top 100 Sports Business Commentators.” In 2013, Boston Magazine honored McCann as one of the “Best Boston Sports Personalities” on Twitter. In 2012, The Huffington Post ranked McCann #23 on “Top 40 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for NBA Fanatics” and The Sporting Chart named him a “Top 50 NBA Mind on Twitter.”
While a student at the University of Virginia School of Law from 1999 to 2002, McCann was named a Hardy Cross Dillard Fellow, served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Virginia Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, and received the Best Oral Advocacy Award.
Michael McCann, Faculty Speaker at Commencement 2015
Inside Wildcat Country (S3E1) UNH School of Law