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 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 and designing first-of-their-kind online programs. He also built 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 Commerce Committee hearing that included NCAA president Mark Emmert and centered on NIL and other 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—named by The Christian Science Monitor as the No. 1 Sports Book in Spring 2018 and a leader in several Amazon categories—tells the story of O’Bannon’s life and his historic court case against the NCAA.
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 and book chapters, including placements in the Yale Law Journal, Wisconsin Law Review, Georgia Law Review and Boston College Law Review. One notable article is “American Needle v. NFL: An Opportunity to Reshape Sports Law”, 119 YALE LAW JOURNAL 726 (2010). McCann’s scholarly writings have been cited as authority by federal appellate and district court judges. He serves as a peer reviewer for JAMA.
McCann has frequently appeared as a legal expert on national TV programs, including: The Today Show; Good Morning America; The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer; Washington Journal; and TV shows hosted by Katie Couric, Martha MacCallum; Lou Dobbs, and Shepard Smith. He also 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, which is published by Penske Media (Rolling Stone and Variety). From 2007 to 2020, McCann authored more than 1,000 legal and investigative stories for Sports Illustrated. McCann has 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, pages 14-15).
The International Business Times named McCann one of the “11 Entrepreneurs, Marketers, and Coaches to Follow” in 2021. The list also included Elon Musk and Eric Yuan. The Aspen Institute named McCann one of the 50 people to follow in 2021 and he has 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 his lawsuit against the NFL’s age eligibility rule. Clarett v. NFL is 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 U.S. Congressman (now UMass President) 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.
- LAW 460: Sports 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
- LSW 905: Intro US Sports Betting Law
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).