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WFU School of Law hosts ‘Sports Update: Title IX’

Wake Forest University School of Law and the student-organized Sports & Entertainment Law Society hosted “Sports Update: Title IX” on Friday, Sept. 25, in the Worrell Professional Center.

The program explored the requirements of Title IX, the effect it has had, both good and bad, on athletics, and how it is affecting individuals as well as colleges and organizations.

Wake Forest Law Professor Timothy Davis gave an introduction to Title IX followed by Glenn George from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill law school, who discussed allegations of reverse discrimination in the implementation of Title IX’s governing regulations.

Barbara Osborne, an associate professor in the exercise and sport science department of UNC-Chapel Hill, explored sexual harassment claims asserted under Title IX. And Jill Pilgrim, general counsel for the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA), gave her thoughts on Title IX as well as talk about some of her personal experiences.

Why a Title IX update now?

“Because judicial interpretations of Title IX’S regulations continue to evolve,” Davis explained. “There are recent court cases that deal with each of the issues we will address at the conference, including a recent U. S. Supreme Court case that dealt with Title IX and sexual harassment. In that case, the Supreme Court said that victims of sexual harassment by student athletes can now not only sue institutions but individuals including coaches and athletic directors.”

A roundtable forum of the speakers concluded the program.

Davis is one the country’s best known sports law scholars. He has co-authored a casebook on sports law, and co-authored “The Business of Sports Agents,” published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. He frequently presents papers and lectures at academic conferences and continuing legal education seminars. Davis serves on the Review Board for the United States Anti-Doping Agency and is a member of the Board of Advisors for the National Sports Law Institute.

George,

who has authored a number of articles addressing Title IX,

served on the faculty at UNC School of Law from 1999-2006 and returned in the fall of 2008. She served as the associate vice president for human relations and risk management for the University of Colorado system, as interim general counsel for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and as chair of the Sports and Entertainment Law Section of the North Carolina Bar Association. Her areas of specialization are civil procedure, employment discrimination, entertainment and sports law, and labor law.

Osborne has directed the graduate and undergraduate programs in sport management, and teaches a variety of sport management courses at UNC. Her current research focuses on legal issues in intercollegiate athletics, Title IX, and women’s issues in sport. Prior to her appointment at UNC, Osborne worked for 14 years as an administrator in intercollegiate athletics. She has also had experience as a coach, public relations coordinator, television sports commentator, publisher and sports information director. She has served as the Chair of the Sport and Entertainment Law section of the North Carolina Bar Association, as well as a member of the Sport Lawyers Association and the Sport and Recreation Law Association.

Pilgrim joined the LPGA as general counsel in January 2007. Reporting to the Office of the Commissioner, she renders legal advice to the LPGA, and handles matters ranging from corporate governance, policy matters, protection of intellectual property rights, contractual relationships, and member eligibility. Pilgrim utilized her many years of expertise to assist the LPGA with the design and launch of the golf industry’s first player drug-testing program in 2008. Pilgrim also serves as the LPGA Drug Testing Administrator. Pilgrim has built a national reputation as a prominent sports lawyer. She spent the eight-and-half-years prior to joining the LPGA in the Olympic sports world, as general counsel and director of business affairs for USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body for track and field.