Sports Attorney Richard Ford to Speak at UMO

Sports Attorney Richard Ford to Speak at UMO

September 7, 2023

Contact: Rhonda Jessup, Director of Public Relations

Macy Parkhurst, Student Intern

MOUNT OLIVE –Renowned Attorney Richard Ford will speak at The University of Mount Olive on September 28 at 12:30 PM in Southern Bank Auditorium.

An athlete’s rights advocate, Ford began his law career in the 1980s. His career has been spent analyzing the legal, regulatory, and cultural issues of collegiate athletics through a value-based lens. Ford has his own podcast, BigAmateurism, which focuses on under-reported and unreported issues that occur in the college sports realm. He has extensive experience as a litigator, including with the US Supreme Court.

Ford’s academic experience includes working as an adjunct professor, advisor, and administrator in the law school setting. He received his degree in public policy from Duke University in 1984 and continued at the University of Georgia to receive his law degree in 1988. While at Duke University, Ford received a scholarship as a walk-on basketball player under legendary Coach Mike Krzyzewski. He went on to team captain for the Blue Devils.

At UMO, Ford plans to give an overview of the regulatory and legal landscape of college sports. He will touch on federal litigation from Board of Regents and Tarkanian forward cases. He will provide a historical values-based perspective on the regulation of athletic agents. Lastly, he will discuss athletes as employees and the role of federal labor laws as a case study in values dissonance and use of mythologies.

Associate Professor of Sports Management Dr. Tony Franklin said, “I invited Attorney Ford to UMO after his keynote address at the College Sports Research Institute at the University of South Carolina. I was extremely impressed with his discussion, education, sports experience, connection to the audience, litigation experience, and legal acumen. We are delighted he has accepted our invitation to speak at UMO, and look forward to his presentation.”

The event is FREE and the public is invited to attend. For more information, contact Dr. Tony Franklin at

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University was founded by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists. For more information, visit