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Tulane's sports law competitions roll on despite pandemic

April 14, 2021 11:00 AM

Sports law arbitration competitions were held in a virtual format, with students managing dozens of teams across the country as they faced judges, who were also working remotely.


A global pandemic could not stop the Tulane Sports Law Program from proudly hosting three annual professional sports negotiation competitions, all of which were successfully held in a virtual format this year.

The 14th annual Tulane International Baseball Arbitration Competition, sponsored by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association, took place January 21-23, 2021, led by co-chairs and current 3L Tulane law students, Cody Dunlap, Sam Martin, and Jared Shurman.  Forty teams from schools across the country were judged by 24 experts from the baseball industry including MLB teams, MLBPA certified agents, and notable media members.  After many outstanding rounds, which are designed to mirror MLB’s formal arbitration format, the championship went to St. John’s University.

The 7th annual Tulane Football Negotiation Competition was completed over January 29-30, 2021, led by co-chairs and current 3L students, Claire Allenbach, Spencer Serling, and Cole Trolinger.  In this competition, 36 student teams from 27 competing schools negotiated over mock contracts for real NFL players such as Dak Prescott and Allen Robinson.  Each mock negotiation features two teams, one representing the team and one representing the player agent.  Judges from eight different NFL franchises, as well as NFLPA Certified Agents and Salary Cap Analysts, helped narrow the field down to the championship round; one of the University of Maryland  teams took the win.

The judges -- the core of our competitions --  of the championship round were Jason Fitzgerald, Founder of OverTheCap.com; Bryce Johnston, Director of Football Administration, Philadelphia Eagles; and Nick Sabella (L'12), Manager of Football Administration, New York Jets.

The 4th annual Tulane Pro Basketball Negotiation Competition, sponsored by the law firm of Winston & Strawn LLP, completed the year’s competitions on February 24-27, 2021.  This event, led by board co-chairs and current 3L law students, Nick McMahan, Travis Grosscope, Alex Petit, and Ralph Plotke, featured competitors from 30 different schools and 44 judges from every area of the basketball industry, including NBA teams, certified agents, the NBA itself, and notable media members.  The event began with an initial team “pitch” to a judge panel, followed by head-to-head team negotiations over real NBA players such as Duncan Robinson. The event culminated in a three-team championship round in which each finalist negotiated a hypothetical Lonzo Ball contract against event board members, McMahan and Grosscope.  After detailed negotiations, the judges scored the team from Villanova University as the champion.