Sports Lawyer Named NCAA Vice President of the Eligibility Center

Jun 14, 2024

The NCAA has announced that Michele Osborne, currently serving as managing director of the NCAA’s office of legal affairs, has been named the NCAA’s new vice president of the Eligibility Center. She brings more than 18 years of experience practicing law and working with collegiate athletics departments and administrators.

“I am excited to lead the Eligibility Center at this important time in collegiate athletics,” Osborne said. “I have witnessed firsthand the passion and dedication with which the Eligibility Center team serves student-athletes and the NCAA membership. I look forward to joining the team, alongside our regulatory affairs and national office colleagues, as we embrace the changing collegiate athletics landscape and the growth opportunities it affords.”

Osborne joined the national office in April 2022 as a senior legal counsel member before being promoted to managing director. She is currently completing her responsibilities on pending legal matters and will start her role in the Eligibility Center in early June.

“In her brief time at the national office, Michele has demonstrated exemplary guidance and service to our members and national office staff, which made her an ideal candidate to extend her reach to prospective student-athletes and their families,” said NCAA President Charlie Baker. “I am proud to have her as a member of our leadership team and look forward to her continued efforts in strengthening the overall student-athlete experience.”

Osborne’s experience providing legal counsel on a collegiate campus, for the Eligibility Center and other regulatory affairs departments, bolsters her capabilities to adeptly recognize, minimize and resolve areas of legal vulnerability within the collegiate athletics landscape.

She aims to enhance the Eligibility Center’s customer service for member schools, prospective student-athletes and high schools while looking to be more proactive in facilitating earlier engagement in the certification process.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work with and witness Michele’s maturation as a collegiate athletics administrator at Florida State and within the NCAA office of legal affairs,” said Stan Wilcox, NCAA executive vice president of regulatory affairs. “Her legal background will be an asset to the Eligibility Center, as well as her ability to enhance the customer service that we provide to member institutions, prospective student-athletes and high schools, including opportunities to be proactive and facilitate earlier engagement in the certification process.  We look forward to having Michele as a leader within regulatory affairs.”

Before joining the NCAA, Osborne spent more than a decade at Florida State as a member of the office of the general counsel, a sports administrator, and an executive on the athletics administration, overseeing various athletics department functions including athletics compliance. Before joining Florida State, Osborne spent time in public service as a senior attorney in Florida’s highest appellate courts and as counsel to Florida’s governor and Cabinet.

A former NCAA soccer student-athlete, Osborne completed her bachelor’s degree at Florida State and graduated magna cum laude with her law degree from Nova Southeastern law center. Osborne is admitted to the Indiana and Florida bars and holds several professional memberships in higher education, legal and sports-related organizations.

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