About

The National College Athletics Infractions Hearing Competition closely simulates the formal hearing process utilized by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Committee on Infractions (COl) to adjudicate allegations of major rules violations. Entering its second year, the competition is co-hosted (fully online with no travel required) by The University of lowa’s College of Law and the Sport and Recreation Management program in lowa’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and receives generous support from the Husch Blackwell law firm.

lowa's unique competition offers students in law and/or other graduate school disciplines an opportunity to gain insights into the NCAA's regulations and their practical application within this quasi-legal context. Moreover, participants will engage in a nationwide competition, presenting their skills before judges with expertise in sports law, college athletics, and compliance. Finally, students will receive judge feedback and network with judges to support professional development.

During the competition, students will work on teams to develop and sharpen their oral and written advocacy skills through an athletic lens by taking turns advocating as NCAA enforcement staff and as defense counsel for a school accused of committing NCAA infractions.

Registrations accepted at any time. The competition mock case file will open by January 1, and one written brief will be due from each team in late January. Writing competition champions and 2nd and 3rd place winners will be announced and have trophies awarded after the final hearing in February. Registrations can still be accepted after the case file opens. No limit on number of teams from a school.

REGISTER

Additional Information

Additional Info

The NCAA COl is an independent administrative body charged with deciding infractions cases involving NCAA member institutions and their employees. There is an industry of attorneys, law firms, and non-lawyers in college athletics that specialize in navigating the NCAA's infractions process and appearing before the COI during hearings.

  • Teams must consist of 2-3 students from the same university or college and may consist of law students, graduate students from non-law programs or a combination of law and graduate students.
  • All competition will take place on Zoom. (No travel required - all remote competition)
  • All participants receive a competition T-shirt.
  • Trophies are awarded for first place, second place and semifinalists in the hearing competition and first through third place in the writing competition.
  • A panel of college athletics officials and attorneys will discuss career paths and answer questions at the conclusion of the first day of competition.
  • Each team is guaranteed a minimum of two hearings (one as enforcement staff, one as defense counsel)
  • Teams that advance from the first-round bracket will have one or two additional hearings in the semifinals and finals.
  • Each team will write one brief, maximum length 20 double-spaced pages.
  • The mock case file and guidance on the infractions process will be provided to all registered teams in December. Written brief will be due in late January. First-round hearings and educational/networking panel will be over Zoom on February 23, 2024, with semifinal and final hearings over Zoom on February 24.
  • Registration fee is only $180 for a 2-person team, $210 for a 3-person team.

Hearing Competition Champions: University of Arkansas College of Law (Sydney Weiskopf, Madison Riggins, coached by Professor Josh Lens)

Hearing, 2nd Place: University of Iowa College of Law (Rebekah Birch, Avery Brown, coached by Professor Dan Matheson)

Hearing Semifinalists: Creighton University College of Law (Sydney Grad, Arthur “Trey” Formas, coached by Professor David Webber and Eric Lewis) and University of Iowa College of Law (Jack Schelhaas, Elias Wunderlich, Ethan Dunn, coached by Professor Dan Matheson)

Writing Competition Champions: University of Iowa College of Law (Rebekah Birch, Avery Brown, coached by Professor Dan Matheson)

Writing, 2nd Place: University of Houston Law Center (Jordan Marget, Bailey Pruitt, Erica Wheeler, coached by Mike Meltser and Megan Daic)

Writing, 3rd Place: University of Arkansas College of Law (Sydney Weiskopf, Madison Riggins, coached by Professor Josh Lens)

In its inaugural year, the College Athletics Infractions Hearing Competition welcomed teams from across the country, including representatives from the following institutions:

  • University of Illinois College of Law
  • University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Indiana University McKinney School of Law
  • Creighton University School of Law
  • Pepperdine University School of Law
  • University of Houston Law Center
  • The University of Iowa College of Law
  • The University of Iowa Sport and Recreation Management Master's Program

All mock hearings and written materials are judged by college sports law and administration industry experts who are eager to provide guidance and insight to students. Previous competition judges included:

  • Matt Pottorff, J.D. – Rutgers University Senior Associate AD/Chief Compliance Officer
  • Ellen Ferris, J.D. – American Athletic Conference Senior Associate Commissioner (Governance and Compliance) and chair of the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee
  • Jason Montgomery, J.D. – college athletics attorney, partner at Husch Blackwell
  • Stephen Clar, J.D. – Assistant Professor of Sport Management at Briar Cliff University, former NCAA Associate Director of Academic and Membership Services and staff liaison to the NCAA Infractions Appeals Committees
  • Brian White, J.D. – General Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs, University of Kansas
  • Stephanie Hannah – NCAA Director of Enforcement
  • Laura Wurtz, J.D. – NCAA Associate Director of Enforcement
  • Henry Archuleta, J.D. – Clemson University Associate AD/Governance and Football Compliance
  • Libby Harmon, J.D. – College athletics attorney at Nevius Legal, former NCAA Associate Director of Enforcement
  • Chris Gines, J.D. – Air Force Academy Assistant AD for Compliance
  • Marcus Wilson, J.D. – University of Iowa Executive Associate AD/Event Management and Sport Administration
  • Bridget Niland, J.D. – Niagara University, Dean of the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management, former Daemen College Director of Athletics, former NCAA Associate Director and consultant
  • Mike Zonder, J.D. – NCAA Director of Enforcement
  • Paul Perrier, J.D. – University of Southern California Executive Associate AD/Competitive Excellence
  • Brandi Guerinot – Niagara University Assistant Dean for Strategic Initiatives and former America East Conference Associate Commissioner (Compliance and Governance)
  • Andrea Dahly, J.D. – Bemidji State University Associate Athletic Director for Compliance
  • Kyle Waterstone – Huron Consulting Group, Higher Education Manager – Strategy & Operations
  • Dan Calandro – Retired, former NCAA Associate Director of Division III Governance and former Knox College Director of Athletics
  • Rachel Baker – University of Kentucky Executive Associate AD/Compliance
  • Seth Balke, J.D. – Texas Christian University Assistant Director of Compliance

Judge Spotlights

College Athletics Infractions Hearing Competition

Ellen Ferris
American Athletic Conference Senior Associate Commissioner & Chair of the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee
Ellen Ferris oversees all compliance and governance matters for the American Athletic Conference and provides leadership and guidance to The American’s member institutions in the practical application of NCAA compliance issues. Ellen is also the current chair of the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee.

College Athletics Infractions Hearing Competition

Jason Montgomery
College Athletics Attorney & Partner at Husch Blackwell
A former NCAA investigator, Jason represents colleges, universities, and athletes nationwide in enforcement, eligibility, and compliance matters. Jason leverages a distinctive combination of experience at the NCAA, in the athletics department at North Carolina State University, and in private practice to assist clients in navigating NCAA rules and resolving complex legal and regulatory issues that affect college athletics programs and athletes.

College Athletics Infractions Hearing Competition

Rachel Baker
University of Kentucky Executive Associate AD of Compliance
In her role as Executive Associate AD, Rachel Baker serves as the liaison to the Director of Athletics, Faculty Athletics Representative, and University President regarding new and pending NCAA and SEC legislation. Additionally, she is responsible for the overall development and strategic plan for the compliance department, including investigating and reporting all possible violations of SEC and NCAA rules.

Testimonials

“What an exciting weekend competing in University of Iowa’s NCAA Infractions Hearing Competition! I can’t wait to participate again next year. While every competition presents a learning opportunity, this competition provided an opportunity to learn skills that are directly applicable to my career.”  

      – Sydney Grad, Competitor from Creighton University School of Law

"I truly enjoyed participating in the NCAA Infractions Hearing Competition this past semester and am so
appreciative of the opportunity I had to compete, learn more about NIL, and connect with so many incredible minds in the sports sphere."

      – Aubrey Trivison, Competitor from New England School of Law

"This is a great opportunity to get smart, young individuals interested in our profession."

      – Ellen Ferris, Competition Judge and American Athletic Conference Senior Associate Commissioner (Governance and Compliance) and chair of the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee

"Students learned about cutting edge issues, how the COl process works, and gained invaluable experience and insight from the very qualified professionals who judged the briefs and competition on advocacy, professionalism, and the college sports industry. It was very illuminating to hear from industry professionals during the networking portion."

      – Maureen Weston, Professor of Law at Pepperdine University School of Law, Director of  Entertainment, Media & Sports Dispute Resolution Project

College Athletics Infractions Hearing Competition

Registration

Register your team here. Registration will remain open until December 15, 2023, but the competition will be limited to the first 20 teams that pay the registration fee ($180 for 2-person teams, $210 for 3-person teams).

Questions? Please send us an email at Law-SportsLawComp@uiowa.edu.

Program Highlight

Thank you to this year's media partner:

NCAA Compliance Journal Logo

Thank you to this year's law firm sponsor:

Husch Blackwell