Paia LaPalombara

F
317-572-16609
Julie Roe Lach
Chandler A. Lawson Flynn

Education

  • The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, J.D.
  • University of Pennsylvania, B.A., cum laude

Community Involvement

  • Penn's Program for Public Service (PPPS) Review Committee

Paia has a distinguished career marked by significant contributions to collegiate athletics, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise. She is a member of CCHA’s Sports Law and Higher Education sections and assists the firm’s clients in navigating the complex landscape of NCAA compliance and regulatory issues. 

Paia plays a crucial role in providing clients with strategic guidance, advocacy, and a deep understanding of the evolving challenges faced by college athletics and higher education. Her diverse skill set, cultivated through extensive experience at an NCAA Division I Power 5 university and the NCAA National Office, uniquely positions her to approach NCAA compliance and regulatory issues from multiple perspectives. 

Her national reputation in college athletics is emphasized by her roles as 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 service on the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC) Board of Directors.

Paia's professional journey includes leadership roles on several prominent NCAA committees, demonstrating her commitment to staying at the forefront of industry trends. She has a proven track record in managing public relations, open records requests, and media statements associated with NCAA infractions and institutional and student-athlete crises, aligning with state and NCAA policy. 

Her comprehensive expertise encompasses a wide range of areas, including: NCAA investigations, case processing, and infractions appeals, Student-athlete eligibility matters (reinstatement, amateurism, transfer and legislative relief waivers, academic eligibility, and limited immunity), Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) support (policy creation, collective and third-party support, risk management, contract review, and institutional best practices), Independent investigations (coach and staff conduct, hazing, sports wagering, Title IX sexual harassment and violence, substance abuse, and student-athlete welfare), NCAA compliance reviews, Program culture and risk assessments, Title IX gender equity reviews, and NCAA Policy on Campus Sexual Violence. 

Prior to joining CCHA, Paia served as the Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance at The Ohio State University. Her role involved overseeing the Department of Athletics’ investigatory function, managing a consistent caseload of investigations, and developing best practices that became templates for departments university-wide. Paia's specialization in Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) is highlighted by her business acumen and background in intellectual property. She played a pivotal role in guiding the NIL program at one of the largest athletic departments in the country, demonstrating creativity and direct communication to garner stakeholder support. Her elite student-athlete advocacy extends to the development of Ohio State’s first Elite Student-Athlete Program, offering tailored support for athletes with professional aspirations. 

Paia resides in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and their two children.