Michael McCann Profile Photo

Michael McCann

Director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute
Associate Dean for Intellectual Life
Professor of Law (tenured)
Phone: (603) 513-5254
Office: UNH School of Law, 2 White Street, Concord, NH 03301

Professor Michael McCann is the Founding Director of the Sports and Entertainment Law Institute and former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

McCann is a Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School in Fall 2023.

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. In 2023, Prelaw Magazine named McCann to the “Dream Team of Law Professors.”

McCann has been an innovator in legal education, creating the first law school course on “Name, Image and Likeness,” producing an IP and antitrust law course at UFC, designing first-of-their-kind online programs, and building the much-publicized “Deflategate” course.

McCann is one of the nation’s leading experts in sports law. In 2021, he testified before the U.S. Senate in a hearing that included NCAA president Mark Emmert and centered on NIL 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 was named by The Christian Science Monitor as the No. 1 Sports Book in Spring 2018 and led Amazon sales categories.

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

McCann has authored more than 20 law review articles, including placements in the Yale Law Journal, Wisconsin Law Review, Georgia Law Review and Boston College Law Review. McCann’s scholarly writings have been cited as authority by federal appellate and district court judges. He has served as a JAMA peer reviewer. The Academy of Legal Studies in Business awarded McCann and his co-authors the Best Sports and Entertainment Law Paper for 2023.

McCann has frequently appeared as a legal expert on national TV programs, including: The Today Show; Good Morning America; Washington Journal; and TV shows hosted by Katie Couric, Wolf Blitzer, Martha MacCallum, Lou Dobbs, and Shepard Smith. He was a legal expert in Four Games in Fall 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, published by Penske Media (Rolling Stone and Variety). In 2021, McCann received Penske Media’s Journalistic & Creative Excellence Award “for consistently going above and beyond to deliver compelling content.” From 2007 to 2020, McCann authored more than 1,000 legal and investigative stories for Sports Illustrated. McCann covered the Boston Marathon bombings, Donald Sterling's ouster and Colin Kaepernick’s grievance.

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

The International Business Times named McCann, along with Elon Musk and Eric Yuan, one of the “11 Entrepreneurs, Marketers, and Coaches to Follow” in 2021. The Aspen Institute named McCann one of the 50 people to follow in 2021 and he’s 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 Clarett v. NFL, one of the most important cases in sports law history. McCann has also represented Your Call Football and other sports clients. He was Legal Counsel to Congressman Marty Meehan, an attorney at Boston law firms and an aide to Attorney General Tom Reilly.

McCann is from Andover, Massachusetts and is a graduate of St. John’s Prep.

Michael McCann


Courses Taught

  • LAW 460: Sports Law
  • LGP 922: Employment Law
  • LGP 956: Professional Sports Law
  • LGP 958: Sports Law
  • LGP 990: LawSpcTop/Sports Law Vegas
  • LIP 914: Amateur Sports Law
  • LIP 932: Name Image & Likeness in Sport
  • LRS 905: Independent Study
  • LSK 960: Law Journal Staff
  • LSW 905: Intro US Sports Betting Law


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

Selected Publications

  • McCann, M. (2023). McCann, M.A., Edelman M. & Holden J. T. (forthcoming, 2023). The Collegiate Employee-Athlete. University of Illinois Law Review, Vol. 2023 __ - __. (2023).. University of Illinois Law Review. Retrieved from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=4360802

  • McCann, M.A., Edelman M. & Holden J. T. (2022). A Short Treatise on College-Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Rights: How America Regulates College Sports’s New Economic Frontier. Georgia Law Review, 57, 1 - 78. (2022).

  • McCann, M.A. (2022). Missing Link: League Punishments of Team Executives. Saint Louis University Law Journal, 61, 293-310. (2022).

  • Holden, J. T., Edelman, M., & McCann, M. (2022). A Short Treatise on College-Athlete Name, Image, and Likeness Rights: How America Regulates College Sports’s New Economic Frontier.

  • McCann, M.A. (2021). Jump Ball: The Unsettled Law of Representing College Basketball Stars and Monetizing Their Names, Images, and Likeness. Santa Clara Law Review, 61, 177-218. (2021).