Robert A. Boland

Of Counsel

With over 25 years of specialized experience, Robert is a dedicated attorney whose passion for sports shines through his work. His practice centers on collegiate and professional sports, including name, image, and likeness (NIL) matters, where he helps clients navigate the often-confusing web of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) rules and various state laws to earn compensation for the use of their personas in areas such as advertising and social media.

Robert is uniquely qualified to advise clients in this new NIL space and other emerging issues in the rapidly changing field of college athletics. Prior to joining Shumaker, he served as the Athletics Integrity Officer (a first-of-its-kind role where he worked to ensure that intercollegiate sports were conducted ethically and with integrity) at Penn State University, where he oversaw one of the nation’s largest athletic departments as it emerged from a period of crisis in integrity matters that included Title IX, employee issues, and investigations, along with the legalization of sports betting and NIL. He also held teaching appointments at Penn State Law and in its School of Labor and Employment Relations. Robert’s time in academia, which includes leading sports management and sports law programs at New York University and Ohio University, also led him to develop an NIL course that is currently being taught at the prestigious Boston College, as well as numerous publications in reputable journals such as Marquette Sports Law Review.

In his legal practice, Robert was an active player agent for over a decade and negotiated more than 100 player and endorsement agreements across a variety of sports. He also advised a range of teams and players as the Principal of Boland Sports Practice Group, LLC, where his former clients include franchise acquisition groups bidding for National Football League (NFL) teams such as the Buffalo Bills and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Robert also led an NFL head coaching search for the Cleveland Browns. In his consulting work, he led two college conference realignment reviews for a league and an institution. Sports teams across the nation have benefitted from Robert’s innovative legal insight.

Robert’s sports law expertise is also widely sought by a variety of media outlets. He has recently appeared on or been quoted by ABC, CNN, Sports Illustrated,, The Associated Press, USA Today, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal.

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