Sunday, December 4, 2011

In Memoriam: Robert "Bob" Berry

Very sad news last week in the sports law world, as former Boston College Law School sports law Professor Bob Berry passed away at 75.  Marquette University Law School sports law Professor Matt Mitten shares the following with our readers:
Sports Law Academic World Loses One of Its Heavy Hitters

Bob Berry, a retired Boston College emeritus professor of law who was an internationally recognized expert in sports law, died recently in Florida.  During his distinguished academic career, he taught sports law courses at several law schools, including Boston College, Ohio State, and Capital.  Bob authored or co-authored many sports law review articles and books, including Sports Law and Regulation: Cases, Materials, and Problems (with Matthew Mitten, Timothy Davis, and Rodney Smith).  He was well known for his extensive knowledge of sports law along with his kindness and his sense of humor.  Bob was a wonderful friend, mentor, and co-author, whom I was privileged to know.  All of us, especially his wife Carole and other members of his family, have suffered a great loss.

Bob is fondly remembered by his friends and fellow sports law professors:

His close friend Bill Gould, Charles A. Beardsley Professor of Law at Stanford and former Chair of the National Labor Relations Board: “I always thought of Bob as the dean of all academic sports lawyers. He developed the first Sports Law course at BC Law in 1972.  The world has lost a good, genuine-so genuine-smart guy who was very wise and compassionate. I never had a better or more loyal friend.”

Gary Roberts, Dean & Gerald L. Bepko Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis: “Bob was a really good guy who came to be a very good friend.  He truly was one of the founders, if not the founder, of our ‘sports law academic’ club.” 

Roger Abrams, Richardson Professor of Law, Northeastern University: “Bob certainly was in the Sports Law Hall of Fame and a really nice colleague to all of us.”

Barbara Osborne, Associate Professor, Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina: “My heart aches. As one of Bob's former students I know first-hand what an impact he had.”

Bob’s family has requested that any donations in his memory be made to the Jackie Robinson Foundation, 75 Varick Street, 2nd floor, New York, New York 10013.

Matt Mitten
Professor of Law and Director, National Sports Law Institute and
LL.M. in Sports Law Program for Foreign Lawyers
Marquette University Law School