POSTED: Monday January 31st 2011

Response to NCAA Investigations of USC and Michigan: Michael L. Buckner Law Firm's Launches Athletics Operational Review Service

Michael L. Buckner Law Firm now offers new services

The Buckner Law Firm introduces its "Building a More Resourceful Firm" initiative with a new service designed to assist clients with identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to intercollegiate athletics programs.

Pompano Beach, FL, January 31, 2011—(Sports Features Communication)—Recent NCAA investigations at the University of Michigan, the University of Southern California and other BCS schools could have been avoided through a proactive, comprehensive and objective evaluation of the athletics program. In response, the Michael L. Buckner Law Firm today unveils its 2011 initiative, "Building a More Resourceful Firm", with the launch of the athletics department operational review service. The operational review service is the firm's first new offering under the initiative. An operational review will assist NCAA member institutions with evaluating athletics departments' operations and processes. The service also can be adapted to provide schools with a feasibility study when new sports or conference memberships are considered. The new service will be delivered by a two-person team consisting of shareholder Michael L. Buckner (an attorney, private investigator and former independent consultant for the NCAA) and independent consultant Dr. Robert P. Mathner (an assistant professor at Troy University and a former athletics administrator at the University of Central Florida, Syracuse University and the University of Montana).

An athletics department operational review is available to assist university administrators with evaluating an athletics department's operations and processes. In particular, an operational review is a top-down evaluation of an institution's intercollegiate athletics program using the following key components to assess strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats:

• Governance and organization
• Academic support
• Student-athlete well-being
• Competitive success
• Program development
• Personnel
• Facilities and event-management
• Fiscal responsibility and the business office
• NCAA rules-compliance
• Legal compliance and risk-management
• Development and public relations (fundraising, development, alumni (university and athletics) relations, marketing, public-relations and community outreach)
• Miscellaneous operations (equipment, strength and conditioning, merchandising, medical services/athletics training and ticket office)
• Gender-equity
• Diversity issues.

The operational reviews consist of four phases:

• Pre-visit assessment (which includes a questionnaire, a request for documents and the scheduling/coordination of the campus visit)
• Online survey (which is administered through a secure website)
• Four-day campus visit (which includes interviews of representatives from campus offices and key constituencies, a student-athlete group discussion, document review, tour of athletics facilities and the president's exit meeting)
• Post-visit assessment (which includes the report preparation and submission).

The firm will use carefully-crafted benchmarks to highlight strengths, as well as to outline strategies to create efficiencies and maximize resources.

Mr. Buckner, a licensed attorney and private investigator, advises organizations on compliance, investigation, ethics, training and management enhancement issues. Mr. Buckner, as an independent consultant for the NCAA (2006-07), conducted on-site investigative audits of non-traditional and prep schools in the United States and Puerto Rico. Mr. Buckner is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and all federal and state courts in Florida. Mr. Buckner earned his Bachelor's degree in international relations and social sciences and communication from the University of Southern California and a law degree from Florida State University.

Dr. Mathner, an independent consultant with the Buckner Law Firm, is an assistant professor in the sport and fitness management program at Troy University. Previously, Dr. Mathner served as an assistant athletics director at the University of Central Florida and the director of athletic compliance at Syracuse University. He came to Syracuse in 1999 after serving as the interim associate athletics director and compliance coordinator at the University of Montana. Dr. Mathner also worked in the Florida State University's compliance office for two years. He is a 1987 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, where he received a Bachelor's degree in business administration. Dr. Mathner earned his Master's degree in sports administration from the University of Florida in 1990. In 1996, he was awarded a doctorate from Florida State University in physical education with a specialization in sports management.

The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm assists organizations with addressing allegations of non-compliance with regulations, ethical misconduct and academic-fraud, as well as providing solutions to professional development needs. The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm also provides legal advice to clients in the areas of compliance, ethics, due-diligence, governance, leadership & teamwork, internal investigations, professional-development and college sports law. The Michael L. Buckner Law Firm website and resource center can be located at:

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Keywords · Michael Buckner Law · NCAA · college sports · football · athletics

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Organization: Buckner Sports Law Firm
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