Michael McCann

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Professor of Law, and Director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute
Educational Background
  • LLM, behavioral law and economics, Harvard Law School
  • JD, University of Virginia School of Law
  • BA, Georgetown University
Courses Taught
  • Amateur Sports Law: Legal Issues in Youth, College & Recreational Sports
  • Article II Sales (Uniform Commercial Code)
  • Deflategate: The Intersection of Sports, Law & Journalism
  • Online Deflategate: When Sports and Law Collide
  • Pro Sports Law: Unique Relationship, Leagues, Team & Players
  • Sports Law & Investigative Reporting
General Areas of Interest, Scholarship, Research, & Practice

• Sports law 
• Antitrust law
 • Journalism law • Media law • Social media law • Communications law • Behavioral Law and economics • Law of private associations • Disabilities law


Michael McCann is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at UNH Law. Dean McCann is responsible for overseeing the law school’s program of legal education. His specific duties include day-to-day management of UNH Law’s degree programs with an emphasis on implementation and analysis of strategic initiatives to achieve institutional excellence. Dean McCann also supervises senior staff offices (Admissions; Career Services; Registrar; and Student Services).

Dean McCann is also a Professor of Law and the Founding Director of the UNH Law Sports and Entertainment Law Institute (SELI). SELI offers students hands-on training and experiential opportunities in this cutting-edge area of law. Dean McCann has held several other leadership posts at the University including Chair of the UNH Law Faculty Appointments Committee (2015-17) and, along with UNH Senior Vice Provost for Research Jan Nisbet, Co-Chair of the UNH Law Dean Search and Selection Committee (2016-17).

Dean 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 600 legal columns and investigative articles for Sports Illustrated  and is a key member of Sports Illustrated’s investigative team. He has covered the Boston Marathon bombings, Deflategate, the murder trials of Aaron Hernandez, sexual assault allegations against Jameis Winston and Derrick Rose, the Washington Redskins trademark dispute, the ouster of Donald Sterling from the NBA, league lockouts, 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, Texas 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.

Dean McCann is also the Editor and an author of the forthcoming The Oxford Handbook of American Sports Law (Oxford University Press, 2017). 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.

Dean McCann has authored more than 20 law review articles, with placements in the Yale Law JournalWisconsin 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, Dean McCann is an established expert in antitrust law and in the laws governing journalism, media and communications. Along with Jon Hanson, the Alfred Smart Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Dean 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.

In 2016, Dean McCann was appointed to the Board of Advisors of the Harvard Law School Systemic Justice Project. He is also the Distinguished Visiting Hall of Fame Professor of Law at Mississippi College School of Law, where he teaches a summer sports law course. In addition, Dean McCann teaches the “Sports Law Controversies” course in the Oregon Law Summer Sports Institute and bar preparation courses for Themis Bar Review. Dean 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 and Vermont Law School. He was chair of the Association of American Law School’s Section on Law and Sports in 2008.

Dean 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.

Dean McCann is a regular panelist at the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conferences. He provides daily sports law commentary on Twitter @McCannSportsLaw. McCann has received numerous honors for outstanding legal commentary. Forbes Magazine has named McCann the top sports law commentator on Twitter and includes him on its list of top 100 sports business commentators. Boston Magazine and The Boston Globe have honored McCann in their “Best Boston Sports Personalities” lists. The Huffington Post ranks McCann #23 on “Top 40 Must-Follow Twitter Accounts for NBA Fanatics.”

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.

Additional Information

McCann is an award-winning journalist. He is a Writer and Legal Analyst for Sports Illustrated and SI.com, for which he has authored more than 600 legal columns and investigative articles, including a record-breaking 50 columns and articles during the summer of 2014 and 150 columns and articles from April 2014 to April 2015. Through reporting, McCann, who is a member of Sports Illustrated’s investigative team, has broken major news stories on Josh HamiltonDonald SterlingEd O’Bannon v. NCAABobby Petrino, and other national sports law controversies. McCann was also the first journalist to interview Lance Armstrong after Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. McCann interviewed Armstrong at his home in Austin, Texas and authored “My Dance With Lance.” McCann also provided on-site legal analysis from the Massachusetts trial of Aaron Hernandez for the murder of Odin Lloyd and the California trial of the NCAA for the use of college players’ names, images and likenesses. McCann is also the On-Air Legal Analyst for NBA TV and SI Now, and is a frequent commentator on TV. McCann tweets daily sports law analysis @McCannSportsLaw. As of July 2017, McCann has 60,000 followers on Twitter. He has been honored by The Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, the Boston GlobeBoston Magazine and The Sporting Chart for excellence in legal commentary.

(603) 513-5254