Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Michigan comes out on top in NCAA Investigation... thanks to my Contracts professor

Even though law school and finals month has precluded me from really writing more than once a week (twice if y'all are lucky), I thought this deserved incredibly special attention.

AnnArbor.com posted an article on November 4, delving into the "Winners and Losers" of the Michigan NCAA investigation that has been ongoing for 14 months, with the meetings in Seattle occurring this past August right before I started my first semester at Alabama Law. My first class of my first semester was Contracts, taught by national renown sports attorney and Alabama Law Professor, Gene Marsh.  He introduced himself on the first day of class as one of the attorneys (and according to this article, the attorney) representing Michigan in the NCAA sanctions meeting in Seattle the weekend before. It was the perfect way for me to start my semester.

Ultimately, the NCAA gave Michigan a third year of probation, in addition to all of their self-imposed sanctions. The biggest break Michigan got was that Rich Rodriguez was not charged with failing to promote an atmosphere of compliance, which would most definitely have cost him his job (as if he needed any assistance in that department).

But the real winner that the article seems to name is my Contracts professor. The following paragraph directly quotes the article, referring to Professor Marsh and his firm's involvement in the litigation:

"Gene Marsh and Lightfoot, Franklin & White: Marsh and his attorneys told Michigan what it needed to do to prepare for the NCAA hearing, what it should self-impose and worked with the university every step of the way. The school paid more than $600,000 in legal fees, but considering the NCAA pretty much complied with the school’s suggested penalties, it was worth it. Plus, the attorneys told Michigan how to defend against the failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance." [full article]

More eloquently stated, I watched my Contracts professor first-hand do what I one day hope to do for a living. As an Ohio State graduate (yes, he's a Buckeye), he and his firm did an amazing job pulling through for my Alma mater and its extremely historied football program. On behalf of the University of Michigan and all of its football fans, thank you for making sure we didn't end up like USC. And to U of M, thank you for not skimping on legal counsel and knowing that this is where our tuition increase money needed to go.

And for any OSU fans reading this, although I'm not entirely sure why you would be considering my unmasked love for Michigan, there is no need to question Marsh's loyalty. He made sure to mention to me after class today that Ohio State will put 100 points up against Michigan. Unfortunately after Saturday's game, it's not that far out of the realm of possibilities (although I'm hoping we keep it to a double-digit number).

Wherever you go, Go Blue.

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