Dallas Sports Attorney Represents Coaches and College Athletes
Mark R. Slough PLLC is a national sports law practice focused on the representation of college and professional coaches, college athletes, and the creation of a variety of sports-related business contracts and agreements. In addition, I am a partner and general counsel with Coaches Resource Management, LLC, a full-service sports management company that advises, counsels and assists coaches in all aspects of their coaching career. For those coaches who do not need the full suite of services offered by CRM, Mark R. Slough PLLC can be engaged on a traditional retained attorney basis to serve as the coaches’ personal attorney in the employment negotiation and review process.
College and Professional Coaches
Mark R. Slough PLLC is the choice for coaches seeking advice and counsel in any matter that touches upon their employment with a college, university or professional sports organization. My comprehensive expertise includes contract structure, terms and compensation. To maximize your compensation package, I add value beyond your base salary by examining a variety of additional factors, such as:
- TV/radio “talent” fees
- Apparel contracts
- Roll-over provisions and triggers for annual increases
- Assistant coaches’ salary pools
- Restrictions on career movement such as buyouts
- Language regarding dismissal, such as “with/without cause, standard of care, rights to hearings and appeal, notice and due process”
When a coach is hired, you can be certain that the athletic director or team president will turn the contract negotiation and document preparation over to his in-house or general counsel. As a coach about to enter into a significant contractual relationship you should do the same.
Many contracts include a provision explicitly stating that the coach has been provided the opportunity to review the contract with an attorney of his choosing. Do not make the mistake of signing your employment agreement without an attorney reviewing it first. But make sure it’s an attorney who understands coaching contracts and knows what to look for upon review.
I am an experienced negotiator who understands the nuances of coaching contracts. The fine print matters, especially when relationships come to an end. And when that happens – whether voluntarily or involuntarily – I know how to navigate a separation of employment and ensure that your transition is as smooth and painless as possible.
Agent Selection Process
I served as an agent to NFL players for 22 years and, as such, I am exceptionally qualified to advise athletes and their families on the agent selection process. I will screen agents on behalf of the player, providing insulation so he or she can focus on their season. Let me collect the information, take the phone calls and help you narrow down the field so that you don’t waste your valuable time on the wrong people
Having sat on the other side of the table meeting with hundreds of players and their families. I know that is it difficult to evaluate agents. Who is telling the truth? Who is merely telling you what you want to hear? Who is the right fit as your agent? And I will participate in the interview, evaluation and selection process so that the player and family can make an educated and thoughtful choice when choosing representation.
Transfer Portal and Eligibility
In 2018, the NCAA introduced the transfer portal, which allows Division I athletes to transfer without first obtaining permission from their school. When a college athlete transfers, NCAA rules mandate they sit for an academic year before they are eligible to play. However, an athlete can seek a waiver from the NCAA based on a number of possible exceptions which would allow them to transfer and play immediately.
As currently written, the NCAA rules allows for reinstatement of immediate eligibility if there is “documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete.” Applying for a waiver involves gathering all the relevant facts, formulating the arguments as to why the waiver is warranted and advocating on behalf of the athlete before the NCAA. This is exactly what a lawyer is trained to do. If you are considering entering the transfer portal and want to discuss applying for an immediate eligibility waiver, please give me a call.
Sports Related Contracts & Agreements
As an experienced business transactional attorney with a background in sports, I am well-versed in a variety of contracts common to the industry. Sports-related contracts I have either drafted, revised or reviewed include:
- Sponsorship agreements
- Licensing agreements
- Endorsement agreements
- Representation agreements
If you need a contract not represented above, in all likelihood I have prepared one in a different industry and can still assist you in the matter so please do not hesitate to call me.
Contact an experienced sports attorney today.
If you are a coach or a collegiate athlete and need the assistance of an experienced sports lawyer call me at 972-598-9503 or contact me online.