Case Western Reserve University School of Law MOOC offers insight into representing professional athletes

Experts provide inside look at business and legal issues of sports

News Release: Thursday, August 21, 2014

CLEVELAND—Sports executive Peter Carfagna, Distinguished Visiting Practitioner at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, will offer insight into the complex business and legal world of professional athletes in a free, six-week online course.

Registrations are already being accepted for “Representing the Professional Athlete,” a massive open online course, or MOOC, offered on the Coursera platform. The course begins Sept. 16. To register, go to the “Join for Free” tab at the Coursera online page for the course.

Carfagna is chairman and chief executive officer of Magis LLC, a privately owned sports marketing, management and investment firm, and chairman and secretary-treasurer of the family-owned Lake County Captains—the Cleveland Indians' minor league baseball affiliate in the Midwest League.

Previously, Carfagna was chief legal officer and general counsel of International Management Group (IMG) and senior partner at Jones Day LLP. He is executive in residence at Cleveland Marshall College of Law, and he has been a Visiting Lecturer on Sports Law at Harvard Law School 2006-present.

Based on his book, Representing the Professional Athlete (West Academic Casebook), Carfagna describes the course as “a virtual reality trip” of what it's really like to manage an athlete. The course offers students a taste of his full-semester course at Case Western Reserve law school.

The MOOC features interviews with the primary financial advisor of NFL quarterbacks and brothers Eli and Peyton Manning, and introduces students to a pro athlete in the early stages of his career—Clint Frazier, the Cleveland Indians’ first-round draft choice in 2013.

The online course delves into widely reported sports issues, including superstar LeBron James' recent return to the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

Each weekly session lasts 75 to 90 minutes. Videos include lectures, guest interviews and play acting of hypothetical situations. Each week, students will be asked to complete a multiple choice quiz and participate in a course forum.

The topics are:

Week One: NCAA amateurism and eligibility
Week Two: Introduction to agents and the three U.S. major leagues’ collective bargaining agreements
Week Three: Early stages of professionalism and selecting an agency
Week Four: Representing the peak professional athlete
Week Five: Income protection and life after retirement
Week Six: Life cycle of tennis and golf pros, the longest career trajectory in sports