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Volume 23 No. 14
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Prince, Pederson join law firm

The industry veterans will help Barnes & Thornburg launch a college and pro sports specialty practice.

A prominent Indiana-based law firm is bringing on two industry veterans, Skip Prince and former Nebraska and Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson, to start a college and professional athletics practice.


Barnes & Thornburg, a national firm in 15 U.S. cities, has worked in higher education, entertainment, media and sports, but Prince and Pederson will make college athletics a point of focus in this new vertical.

“The number of AD meetings you have without counsel sitting next to you are becoming fewer and fewer,” Pederson said. “There are many times when you need a high-powered law firm behind you.”

Pederson spent nearly 20 years as an AD at Pitt and Nebraska, providing him experience with everything from conference realignment to facility development and ticketing.

Prince has touched many aspects of college and pro sports. He was an adviser to former Texas president Bill Powers, served as commissioner of the U.S. Hockey League and worked in multiple roles at the NHL.

The areas within college athletics the firm will focus on include consulting on strategic planning, policy and procedure review, department operations and crisis management and avoidance.

“We’re in fast, competitive, changing times,” Pederson said. “It’s a good time for a university to have a different set of eyes, a different perspective.”

Prince added: “You always see law firms involved after something goes wrong. We’re certainly capable of addressing that, but we’d also like to be there before the fact when a university is addressing its strategic plan.”

Prince and Pederson will be based in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Roscoe Howard, managing director of the D.C. office, formerly served as a member of the NCAA Committee on Infractions.