LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The NFCA Board of Directors and Interim Executive Director Carol Bruggeman are pleased to announce a new benefit in which members can seek legal assistance through the Association’s hiring of lawyer Samantha Ekstrand, who will serve as the NFCA’s legal counsel for 2016.
"I am thrilled to be able to serve the NFCA members in a legal and advisory capacity,” said Ekstrand. “College and youth athletics have changed, and coaches are now facing many different issues beyond how to win games. I am here to be a resource for NFCA coaches, to answer questions and to help navigate situations - big or small. In my work, I have found that coaches appreciate having someone advising them who has experience in both law and athletics, who they can trust and who is looking out for their best interest."
Membership dues will increase to offset the cost of Ekstrand’s services, starting on March 1. However, should a membership be renewed prior to March 1 it will fall under the current membership prices. Click HERE to see new membership prices.
Ekstrand will lend her legal services in a variety of ways and can be contacted through email, office phone or cell phone to set up an appointment. Please identify yourself as an NFCA member when you call or write. Ekstrand understands that often coaches face time-sensitive situations – if your issue or question is urgent, be sure to mention that in your call or email and she will respond promptly. Confidentiality and attorney-client privilege are strictly maintained.
Benefits (To contact Ekstrand, you must log in as a member and click on the Legal Services link.)
- Contract review and negotiation strategy
- Crisis avoidance and crisis management
- Preparation for meetings that could affect employment
- Advising coaches through investigations (involving team, player and/or coach), including but not limited to Title IX investigations
- Answering questions or issues that could affect employment
- Advising on how to handle team or player issues that could affect the viability of your program
- Separation agreement negotiation and review
- Education as to proactive measures to minimize risk and maximize job performance
- Serving at the pleasure of the NFCA Board of Directors and staff in fulfilling the mission of the NFCA
If litigation in that state or district has commenced or is advisable, Ekstrand will help to find local counsel and will continue to serve as a source of support and advice for that coach.
Open office hours will be held at the 2016 Convention for NFCA members to make appointments with Samantha.
"We are thrilled to offer legal advisory services as a new benefit to our NFCA members,” said Bruggeman. “In recent years, assistance in legal services has been the No. 1 request from our members, especially at the collegiate level. The NFCA prides itself on offering coaches relevant tools necessary for success. Offering legal advisory services provides another quality tool for our members. Samantha Ekstrand is passionate, knowledgeable, and accessible. We truly hit a home run in bringing Samantha on board."
Testimonial from a member coach
"From the initial phone call with Samantha, she became invested in me and my situation. She listened, advised me, advocated for me, and gave me options in moving forward with my case. Most importantly, Samantha was available at all times for any questions and concerns I had during the process. She assisted me in negotiating the final terms of my agreement and continues to keep in touch. Samantha represented me and in the end protected me and provided a safe place to allow me to confide in her, during a very difficult situation. I know she will be an advocate for all of our members. She will be a very valuable member of our NFCA team."
About Samantha Ekstrand
Ekstrand co-founded Ekstrand & Ekstrand in 2002. Her primary practice area focuses on working with college coaches on issues affecting their employment and the viability and reputation of their programs. She also oversees the management of the law firm, evaluates prospective cases, advises on case litigation, mediation and negotiation strategy, drafts and reviews contracts and prepares simple wills and trusts. She received her J.D. from Duke Law School, and received an M.A. in History from Duke University. While at Duke, Samantha worked as a staff editor for the Duke Law Journal, and served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Duke University Women’s Lacrosse Team—a position she held for seven years. Ekstrand earned her B.A. in History and Government cum laude from Dartmouth College. As a college lacrosse player, Samantha earned Academic All-American Honors.
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