Panthers General Counsel Richard Thigpen and former University of Texas President Bill Powers to discuss intersection of football and law at noon Wednesday, March 30

Photo of a football

Wake Forest Law’s Sports and Entertainment Law Society (SELS) will host Richard Thigpen, general counsel for the Carolina Panthers, and Bill Powers, former president of the University of Texas, to speak about their experiences in the intersection of football and the law. The event, entitled “Championship Counsel: A Dialogue with Richard Thigpen and Bill Powers,” will take place at noon on Wednesday, March 30, in the Worrell Professional Center, Room 1312. Students wishing to attend should RSVP before the event. Powers will also speak at noon on Thursday, March 31, as part of the law school’s “Conversation With” series.

Thigpen joined the Panthers in July 1997 as assistant general counsel, and he was quickly promoted to general counsel at the end of May 1998. Before joining the Panthers, Thigpen worked in private practice for 13 years, where he regularly advised the Panthers on several legal matters, especially concerning their Bank of America stadium. He has over 30 years of experience in corporate and tax law, among other topics, and is involved in every legal aspect surrounding the Panthers, from contracts to trademark issues to employment matters. Thigpen received his undergraduate degree from Duke University and his law degree from Campbell University.

SELS was interested in bringing Thigpen to Wake Forest Law after the success of an event last year featuring Joe Pierce, general counsel for the Charlotte Hornets. The treasurer of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society, Nick D’Auria (JD ’16), met Richard Thigpen will attending Charlotte School of Law, and that connection helped SELS convince Thigpen to speak at Wake Forest Law.

The event will also feature Bill Powers, former president of the University of Texas, who will discuss his experience and involvement in college football. Powers was a part of the committee that formed the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in college football, and his service on the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee led to the enabling of a national championship playoff system for college football. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkley before graduating magna cum laude from Harvard Law, where he was the managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Thigpen and Powers will each discuss their experiences with professional and college football, especially the interaction between the two and the comparison between the recently implemented College Football Playoffs and the playoffs in professional football leading to the SuperBowl, in which the Panthers played this year.

“This will be quite an enriching event for all attendees,” said Cheslie Kryst (JD/MBA ’17), president of the Sports and Entertainment Law Society. “Both Richard Thigpen and Bill Powers have an astounding depth and breadth of experience and knowledge about the legal industry as it relates to athletics and beyond. We are exceedingly grateful that both have volunteered their time to Wake Forest for our Championship Counsel event.”