Vandy basketball

Birmingham-based law firm Burr & Forman has launched a specialized practice group focused on college athletes and their new endorsement opportunities.

The group of sports business attorneys includes two attorneys in Nashville: partner Alex Little and associate Zack Lawson.

In the wake of litigation, the NCAA earlier this year granted college athletes permission to earn money from their so-called name, image and likeness, opening the door to deals like Vanderbilt QB Ken Seals’ agreement with VandySports.com and Tennessee State University freshman basketball player Hercy Miller’s reported $2 million deal with Web Apps America.

In addition to the Nashville attorneys, the Burr NIL team includes attorneys with NCAA experience, including former University of Alabama football standout (and later compliance officer) Kermit Kendrick, who practices in Birmingham, and Chris Meyer, a Jackson, Mississippi, attorney who previously worked in Mississippi State University’s athletics department.

According to a release, the Burr lawyers have experience negotiating NFL player contracts and marketing deals, experience that they hope to use with college athletes.

“The ability to sign lucrative endorsement deals presents amazing opportunities for student athletes from both premiere sports programs and smaller, non-revenue earning programs,” Bill Lawrence, who leads the firm’s NIL team, said in the release. “Our attorneys provide legal assistance that helps structure business deals fairly to further the athlete’s financial, brand and personal goals — both now and for the future.”

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