Professors Lean on Sports Litigation Alert to Keep Students Current on Sports Law Issues

Dec 18, 2009

More professors than ever used Sports Litigation Alert this fall as a way to keep their students current as well as give them a resource for researching relevant sports law topics.
“Sports Litigation Alert functioned as an excellent supplement to the primary textbook I used for my class this semester,” said Scott J. Bukstein, Esq., who taught sports law at St. Leo University in Florida. “We had in-class discussions every other week on many of the articles, case summaries and news briefs. The Alert definitely helped many of my students better comprehend some of the theories and substantive law concepts we covered in the course.”
Phil Breaux, Esq., who teaches sports law at Louisiana State University, has used the Alert for a few years. He has been able to reconcile the fact that sometimes the topics covered in the Alert are not in-step with the order of topics in the syllabus.
“If a case or article in the newsletter is on the subject we are on or one we already covered, then we discuss it in the context of how it fits in with what we already covered,” Breaux said. “If there is a topic that we will cover, but we haven’t gotten to it yet, I flag it for them. When we get to that point in the course, we bring it back up. So we use or refer to it often, but in an unstructured manner.”
One advantage with the Alert is that it is written in a fashion that it is a little more inviting for the student, according to Gina Pauline, EdD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sport Management at Syracuse University.
“The students liked reading it,” said Pauline. “So it came in very handy throughout the semester to supplement the material that we covered.”
Other professors used the Alert to connect the subject matter taught in the course to current events.
Sarah J. Young, Ph. D., an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University, introduced as assignment called “Staying Current with Legal Issues.”
“The purpose of this assignment is to get you using available resources as well as gain insight into current legal issues in sports,” she wrote to her students.
“Students will select a minimum of 3 topics from the SLA and write a 1-2 paragraph summary of each topic describing the topic/issue and sharing why it is of interest to them and the field of sports law.”
To make sure the students subscribed, she gave them a deadline and informed them that they would “lose one letter grade from their submitted paper” if they didn’t subscribe. “The sooner students subscribe, the more time they will have to browse the topics and archives of the SLA,” she added.
Editor Holt Hackney attributed the increased adoption of the Alert to the willingness of Hackney Publications to work with professors and make the Alert the best teaching tool it can be. An example of this is how the company opens up the full archive of summaries and article to students at a modest student subscription rate.
“We are not in the business of replacing the core textbook the professor may want to use,” said Hackney. “We only want to be a valuable compliment to it.”


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