Meet the Sports Law Team at CCHA

POST DATE: 5.30.24
Ccha  Sports Law

CCHA’s Sports Law Group is proud to lead the industry in navigating sports law matters from compliance matters such as NCAA rules violations investigations NCAA waivers or sports wagering issues to Title IX athletic gender-equity reviews and sex-based harassment investigations to reviewing NIL contracts and developing NIL policies to collective bargaining, athletes as employees, revenue sharing and the next legal issue impacting college athletics departments.

Our team’s breadth and depth of experience provide clients with counsel to adeptly guide them through any process. Our team’s multi-faceted experience allows us to be optimal problem-solvers for clients, using our vast network and competencies to provide efficient strategic advice. With college sports changing on a daily basis, we also provide guidance to clients on current and potential future legal issues.

We serve DI, DII, and DIII institutions, coaches, student-athletes and their families, organizations and companies, collectives, and NIL entities. Reach out to our team if we can help in any of your sports law matters.

CCHA sports law team photo


Title IX

CCHA Law’s Sports team offers clients access to a team of practicing attorneys and professionals across the country with more than 100 years of industry experience related to NCAA compliance, Title IX, campus investigations, and name image and likeness (NIL) matters.

Our Title IX work, specifically, encompasses:

  • Sex-based Harassment Investigations

  • Athletic Gender Equity Reviews

  • Title IX Training + Education


Our Sports Law Team aids clients in sports-related investigations including Title IX investigations, NCAA infractions investigations, and independent investigations.

Our investigative work includes:

Title IX investigations

  • Advise institutions in conducting sex-based harrassment investigations to ensure policy and legal compliance.

  • Investigate sex-based harassment allegations through conducting interviews, gathering relevant records, and drafting findings for a final report, consistent with institutional policies and procedures.

  • Adjudicating Title IX complaints and issuing conclusions as decision-makers or panelists.

NCAA Infractions investigations

  • Comprehensively investigate and analyze all facts and evidence under NCAA bylaws, policies, and guidelines for potential violations of NCAA rules.

  • Conduct and manage device imaging and analysis.

  • Prepare for and conduct NCAA interviews.

  • Navigate communication with enforcement staff and other counsel.

  • Coordinate institutional response to NCAA allegations.

  • Representation in front of the Committee of Infractions and the Infractions Appeals Committee.

Independent investigations

  • Investigate allegations of coach or student-athlete misconduct related to bullying, mental abuse, unhealthy environments, culture issues, etc.

  • Gather and review all relevant documents and applicable policies.

  • Prepare for and conduct necessary interviews.

  • Report, present, and/or train on findings and best practices.

Basketball player holding basketball


Our team is experienced in guiding clients through infractions, including:

  • NCAA Compliance

  • Student-Athlete Reinstatement

  • Requests

  • Waivers

  • NCAA Investigations + Case Processing

  • Periodic Compliance Reviews

  • Appeals and APP Penalty Reviews

  • Petitions and reports to the Committee on Infractions


  • Comprehensively investigate and analyze all facts and evidence under NCAA bylaws, policies, and guidelines.

  • Conduct and manage device imaging and analysis.

  • Prepare for and conduct NCAA interviews.

  • Navigate communication with enforcement staff and other counsel.

  • Coordinate institutional response to NCAA allegations through cooperative or contested processes.

  • Representation in front of the Committee of Infractions and the Infractions Appeals Committee, if necessary.

  • Assist with public relations.

Reinstatement and Waivers

  • Transfer Issues

  • Reinstatement requests (e.g. sports wagering)

  • Extension of eligibility waivers

  • Progress-toward degree waivers

  • Medical hardship waivers

  • Season of competition waivers

Assessments and Education

  • Conduct NCAA compliance reviews

  • NIL advising and assessments

  • Head coach responsibility

  • Institutional control

Meet the Sports Law Team

CCHA’s Sports Law team is positioned throughout the country to serve our clients, which span from coast to coast. Our team is comprised of individuals with experience in campus compliance, conference offices, NCAA national office, institutional general counsel, and regulatory agencies.

Kelleigh Irwin Fagan

Kelleigh Irwin Fagan

Kelleigh represents institutions and athletic conferences in a wide variety of issues unique to college athletics—NCAA compliance and infractions, Title IX, NIL, athletics investigations, and NCAA waiver and reinstatement matters. She advises colleges and conferences on the evolving collegiate sports model, related legal implications and risk management. She also represents student-athletes and coaches in NCAA infractions, waivers, and reinstatement cases. Her relationships across the industry allow for clients to benefit from efficient and effective representation.

Todd Shumaker

Todd Shumaker 1

Todd's practice focuses primarily on higher education and includes representing clients in NCAA regulatory matters such as waivers and infractions, as well as Title IX gender equity reviews and sexual harassment investigations. Todd also regularly presents on current trends in college sports including name, image and likeness; NCAA infractions procedures and Title IX processes and works with both secondary and post-secondary clients to develop education related to Title IX and athlete well-being.

James Nussbaum

James Nussbaum

James focuses his practice on sports and higher education law and helps institutional clients manage difficult matters involving students, faculty, and staff members. In his time as in-house counsel to a university, James was the primary athletics attorney system-wide and provided legal advice on matters such as Title IX, name, image, and likeness, and potential major NCAA infractions cases.

Molly Richman

Molly Richman

Molly is a partner at CCHA Law. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, and earned her Juris Doctorate from the Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis. From 2010 to 2015, Molly worked at the NCAA as an Assistant Director of Enforcement. While at the NCAA, Molly reviewed, processed and issued penalties for thousands of secondary (now Level III) enforcement cases. Molly then transferred to the Investigations and Processing sector of the Enforcement department where she investigated and processed major (now Level I and II) enforcement cases. Molly appeared before the Division I Committee on Infractions on multiple occasions and tried some of the most high profile and complicated cases in NCAA history. Molly’s case load also included cases at the Division II and III levels, which were resolved through the summary disposition process. Outside of her casework at the NCAA, Molly was a member of the Enforcement Working Group where she helped to develop and draft legislation for the new violation and penalty structure currently utilized by the Enforcement department.

Most recently, Molly was the Associate General Counsel at USA Football, where she oversaw all legal matters for USA Football events, including ensuring that all USAFB events and practices were in compliance with NCAA legislation. At USA Football, Molly also assisted in employment law matters, sponsorship negotiations and intellectual property issues.

Julie Roe Lach

Julie Roe Lach

Julie has been involved with college athletics for nearly 23 years. She worked at the NCAA for over 15 years, most recently serving as the Vice President of Enforcement from October 2010 to February 2013. During her time at the NCAA, Julie participated in over 100 NCAA infractions hearings and played a major role in re-shaping the Enforcement program’s approach to penalties through the NCAA Enforcement Working Group.

Julie currently leads the Horizon League, a Division I conference headquartered in Indianapolis, as Commissioner. She serves as Of Counsel with the CCHA law firm and is a Managing Principal of CCHA Collegiate Sports Consulting (CCHA Collegiate), a CCHA partner that in conjunction with CCHA’s Sports Law Practice Group services clients in various NCAA compliance matters and provides strategic advising and consultative services for institutions and conferences.

Julie is a former women’s basketball player at Millikin University, where she is a trustee emeritus after serving on the Board from 2001 – 2010. She obtained her Juris Doctor from the Indiana University McKinney School of Law and an honorary doctorate from Millikin University in 2012.

Paia Palombara

Paia La Palombara

Paia’s background in higher education provides her with a wealth of experience and expertise in assisting our clients. She has extensive experience working at a Power 5 University as well as the NCAA National Office. Her comprehensive expertise includes NCAA investigations, student-athlete eligibility matters, and NCAA compliance reviews. Paia is a former Vice Chair of the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee, a member of the NCAA Division I Board of Directors Infractions Process Committee and served on the NAAC Board of Directors.

Aaron Hernandez

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Aaron joins CCHA Law's Sports Law section, where he will lend his expertise in Title IX matters and NCAA compliance.

In addition to his role at CCHA Law, Aaron serves as the Assistant Dean and Executive Director of the Allan “Bud” Selig Sports Law and Business Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. Since 2019, Aaron has overseen the success of the Sports Law and Business Program, demonstrating exceptional leadership and dedication.

Prior to joining Arizona State, Aaron served as an Associate Director of Football on the enforcement staff at the NCAA, focusing on stakeholder engagement in Division I (FBS). During his time at the NCAA, Aaron served as the primary liaison to prestigious organizations such as the Big 12 Conference, American Athletic Conference, Under Armour, and the College Football Playoff. He conducted thorough investigations into potential NCAA rule violations, with a particular emphasis on matters involving Division I college football.

Connor Glass

Connor Glass

Connor’s primary practice involves NCAA compliance and infractions, Title IX gender equity reviews, and Title IX investigations often involving college athletics. Connor represents schools, coaches, and student-athletes in NCAA-related infractions cases. He also educates clients by providing updates regarding the evolving sports landscape and higher education.

Matt Banker

Matt Banker

Matt’s 20+ years of experience in college athletics and higher education includes managing high profile NCAA compliance, scholarship, NIL, transfer, amateurism, infractions, eligibility, and other NCAA matters affecting student-athletes, coaches, and athletic programs across all three NCAA Divisions. While at the University of Louisville, Matt led the University’s implementation of NIL policies, outreach, and strategy and also managed governance and compliance functions for 23 varsity sport programs.

Jane McGill

Jane Mc Gill

Jane is an NCAA Compliance Specialist. She came to CCHA Sports Law from the NCAA national office, where she worked as an associate director in the Eligibility Center, focusing on academic reviews and complex pre-enrollment eligibility matters. In her role on the academic review team, Jane consulted with member institutions and counsel, guiding them through the initial-eligibility waiver process from submission to appeal. 

Jane joined the NCAA as a postgraduate intern in Enforcement, where she assisted with the processing of both secondary and major infractions. Prior to moving to Indianapolis, she spent two years as an assistant coach at Division III Washington and Lee, gaining valuable campus experience. 

Jane completed her juris doctor at the University of Virginia School of Law, clerking for law firms in Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina. Before law school, she earned her bachelor of arts in English from Washington and Lee University, where she was a four-year student-athlete and senior captain on the field hockey team.

Kara Carlson

Kara Carlson

Kara Carlson is the Sports Law Practice Manager at CCHA Sports. She brings a wealth of experience from her previous role at the NCAA National Office, where she was an integral part of the Eligibility Center. At the NCAA, Kara contributed to several key teams, including the amateurism certification staff, the academic review team, and the outreach and strategic partnership team.

Before her tenure at the NCAA, Kara served as the Assistant Registrar for Athletics Eligibility at the University of Utah. In this role, she managed initial and transfer eligibility and oversaw APR compliance.

Kara holds a master's degree in Business Management from Indiana Wesleyan University and a bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Iowa.

We’re Your Advocate + Problem Solver

With seven locations throughout Indiana and team members around the country, we’re here to help you navigate the world of Sports Law. CCHA Law attorneys are here to be your advocates and more. With more than 140 years of excellent service and thoughtful solutions, contact us today for a legal partner you can trust.