Course Details

Dispute Resolution in Sports

This course will provide an overview of how dispute resolution processes are used in the world of sports. At the start of the semester, we will discuss dispute resolution in U.S. professional sports. We will discuss the basics of negotiations in this context and how they are shaped by labor law. We will then discuss the basics of how contract and grievance arbitrations work in U.S. professional sports leagues. This will be followed by an introduction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the institutions of the Olympic movement. This will be timed to take place during the Olympics so that students can read and discuss current cases that are being decided by the CAS Ad-Hoc Division, which will lead to discussion of how arbitrations function during the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and FIFA World Cup. This will be followed by discussion of the World Anti-Doping Code, the procedures for doping arbitrations, and the controversies related to these arbitrations. Following this, we will discuss some of the ethical controversies in the international sports world, such as match fixing, intentionally losing, corruption, and issues related to the integrity of sports arbitrations. Students will also learn about contract negotiations for endorsement deals and how they relate to an athlete's right of publicity, where mediation occurs in sports dispute resolution, and how collegiate athletic disputes are resolved in the United States. The semester will conclude with discussion of football (soccer) transfer arbitration cases. Course Objectives: This course aims to give students a basic overview of the various areas of dispute resolution that occurs in sports. In addition to regular readings and discussions, there will be interactive simulation exercises to expose students to the various dispute resolution processes in sports. Students will learn about the negotiations, mediations, and arbitrations that take place in professional, Olympic, and collegiate sports. Students will also develop an understanding of how to apply the World Anti-Doping Code to the athlete's case, as well as the basics of how labor law, antitrust law, and contract law apply to sports dispute resolution. Registration Requirements: A previous course in Negotiation may be helpful but is not required. Required Readings: Students will read cases (including the decisions of sports arbitration tribunals), academic articles, and statutes related to the discussion topics of the week. These items, or a link with information on how to access these items, will be posted on Blackboard. Grading: Simulations/Participation-25 percent of final grade Research paper-65 percent of final grade Doping Sentencing Assignment-10 percent of final grade Research Paper: Students are expected to compose a research paper on a topic of the student's interest related to the course. Students have an option of choosing to make this a one, two, or three draft paper, subject to the Northwestern Law regulations related to the writing requirement.


Catalog Number: LITARB 626


Course History

Spring 2014
Title: Dispute Resolution in Sports
Faculty: Gandert, Daniel (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 25