Sunday, March 11, 2007
Posted by Jeff Lipshaw
If you have been marooned for the last twenty years or so on a desert isle, you might not know that the fate of the "bubble teams" (alas, Michigan, ours is burst once again) and the seedings for the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship - in my view, the most engaging sports event of the year because it is the most national - will be determined by a group of people (all men, but I'm not sure) holed up under tight security in the Westin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis, about five miles from where I sit typing this. A couple of days ago, I opened the Indianapolis Star (our local "newspaper") to find a full page ad taken out by Appalachian State University (located in Boone, North Carolina) making its case to that committee. Clearly a sign of the apocalypse.
The business section of the Star, obviously not wanting to be left out of the hoopla, today features an article headlined "The Sports Bar," focusing on those lawyers in Indianapolis involved in making it the nation's amateur sports capital. The NCAA's general counsel is Elsa Cole (previously the general counsel of the University of Michigan), and the president of USA Track & Field, Craig Masback, is a lawyer. But the article features my friend and Stanford classmate, Jack Swarbrick (above left), a partner at Baker & Daniels, and who is described as "a pioneer of sorts because of his role helping Indianapolis secure a position as one of the leading cities in the country for amateur sports."
There is also this about the new dean at the Indiana University School of Law - Indianapolis:
Indianapolis' growing reputation in sports law was just one of the pluses that drew Gary Roberts [above right] to accept a job as dean of the law school at [IUPUI], where he hopes to establish a center that studies legal and other aspects of sports.
I should note that the "powerhouse" referred to above can only, as far as I can tell, be Gabe Feldman (above left), sports law expert extraordinaire, who will remain at the sports law tiller in New Orleans.
Finally, one of the local luminaries of the bar is Melina Kennedy (right), former deputy mayor and candidate for Marion County Prosecutor (and now a partner at Baker & Daniels). Melina was a runner at Indiana University, and her husband is Bob Kennedy, generally considered the greatest 5,000-meter runner in the history of United States track and field. [UPDATE: Alan C. chides for not saying "male" - thus dissing Mary Decker.]