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Released February 11, 2005


Hattiesburg- The University of Southern Mississippi School of Human Performance and Recreation will host the inaugural Southern Miss Sport Law Conference in Bennett Auditorium March 4.

Nationally recognized authorities in the areas of law and sport will share their expertise at this event. The conference has been approved by the Mississippi Bar Association for 6.5 hours of continuing legal education credit, including one hour of ethics. In addition, .7 continuing education units for educators, coaches, and other professionals have been applied for through Southern Miss Continuing Education and Distributed Learning.

The cost of attending the events is $195 for attorneys (pre-registration before February 25); on-site registration for attorneys will be $225. Registration (including CEU and non-CEU) for professionals will be $145 and $172 for students receiving course credit. Students not receiving course credit may attend free of charge. Registration forms may be mailed to The University of Southern Mississippi, School of Human Performance and Recreation, 118 College Drive #5142, Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001. For special conference rates, lodging will be provided by Inn on the Hill. Call (601) 599-2001 for reservations.

Speakers for the conference include the following:

William Saum is the NCAA's director of agent, gambling and amateurism activities, a position he has held since November 1998. For two years prior to his promotion to director, he was the NCAA's representative for agent and gambling issues. Saum was an NCAA enforcement representative from April 1988 to September 1996, investigating possible rules violations by member institutions.

Saum graduated from Memorial High School in St. Mary's, Ohio in 1977 and earned an undergraduate degree in education from the University of Dayton in 1981. He earned his master's degree in sport administration from Bowling Green State University.

Before joining the NCAA, Saum was an assistant football coach and assistant dean of students at Defiance College in Defiance, Ohio; assistant football coach and educator at Rittman High School in Rittman, Ohio; assistant football coach and head track coach at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio; and graduate assistant football coach at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.

Robert A. Ratliff is a National Football League Players' Association certified contract adviser and president of the Mobile, Ala.-based Gulf Coast Sports Management. He currently maintains a national federal appellate practice as a partner in the firm of Shields, Ratliff, Green and Kern, P.C.

Dr. Reginald F. Overton is currently sport management program director and associate professor at Virginia State University. In addition, Overton serves a dual appointment as assistant athletic director at Virginia State University. He has presented more than 30 sport industry presentations nationally and internationally and is the author of more than 17 sports articles and two books.

Coach A. R. "Bud" Ratliff has worked as an NFL scout for National Football Scouting Inc. He was responsible for scouting all players in the Southeast and reported to 18 different NFL teams. Since leaving scouting, he has served as executive director of the GMAC Bowl.

Coach Ronnie Cottrell has been considered one of the top recruiting coordinators in the country after successful tenures at Florida State (1990-1997) and Alabama (1997-2000). His recruiting classes were continually rated among the nation's elite and included two seasons in which he signed the USA Today's offensive and defensive players of the year.

Toby Jeffreys has current ownership in two minor league sports teams, an athletic holding company, and a baseball and softball instructional facility. He also oversees the Gwinnett Gladiators, an ECHL professional hockey team, as managing partner, chairman, and governor.

Mike Grace, founder of the College Football Radio Network, oversees one of only three entities in the country currently producing and syndicating a full regular-season schedule of live major college football play-by-play for radio.

Adam Kilgore serves as general counsel for the Mississippi Bar Association. His sport background includes attending the Sportscasters Camp of America in 1998 and providing radio play-by-play and color commentary for Clinton High School and Hillcrest Academy in 1989. In 1990, he also served as a fan co-host for the nationally syndicated radio show Sports Byline USA in San Francisco, where he interviewed boxer George Foreman.

For more information on the Sport Law Conference, contact the Southern Miss School of Human Performance and Recreation at (601) 266-5386.


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April 6, 2005 11:33 AM