FeganScott is proud to announce that Elizabeth Fegan, founding partner of the firm, has been named to The National Law Journal’s 2022 list of Sports/Gaming/Entertainment Law Trailblazers. Beth has been recognized for her work in serving as a powerful advocate for student athletes, forcing positive change to ensure their safety and wellbeing. To read the full profile, click here.
What was the genesis of the idea/path that has made you a trailblazer?
Earlier in my career, I played a leading role in the creation of a $75 million medical monitoring fund for NCAA student athletes who suffered concussions or the accumulation of sub-concussive hits, and in the implementation of the NCAA’s updated return-to-play rules post-concussion, which have undoubtedly saved student athletes from more serious cognitive injuries, perhaps death. These contributions introduced me to the lack of protections for athletes even where sport governance organizations exist.
What sort of change has resulted from the concept?
A good example of my work is our fight for University of San Francisco (USF) baseball players who allege their coaches created an intolerable sexualized environment for more than 22 years. We allege that USF knew about the coaches’ misconduct and did nothing to stop it, and that the NCAA’s failure to prohibit sexual abuse – or sexual relationships between coaches and students – facilitated the conduct.
In this case, and other similar cases in which we lead, our goal is to fight for the safety and wellbeing of student athletes, who we believe are often exploited for their talent. We seek to hold those who abuse or discriminate accountable for their actions. But just as importantly, we fight for change within the schools and governing organizations that have the duty to ensure the safety and wellbeing of student athletes.
What bearing will this have on the future?
Student athletes are no longer silent; they are making their voices heard – even while still in school, as the USF students did. We intend to be powerful, vocal advocates for them, forcing positive change.