Donald Jackson is the Principal and founder of The Sports Group, a boutique sports law practice. Since the Group’s founding, Jackson’s involvement in sports has been extensive. Since 1992, Jackson has represented draft picks in the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and Canadian Football League. Further, he has represented several Olympians, FIFA World Cup participants, and a former 200-meter World Champion. In 1992, he negotiated a contract with the Atlanta Hawks to stage a National Basketball Association preseason basketball game between the Hawks and Los Angeles Clippers in Montgomery, Alabama; Jackson served as Promoter for the game. He has counseled numerous professional athletes, scouts, and coaches in legal matters and has represented athletes in five major professional sports in legal matters, administrative actions, and disciplinary proceedings. This included an appearance in front of FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber (Zurich, Switzerland) where he represented a Honduran soccer star in a contract dispute with a Chinese Super League team. One of Jackson’s clients, a former Women’s United Soccer Association star and member of the Canadian National Team, was the first American professional athlete to be suspended from game competition for wearing an improper sponsor’s logo on team premises. The contract underlying the dispute, an endorsement agreement with supplement company MET-Rx, was negotiated by Jackson.
His Amateur and Collegiate Practice has included appearances before the National Collegiate Athletic Association Committee on Infractions, Infractions Appeals Committee, Student-Athlete Reinstatement, and various other committees on behalf of coaches, student-athletes, and member institutions. Further, he has represented high school and amateur student-athletes from around the country in dozens of eligibility and disciplinary matters. He has advised numerous student-athletes and NCAA member institutions on issues relating to academic and amateurism certification, has counseled several dozen Parade and McDonald’s All American enrollees on issues relating to their initial eligibility certification, and has advised international student-athletes in a number of sports on various eligibility matters.
Jackson, a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, is a former collegiate pitcher and the author of Fourth Down and Twenty-five Years to Go: The African American Athlete and the Justice System (2007). He is called upon quite frequently by the national sports media and has appeared as an expert commentator on sports law issues on ESPN, ESPN Radio, and MSNBC, among others. He is frequently consulted by the national media on similar issues and has been quoted extensively in The New York Times, ESPN Magazine, the New York Post, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Louisville Courier-Journal, Huffington Post, National Public Radio, and the Los Angeles Times, among others. Jackson has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Sports Law at the Cumberland School of Law since 2012.
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