Professor Michael McCann is the Founding Director of the UNH Law 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 popular “Deflategate” undergraduate course at UNH. 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. He is a staff writer for Sports Illustrated and serves as the publication’s Legal Analyst. Since 2007, McCann has authored more than 900 legal and investigative stories for SI. He has covered the Boston Marathon bombings, the murder trials of Aaron Hernandez, the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal, the NBA's ouster of Donald Sterling, Colin Kaepernick’s collusion grievance, the FBI’s investigation into college basketball, 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 football coach Bobby Petrino hired his mistress over more qualified candidates, that Donald Sterling refused to comply with the NBA’s sanction and 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 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-selling book 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). The book is intended for law students, grad students, college students and attorneys interested in the study of sports law.
In addition, McCann has authored more than 20 law review articles and book chapters, 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).
Along with Jon Hanson, the Alfred Smart Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, 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 in legal matters. In addition, he was Legal Counsel to U.S. Congressman (now UMass President) Marty Meehan, an antitrust litigator at Boston law firms and a spokesperson for Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly.
McCann is a native of Andover, Massachusetts and a graduate of St. John’s Prep.
McCann, M. (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 Flying. Pepperdine Law Review, 41, 397-438. Retrieved from http://scholars.unh.edu/law_facpub/37
McCann, M. (2010). Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the Relationship between Leagues and Players: Insights and Implications. Connecticut Law Review, 42, 901-923. Retrieved from http://scholars.unh.edu/law_facpub/36
McCann, M. A. (2005). Dietary Supplement Labeling: Cognitive Biases, Market Manipulation & Consumer Choice. American Journal of Law & Medicine, 31(2-3), 215-268. doi:10.1177/009885880503100204