National Conference 2006

Medical and Legal Controversies in Athletics: Collegiate, Professional, Olympic and High School

Second Annual Institute for Sports Medicine and Sports Law
Joint CME/CLE/CEU Conference
Chicago, Illinois

December 7-8, 2006

The Institute for Sports Medicine and Sports Law, in coordination with the Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Medicine of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and assistance from the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University Law School present a national joint CME/CLE/CEU Sports Medicine/Sports Law Conference in Chicago on Thursday, December 7th through Friday, December 8th, at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Feinberg Pavilion Conference Center.

Acrobat icon Conference Brochure and Registration Material

Leading experts will discuss the most recent and important medical and legal topics facing team physicians, athletic directors, athletic trainers, players and institutions, professional, collegiate, high schools and other organizations including the United States Olympic Committee, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the National High School Federation.

The faculty will share their current views in panel discussions led by moderators challenging the experts with current topics and audience questions.

Course Topics

  • Elements of a Preparticipation Examination
  • Controversies Surrounding Cardiac Screening
  • Cardiac Eligibility—Impact of Bethesda Conference
  • Understanding Cardiac Dysrhythmias, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, & Sudden Death
  • Legal Issues Regarding Medical Eligibility
  • Dispensing Pharmaceuticals—Roles & Responsibilities
  • Eligibility & Return to Play Controversies
  • Cheerleading Injuries
  • Minimizing Athletic Risks and Liabilities
  • A “Sportspourri” of Perspectives/Trends
  • Handling Claims of Criminal Conduct

Conference Speakers and Panelists *

  • Stephen Adams, MD
  • Brian Anderson, ATC
  • John Black, JD
  • Robert Bonow, MD
  • Mark Bowen, MD
  • W. Buckley Briggs, JD
  • Robert Connors, JD
  • N.A. Mark Estes, III, MD
  • Laurel Fleming, JD
  • Gary Green, MD
  • Robb Jones, JD
  • Walter Jones, Jr., JD
  • David Klossner, PhD, ATC
  • Robert Lattinville, JD
  • Barry Maron, MD
  • Matthew Mitten, JD
  • Noreen Morris, MS
  • Karen Morrison, JD
  • Mark Murphy, JD
  • Robert Nickell, RPh
  • Gordon Nuber, MD
  • Mark O'Neal, ATC
  • Elliot Pellman, MD
  • Eric Quandt, JD
  • Rochel Rittgers, MS, ATC
  • John Ruger
  • Peter Rush, JD
  • Ed Ryan, ATC
  • Scott Sanderson
  • Michael Schafer, MD
  • Richard Sevcik, JD
  • Brenda Shields, MS
  • Mark Upton, MD

(* Subject To Change)



The Institute for Sports Medicine and Sports Law ( is an incorporated not-for-profit organization with a faculty advisory panel comprised of experienced professional and collegiate team physicians, professors in academic medicine, professors in sports law, and practicing attorneys, providing a unique interdisciplinary approach to current and complex medical and legal issues arising at the interface of sports medicine and sports law.



Medical and Legal Controversies in Athletics:
Collegiate, Professional, Olympic and High School

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December 7, 2006

8:00 - 8:30 am Registration and Coffee
8:30 - 8:45 am Welcome and Introduction

Stephen Adams, MD and Eric Quandt, JD Course Directors

8:45 - 9:15 am The Preparticipation Examination: An Overview
Stephen Adams, MD
  Cardiac Issues in Sports:
9:15 - 10:00 am Cardiac Screening:

The Bethesda Conference
Eligibility Issues

Sudden Death

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Commotio Cordis

Barry Maron, MD

Cardiac Issues in Sports (continued):

10:00 - 10:40 am Dysrhythmias and the Athlete

Heart Rhythm Disturbances and Performance Enhancing Drugs
Mark Estes III, MD

10:40 - 10:50 am Break (Coffee)
  The Law
10:50 - 11:15 am Legal Issues Regarding Medical Eligibility to Participate

Matt Mitten, JD

11:15 - 12:15 pm Panel Discussion

Moderator: Dr. Stephen Adams
Matt Mitten, JD, Barry Maron, MD, Mark Estes III, MD, and Mark Upton, MD

12:15 - 1:30 pm Lunch On Your Own
  The Pharmacy:
1:30 - 3:00 pm A Primer on Drugs and Drug Testing

Gary Green, MD

3:00 - 3:10 pm Coffee Break
3:10 - 3:45 pm Pharmaceuticals in the Athletic Training Room

Robert Nickell, RPh

3:45 - 4:15 pm The Athletic Trainer

Mark O’Neal, ATC and Rochel Rittgers, ATC

4:15 - 4:25 pm Coffee Break
4:25 - 5:30 pm

Panel Discussion

Moderator: Stephen Adams, MD

Gary Green MD, Robert Nickell, RPh, Matt Mitten, JD, Rochel Rittgers, ATC, Mark O’Neal, ATC, Ed Ryan, ATC, and David Klossner, PhD, ATC

5:30 - 6:30 pm Meet the Faculty (Cocktail Reception)



December 8, 2006

8:00 - 8:30 am Coffee
  Return to Play:
8:30 - 9:00 am Blunt Head Injury

Elliott Pellman, MD

9:00 - 9:30 am Cheerleading Injuries

Injuries, Liabilities, Reporting, Responsibility
Brenda Shields, MS

9:30 - 10:00 am Shoulder Injuries

Gordon Nuber, MD

10:00 - 10:15 am Coffee Break
10:15 - 10:45 am Knee Injuries

Mark Bowen, MD

10:45 - 11:15 am Spinal Cord Injuries and the Athlete

Michael Schafer, MD

11:15 - 12:15 pm Panel Discussion

Moderator: Stephen Adams, MD

Elliot Pellman, MD, Michael Schafer, MD, Gordon Nuber, MD, Mark Bowen, MD, Robert Bonow, MD and Brenda Shields, MS

12:15 - 1:30 pm Lunch On Your Own
  Proactive Minimization of Risks and Liabilities In Athletic Participation: Differing Perspectives:
1:30 - 1:50 pm Impact of Title IX

Karen Morrison JD, Noreen Morris, MS and John Black, JD

1:50 - 2:15 pm Overview of the Law

Eric Quandt, JD

2:15 - 3:15 pm Institutional/Organizational Perspectives:

Professional:                 Adolpho Birch
Intercollegiate/NCAA:  Mark Murphy, JD, David Klossner, PhD, ATC
High School:                  John Black, JD
USOC:                           John Ruger, Ed Ryan, ATC
Athlete:                           Peter Rush, JD Robert Lattinville, JD

3:15 - 3:30 pm Coffee Break
3:30 - 4:30 pm “Sportspourri” Panel Discussion

Moderators: Stephen Adams, MD and Matt Mitten, JD,

Mark Murphy, JD, David Klossner, PhD, ATC, John Black, JD, John Ruger, Ed Ryan, ATC, Peter Rush, JD, Robert Lattinville, JD, Eric Quandt, JD, Robb Jones, JD, Brian Anderson, ATC, Rochel Rittgers, ATC and Mark O’Neal, ATC

4:30 - 4:50 pm HIPAA and the Athlete

Laurel Fleming, JD

4:50 - 5:10 pm Claims of Criminal Conduct:

Walter Jones, Jr., JD

5:10 - 5:30 pm Protecting Sports-Related Intellectual Property:

Rick Sevcik, JD and Robert Connors, JD

5:30 pm Adjourn
  NOTE: Speakers and Topics Subject to Change.


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Stephen Adams, MD is a Professor of Medicine and Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and Chief of the Division of Sports Medicine in the Department of Medicine. He was awarded his Medical Degree from The Ohio State University and completed his postgraduate medical education in Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine at Northwestern University where he was Chief Resident. He is an Attending Physician at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and serves as the Medical Director of Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Services. He serves on the core faculty of the Masters in Sports Administration (MSA) program and teaches the Risk Management course. He is the Team Physician for the Chicago Cubs National League Baseball Club and is the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Committee of Major League Baseball in New York City.
Adolpho Birch Adolpho Birch currently serves as Counsel for Labor Relations for the National Football League, which is headquartered in New York, New York. In that capacity, his primary responsibility is the enforcement of the League’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which encompasses issues ranging from player grievances to salary cap disputes to the League’s policies on steroids and criminal misconduct.

Prior to joining the NFL, Mr. Birch was in private practice in Houston, Texas, initially with Fulbright & Jaworski’s Antitrust/Complex Litigation group and later with a boutique firm specializing in labor, insurance defense and municipal finance. Preceding his firm affiliations, he served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Thomas A. Wiseman, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Mr. Birch attended Vanderbilt University Law School as a Patricia Roberts Harris Scholar, serving on the Editorial Board of the Vanderbilt Law Review and earning his juris doctorate in 1991. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard University, where he graduated with honors in Government and was a member of the junior varsity lacrosse and basketball teams, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and several student organizations.

On a personal note, Mr. Birch was raised in Nashville and is actively involved in a
number of professional and philanthropic organizations.

John S. Black is the general counsel of the National Federation of High Schools. In addition, he is a partner in the Kansas City law firm of Shughart Thomson & Kilroy, where he practices in the areas of business and sports law. His work at STK involves the representation of a number of organizations involved with amateur and educationbased athletics.

Mr. Black earned his bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and his law degree from Duke University. He is admitted to practice law in various state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

He has served as President of The Missouri Bar, and as a member of the House of Delegates of The American Bar Association. At the request of Governor Mel Carnahan, he served on a “Blue-Ribbon Commission” to rework the Judicial Article of the Missouri State Constitution.

Mr. Black just completed two terms as President of the Missouri Bar Foundation and is currently President of the Missouri Press-Bar Commission. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Missouri Supreme Court Historical Society. On behalf of the Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, he has chaired the Education Law Committee and the Sports Law Committee.

Mr. Black organizes and chairs an annual seminar for state high school association lawyers. He regularly serves as a speaker and panelist at legal conferences and law school seminars.

Dr. Robert O. Bonow received his MD degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Dr. Bonow is the Goldberg Distinguished Professor at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Co-Director of the Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute. He is past-President of the American Heart Association. Dr. Bonow is recognized for his research and teaching in a variety of cardiac diseases, including coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, and heart failure.
Dr. Mark Bowen is a Board certified orthopaedic surgeon, concentrating on sports related and traumatic injuries to the knee and shoulder. His areas of special interest are arthroscopy, ACL Reconstruction, treatment of meniscal tears, rotator cuff injuries, total shoulder replacement, and total knee replacement.

Dr. Bowen graduated from Cornell University Medical College and completed his residency at The Hospital for Special Surgery. Subsequently, he completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine and Shoulder Reconstruction also at The Hospital for Special Surgery, during which time he was given the Philip D. Wilson Award for Outstanding Research.

He is an Associate Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and has received the James K. Stack Teaching Award in recognition of his academic and research activities. Dr. Bowen is a Team Physician for the Chicago Bears. He has also acted as team physician to the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Cubs, New York Giants, and the Big Ten Conference.

Dr. Bowen is the author of numerous publications on the topics of knee, shoulder, and elbow repair, and is a frequent instructor for the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Board of Medical Examiners.

He had been named by Woodward/White as one of the Best Doctors in America.

Dr. Estes is the Director of the N. E. Cardiac Arrhythmia Center at Tufts-New England Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Pennsylvania and medical degree from the University of Cincinnati. He trained in medicine at New England Deaconess Hospital, cardiology at New England Medical Center and clinical cardiac electrophysiology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He has served as the President of the Boston Board and Northeast Affiliate of the American Heart Association and is Chairman elect of the Council on Clinical Cardiology. He is President elect of the Heart Rhythm Society. His research interests are in prediction and prevention of sudden cardiac death and arrhythmias in athletes. He serves on the editorial board of seven journals and has multiple awards and honors. He has over 300 publications.
Laurel Flemming Laurel L. Fleming is Assistant General Counsel at Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation. The Foundation is a premier, multi-specialty physician organization comprised of more than 500 physicians and over 1000 health professionals and other staff, working together in more than 40 medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties. Foundation physicians are full-time faculty members or researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and are on the attending physician staff at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. As in-house counsel, Laurel advises on corporate, regulatory, and medical-legal issues, including medical record, health information, and federal and state law confidentiality issues; fraud and abuse; managed care; research and tax exemption. Laurel also handles managed care, intellectual property, and general business contracting. Recently, she has been integral in the development of a corporate compliance program at the Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation, Laurel practiced health care law at the law firm of Katten Muchin Rosenman, joining the firm in 1988 as an associate with promotion to partner in 1996.

Laurel is a member of the American Health Lawyers Association, American Bar Association, Illinois State Bar Association, and the Illinois Association of Healthcare Attorneys. As a young lawyer, Laurel was active in the Chicago Bar Association, serving as Co-Chair of the Health and Hospital Law Committee of the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association. She also served as a director of Our Lady of Angels Retirement Home for several years. Laurel has presented and authored numerous articles on various health care issues, including co-editing the Managed Care Answer Book: Forms and Checklists and the State by State Guide to Managed Care Law. After receiving her B.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Laurel earned her law degree from the University of Chicago in 1988.

Gary Green, MD completed his medical degree at Hahnemann University in Philadelphia and is currently in private practice in Pacific Palisades, California. In addition to his practice, Dr. Green is also the Team Physician for Pepperdine University, the US National Soccer Team and is the consultant to Major League Baseball on Anabolic Steroids and Performance-enhancing drugs.
Robb Jones is the senior vice president and general counsel for claims management and risk research at United Educators (UE) Insurance Risk Retention Group, where he is responsible for liability claims management for more than 1,200 colleges, universities, and K-12 schools. He also manages UE’s group of professionals who perform research and offer technical advice on risk management. He has been at United Educators since 1997.

From 1994-97 Jones was director of the Judicial Education Division of the Federal Judicial Center, where he developed and managed training and continuing legal education programs for federal judges. From 1991-94 he served as chief of staff to Chief Justice William Rehnquist at the U.S. Supreme Court. Before that time he was a litigation partner in the Washington office of Nixon Hargrave Devans & Doyle (now Nixon Peabody), where he concentrated on education, employment, and media litigation.

Jones received his undergraduate degree from Grove City College and graduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia.

Walter Jones Walter Jones Jr., JD is Vice-President and a Partner in Pugh, Jones, Johnson & Quandt, P.C.’s Litigation Practice Group. Mr. Jones has tried over 100 jury trials and has argued more than 30 civil and criminal appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Illinois Supreme Court. His civil experience in both federal and state courts includes cases related to RICO, constitutionality of municipal ordinances, fraud, patent, products liability, employment and personal injury, as well as general commercial cases. Mr. Jones also has extensive experience defending white collar criminal cases in both federal and state courts.
David Klossner Dr. Klossner holds the title Associate Director of Education Services at the National Collegiate Athletic Association with primary duties focused on the health and safety aspects of the Association. He also serves as a liaison to the Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.

Prior to joining the NCAA, David held positions of assistant professor of kinesiology at DePauw University and the University of South Florida, with administrative duties as program director for athletic training education. He graduated with a bachelor of science and a master of science in kinesiology from Indiana University, Bloomington prior to completing his doctorate in philosophy from Ohio University

Bob Lattinville is Chairman of the Sports Law Practice Group at Stinson Morrison Hecker. His practice includes representing professional, amateur and Olympic athletes, sporting goods manufacturers and sports governing bodies. He also represents coaches and universities in contract and NCAA matters, as well as sportscasters in their broadcast contracts. Bob serves as counsel to several sports entities, including the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company and the St. Louis Sports Commission. He has taught sports law for over a decade at three accredited law schools: Washington University, University of Missouri-Columbia and Saint Louis University. A frequently quoted authority on sports law, Bob has authored several publications and is a regular media guest addressing the law and business of sports. He received his J.D. from Indiana University, a M.B.A. from St. Louis University and a B.S. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Bob is listed in Best Lawyers in America for Sports Law.
Dr. Barry J. Maron is Director of the Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy Center of the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation. He was formerly Senior Investigator at the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for over 20 years and has published more than 650 papers concerning diagnosis, natural history and management of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as well as expression of athlete’s heart and its diagnostic distinction from primary cardiomyopathies, the causes of sudden death in sports and other risks of the athletic field, and scientific and ethical issues related to preparticipation screening and criteria for disqualification from sports competition. Dr. Maron was chair of the three American College of Cardiology Bethesda Conferences (#16, #26, #36) concerning recommendations for determining eligibility for competition in athletes with cardiovascular abnormalities, as well as chairman of the American Heart Association position papers constructing guidelines for athlete screening and also recreational sports participation for young patients with genetic cardiovascular diseases.
Since August 1999 Professor Mitten has served as the Director of the National Sports Law Institute at Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. From July 2002 to June 2004, he served as the Law School’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He currently teaches courses in Amateur Sports Law and Professional Sports Law and also has taught Antitrust Law, Torts, Comparative Sports Law, International Sports Law, Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and a Sports Law seminar. Professor Mitten earned a B.A. in Economics from The Ohio State University and his JD, magna cum laude, from the University of Toledo College of Law. He taught at South Texas College of Law in Houston from 1990-1999 and has been a visiting professor at the University of Toledo College of Law as well as a visiting lecturer in sports medicine at The University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine. Matt is a Senior Fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School in Australia and is a member of the International Advisory Board for its Graduate Diploma in Sports Law program, and he has also taught sports law courses at the University of Barcelona and the University of Queensland.
Noreen Morris Noreen Morris, MS has been an Associate Athletics Director at Northwestern
University for the last two years, where she has oversight of five sport programs and
the compliance department, as well as serves as the liaison to the financial aid and
admissions offices. Prior to Northwestern, she served as an Associate Commissioner
of Governance and Compliance at Conference USA for eight years and as the
Compliance Coordinator at the University of Connecticut for five years. Noreen
earned her Bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, where she played on the women’s
soccer team for four years and her Master’s Degree in Sports Administration at the
University of Massachusetts.
Karen Morrison Karen Morrison was hired in September of 2006 as director of education services for the National Collegiate Athletic Association where she works on gender initiatives and student-athlete well-being. In that role, she is the national office primary contact on gender issues and Title IX. Before arriving at the NCAA in September 2006, she served first as a coach, then as associate athletics director and senior woman administrator (SWA) at the University of Colorado, Boulder, for 16 years. Morrison earned a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Notre Dame Law School; and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Oklahoma.

She is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics; National Association of Collegiate Women’s Athletics Administrators; Women’s Sports Foundation; and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

Mark H. Murphy was named the 20th director of intercollegiate athletics and recreation at Northwestern University in June 2003. Northwestern’s 19 sport program has enjoyed unprecedented success during his tenure-winning five NCAA championships, seven conference team championships and 21 individual Big Ten titles in the last three years. Northwestern is also annually among the NCAA leaders in the graduation rate of its student athletes. Prior to coming to Northwestern, Murphy served as the athletic director at Colgate University, his alma mater, for 11 years. Murphy was a safety for Washington from 1977 to 1985, co-captain of the team from 1980 to 1985, co-captain of two Super Bowl teams and a first-team Pro Bowl player in 1983. When he completed his playing career, he served as assistant executive director of the National Football League Players Association.

After receiving his law degree from Georgetown, Murphy was a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice. He also served as a radio commentator for NPR for 10 years, analyzing football games and commenting on other sports issues.

Robert Nickell Robert Nickell is a compounding pharmacist, research scientist, chemist, and inventor of many patent pending compounded formulations that are being sold in the marketplace today. He is the founder of Living Well Inc., the parent company for HNP Pharmaceuticals and SportPharm Pharmaceuticals — developers of an unprecedented medication-delivery and record-keeping system serving collegiate and professional sports organizations nationwide. He currently serves as President and CEO of both subsidiary companies.

Some of Mr. Nickell’s accomplishments over the past 10 years include:

  • Recipient of the 2006 Far West Athletic Trainers Association “Service Award”.
  • Named California Pharmacist of the Year (2000), and California Innovative Pharmacist of the Year (2005).
  • Selected as the first pharmacist to represent the United States Olympics as the team pharmacist for the summer games in Athens 2004.
  • The first pharmacist to hold honorary membership in the National Athletic Trainers Association.
  • President of the California Pharmacist Association (1996).
Dr. Gordon Nuber is a Board certified orthopaedic surgeon, concentrating on sports related and traumatic injuries to the knee, shoulder, and elbow. His areas of special interest are arthroscopy, ACL reconstruction, treatment of meniscal tears, rotator cuff injuries and total shoulder replacement.

Dr. Nuber graduated from the Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed his residency at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine. Additionally, he completed a fellowship in Sports Medicine at the National Athletic Health Institute in California.

He is a Professor of Clinical Orthopaedic Surgery at Northwestern and has received the James K. Stack Teaching Award in recognition of his academic and research activities. He serves as an examiner for the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgeons Dr. Nuber is a Team Physician for the Chicago Bears. He has also acted as team physician to the Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Cubs, and Big Ten Conference and has been a consultant to Bally’s Corporation.

Dr. Nuber has authored over 85 publications on the topics related to the sports injuries of the shoulder, knee and elbow, and acts as a reviewer for the American Journal of Sports Medicine and the Journal of the Shoulder and Elbow. He had been named by Woodward/White, the Castle Connelly Guide,, and Chicago Magazine as one of America’s leading physicians.

Mark O’Neal, ATC completed his education at the University of Arkansas and is currently the Head Athletic Trainer for the Chicago Cubs National Baseball League Club. Prior to his career with the Cubs, Mr. O’Neal spent a number of years working with the St. Louis Cardinals as the Medical and Rehabilitation Coordinator and later as the Assistant Athletic Trainer.
Elliot J. Pellman, MD is an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine/Rheumatology and Associate Clinical Professor of Orthopaedics at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Dr. Pellman is the Medical Advisor for Major League Baseball, the Medical Advisor for the National Football League, the Chairman of the Medical Department of the NY Jets Football Club, the Medical Director of the NY Islanders Hockey Club and the Medical Director of ProHEALTH Care Associates in Lake Success, New York. He is recognized for his research, publications and teaching of Sports Medicine and particularly sports related mild traumatic brain injury.
Eric Quandt, JD earned his JD degree from the University of Wisconsin and is currently a partner in the firm of Pugh, Jones, Johnson & Quandt, P.C. in Chicago, Illinois. Mr. Quandt specializes in litigation and has tried cases involving products liability, pharmaceutical, medical malpractice, medical device, asbestos and personal injury litigation in various state and federal courts throughout the country. He has represented team physicians, athletic directors, athletic trainers and institutions in sports-related litigation.
Rochel Rittgers completed her Master’s Degree in physical education from the University of Northern Iowa. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physical Education at Augustana University. She has recently completed a 6-year assignment with the NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports. Ms. Rittgers has also had significant involvement with NATA’s Appropriate Medical Coverage for Intercollegiate Athletics Force.
John Ruger received his European Masters Degree in Sports Organization Management from the University of Claude Bernard in Lyon, France. He is a former Olympic biathlon athlete and has participated in nine Summer and Winter games as an athlete, coach and administrator. Mr. Ruger is currently the Athlete Ombudsman for the United States Olympic Committee, through which he provides independent advice to athletes about the provisions of various Olympic competition groups, mediates disputes and is integral in the development and implementation of USOC policy that continues to secure the rights and best interests of athletes.
Peter Rush, JD completed his studies in law at Duke University Law School and is currently a member of the Litigation Department of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd, LLC, Chicago, IL. While versed in various aspects of commercial litigation, Mr. Rush is predominately known for his work in sports law litigation. Specifically, Mr. Rush has represented universities, high schools, coaches, student-athletes and Olympic athletes in matters pertaining to eligibility, transfers, contract liability and classifications.
Michael F. Schafer, MD has served as Ryerson Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine since 1980. Dr. Schafer is a lifetime diplomat of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery and serves as a mentor in the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeon’s Leadership Fellows Program. He has presented numerous AAOS courses and guest lectures over the course of his career. Dr. Schafer has been listed in both the Best Doctors in America and Chicago Magazine’s Best Doctors in Chicago every year since 1993.

Over the last 25 years, Dr. Schafer has made significant contributions to sports medicine both as a physician and as a policy advocate. His accomplishments include serving as Orthopaedic Consultant for the Chicago Cubs since 1980, team physician for the Chicago Bears from 1990 to 2001, and serving on the Major League Baseball Medical Advisory Committee since 2004. He sits on several committees and advisory boards and serves as a board member or peer reviewer for journals such as Spine and the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

Richard L. Sevcik, a member of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd LLC, concentrates his practice in exempt organizations and health care. He has extensive experience in the representation of health care delivery systems, particularly in the areas of physician recruitment and integration, mergers and acquisitions and the restructuring of health care systems. Mr. Sevcik has represented a number of health care institutions in the private placement of securities and the various regulatory schemes applicable to such transactions.

He received his Bachelor of Arts with highest distinction from the University of Iowa, with honors in both political science and economics, and his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago Law School.

  Brenda Shields is a Research Coordinator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy, Columbus Children’s Research Institute, Columbus, Ohio. She obtained her bachelor’s degree from Penn State University and her master’s degree from The Ohio State University. Brenda spent the first 10 years of her career teaching biology and chemistry to undergraduates, teaching computer programming and laboratory methods to pharmacy graduate students, performing research on how drugs behave in the body, testing newly developed drugs in animals and humans, and developing new drug assays to measure concentrations of drugs in human and animal blood and urine. The past 14 years of her career have been spent teaching computer programming and research methodology to medical students and post-doctoral fellows in emergency medicine, as well as conducting research in emergency medicine and injury prevention. She has been the principal investigator on numerous research projects assessing children’s cognitive level of development and relating it to their ability to use various types of pain-rating scales, as well as to their ability to provide accurate descriptions of injury events to healthcare providers. Currently, she is the principal investigator for Cheerleading RIO, the first-ever online reporting system for cheerleading-related injuries. Brenda has also completed many additional courses in nursing, computer programming, and statistical analyses. Of all the things she has done, she loves creating computer databases and analyzing data the most.
Mark Upton, MD completed his medical education at McGill University in Canada. Dr. Upton currently specializes in Cardiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, with interests specifically in the areas of Arrhythmias, Cardiomyopathy, Congestive Heart Failure, Coronary Artery Disease and Hypertension.
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