Announcing Project Powerplay!

The Center for the Advancement of Sport is excited to announce Project Powerplay, a unique initiative that combines the academic aspect of sports law with the real world experiential component of the sports industry. To that end, Center Director Nellie Drew and Special Counsel Gerry Meehan have been working with the Professional Hockey Players Association (PHPA) and several other sports alumni groups to create remote, entirely online one credit “stackable” courses which can be taken on a for credit or a non-credit basis for a certificate.  The PHPA represents the fifty-seven minor league hockey teams in the AHL and ECHL, with over 1600 current players. The PHPA is committed to providing opportunities to its Membership, through the Career Enhancement Program, that helps players prepare for the next phases of their lives. Similar post-play transition programs also exist in the NFL, the NBA and MLB.

     Ultimately, the Center envisions 12 courses available for a total of 12 credits, and students may elect at any point to transition to full-time status if they so choose.  (UB also has a generous transfer policy for those with existing college credit.)   These courses will leverage knowledge and skill sets athletes already have to facilitate their transition into (or back into) collegiate education on a completely remote, at-your-own-pace basis.   It is ideal for those who want to keep moving forward with their education, but have schedule constraints which make attending traditional, semester-based programs difficult.  


     We plan to roll out one course every few months, so that a student can “stack” or compile up to 12 credits before determining whether he would like to transition into a full-time program.   This program will be heavily focused upon real world scenarios and will explicitly explore career options in the sports industry.  We will be drawing upon guest speakers from multiple aspects of the sports and entertainment field.   The first, introductory course, LAW 205: The Law, Athletes & Sports Management, will begin on June 29th, and will be taught by Nellie Drew & Gerry Meehan. The fee for non-New York State residents is only $419.00, plus a $50 one-time UB enrollment fee.   (The fee for New York State residents is slightly less.)  


     Steve Carney, Director of the PHPA Career Enhancement Program stated: “This course is ideal for the PHPA Membership in that it explores many different aspects of the field in a flexible, self-directed format.” The course is open to all. Registration is available here: https://www.law.buffalo.edu/sports-center/new-summer-course.html Come join us this summer during the sports hiatus to explore potential career opportunities in the sports industry!

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Helen A. “Nellie” Drew is an expert in sports law, including professional and amateur sports issues ranging from NCAA compliance and Title IX matters to facility construction, discipline of professional athletes, collective bargaining and franchise issues. Drew formerly served as an officer and in-house counsel to the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League, after previously working as outside counsel to the Sabres and the NHL. Among her more interesting experiences were assisting former USSR superstar Alexander Mogilny in obtaining asylum status in the U.S. and working on multiple NHL expansions, including San Jose, Ottawa, Florida and Tampa Bay.
Drew teaches a variety of courses that incorporate topics such as drug testing in professional sports and professional player contract negotiation and arbitration. She is especially interested in the evolving research and litigation concerning concussions in both amateur and professional sports.

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