Gene Marsh, former Chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions, Joins Lightfoot, Franklin & White

Feb 27, 2009

Lightfoot, Franklin & White has raised its national profile in the collegiate sports law arena with the announcement earlier this month that Gene Marsh, the former chairman of the NCAA Committee on Infractions and a sports law professor at the University of Alabama, will serve as Of Counsel to the firm.
“Gene’s background uniquely qualifies him to advise colleges and universities on the best path to take when issues arise in their athletic departments,” said Lightfoot’s William King, a partner at the Birmingham, Ala. firm. “We are very fortunate to have someone with Gene’s expertise and experience to help our clients in this specialized area.”
The phrase’s “expertise and experience” have special meaning when it comes to Marsh, who will help the firm, which represented Auburn during its most recent NCAA infractions cases in football and basketball, strengthen its practice of assisting NCAA institutions throughout the country with internal investigations, compliance and academic issues, compliance education, and the negotiation and drafting of coaches’ contracts.
March has specialized in collegiate sports law for more the decade. More specifically, he has extensive experience in the NCAA infractions process, having served as a member of the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions from 1999 through 2008. He served as Chair of the Committee on Infractions for two of those years.
After overseeing more than 100 cases, Marsh told the Birmingham News he grew tired of serving on the committee, especially as chairman, which was an “all consuming” position..
That experience, however, may have positioned him for success with Lightfoot, given the experience of watching lawyers represent their schools before the committee.
“Some of the worst lawyering I saw came from lawyers who came in and didn’t know the turf, didn’t know the terrain, didn’t know that they were not in a courtroom trying an automobile accident case,” he told the newspaper
Marsh also believes his experience as faculty for the University of Alabama law school will also work to his new employer’s advantage. “I’ve been on a college campus for more than 25 years,” said Marsh, who currently teaches sports law as well as other classes. “I’ve dealt with coaches, through good days and bad. I think I can contribute. I think I understand the dynamic on campus better than some lawyers because that’s where I live.”


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