College Coaches Attorneys
- Case Results
- List of Schools
Here are some representative results we’ve achieved for our clients.
Female complainant’s rights, health, and safety protected throughout lengthy proceedings
Our client was sexually assaulted by a male student acquaintance. We became involved to support our client in getting proper medical treatment, preserving and collecting evidence and witness testimony, and securing therapeutic support. We helped her understand and navigate the many complex options available to her, including a criminal complaint, an informal complaint process, a formal complaint process, or doing nothing. We guided her through the informal process and then the formal process, including interviews with various school and law enforcement officials, and worked closely with the school to put in place appropriate accommodations ensuring that all interviews and hearings did not retraumatize her. The male student was found responsible and was expelled.
Large private university
Witness to sexual violence protected from intimidation
We represented a female witness to a dating violence case on campus who was being pressured to speak with the police and the school investigators about a violent matter she had witnessed on her dorm floor. We immediately communicated on her behalf to the local police, school administrators, and the Title IX investigators to protect her right to choose to not testify and ensure her safety on campus. She was very relieved not to be pressured by the school, the title IX office or the police to attend the hearing and testify about fellow students.
Small private college
Investigation of sexual assault complaint concludes with no charges filed
Our client contacted us immediately upon receiving notice by his school that a claim of sexual assault was made against him by a female student. We assisted him in preparing his detailed answer to the complaint, and then prepared him and accompanied him to his interview with the campus safety police officers. We worked with the school Title IX administrators and helped our client find evidence to show inconsistencies with the complaint. The complainant withdrew her complaint when presented with these inconsistencies and then recanted. The investigation ended and our client was not charged with anything.
Midsized private collegeSee More Case Results
I was introduced to Attorney Duffy by my criminal defense attorney because I was fighting both a criminal charge and a conduct code violations charge. Felice's office responded right away and she and I met by Zoom video. She and her team were respectful, professional and super knowledgeable. They made everything clear and easily understandable. They knew exactly what questions to ask the school officials to get them to focus on the facts that supported my case. I was incredibly well prepared. I knew what I was going to say before I went in to my interviews and how to react to the many questions that would have tripped me up. I got probation, which was definitely the best possible outcome and I couldn’t have gotten that without Attorney Duffy’s help.
“When your kid is accused of a serious conduct code violation at his college, you quickly learn that there’s a whole different set of rules in place than in the real world. There are no legal standards, no assurances of a “fair trial.” You're presumed guilty and you have to backtrack and prove why you’re NOT guilty. We pretty quickly realized that we needed strong legal representation and guidance. Our son was completely falsely accused and we were ready to dig in to clear his name.
Felice's truly unique background and deep experience with navigating the school’s process was amazing. She made it clear that our son was the client, not us (his parents). She worked with him extensively and earned his total trust. He felt empowered that he had the right person in his corner to defend him. Felice gave our whole family a sense a calm and confidence.
Thanks to incredibly hard work by Felice and her team, our son was found “not responsible” (meaning innocent of any wrongdoing). The outcome was everything we could have hoped for.
I have already recommended Felice to a friend who’s son was caught up in a serious, very complicated conduct code charge, and I will continue to recommend her to any student or parent without reservation.”
Parent of a private college senior
“I selected the firm after doing extensive research trying to locate an attorney that specializes in sexual assault cases on university campuses. Late one night I emailed her for a consult just to see what she had to say. By 6:30am the next morning she had already emailed me back leaving her information for me to call her. I was impressed by her promptness and early morning response. Our criminal attorney informed our family that this simply wasn’t his specialty and strongly recommended we hire someone who really understood how university disciplinary systems work.
In our culture, we are not often trusting and it took a huge step of faith to consider someone we didn’t know (much less one from out of state) to defend our son.
Based on her collegiate athletic background I felt that she would have a better understanding of our case as our son is a D1 athlete. Based on that and her professional accomplishments I felt like she was driven and determined and she clearly had the ability to understand the laws associated with Title IX.
Bottom line is that our son was found 100% not responsible (meaning not guilty) of the extremely serious charges that were brought against him by a female student.
Felice Duffy and her team were professional, focused, responsive and did a great job throughout the entire stressful ordeal. When we think about how badly and unfairly our son might have been treated by the school, we truly count our blessings that we found Ms. Duffy.”
Parent of a College Sophomore, OhioSee More Client Testimonials
Colleges We Serve
Here are just some of the schools where we’ve represented students, faculty, coaches, and staff:
- Amherst College
- Arkansas State University
- Bowling Green State University
- Charter Oak State College
- Colgate University
- College of the Holy Cross
- Columbia University
- Connecticut College
- Dartmouth College
- Fairfield University
- Flagler College
- Florida State University
- Guilford College
- Howard University
- Illinois Institute of Technology
- Indiana University
- Lesley University
- Marist College
- Marquette University
- Miami University
- Mississippi University
- Pennsylvania State University
- Plymouth State University
- Quinnipiac University
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- Sacred Heart University
- South Carolina State University
- St. John's University
- St. Lawrence University
- Syracuse University
- Tallahassee Comm. College
- Touro University
- Trinity College
- Tufts University
- University of Connecticut
- University of Kansas
- University of Mass. Med. School
- University of Miami
- University of Missouri
- University of Northern Colorado
- University of Texas
- University of Virginia
- University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
- Utah University School of Medicine
- Virginia Wesleyan University
- Washington University at St. Louis
- Wesleyan University
- Westfield State University
- Wheaton College
- Yale University
Defending College Athletic Coaches against Serious Allegations
Working as an athletic coach at a respected college or university can present a rewarding and lucrative opportunity. Remember, however, that student-athletes and coaches are always under close scrutiny by their institutions, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the media, and sometimes, even state and federal law enforcement authorities. In some situations, you can face pressure or allegations of misconduct even when you have done nothing wrong.
Any issues with the law or the NCAA can lead to many problems that can affect your professional future and your personal reputation. As a high-level athletic coach, you should never hesitate to seek legal guidance and representation should a conflict arise. This is especially the case if you face disciplinary action, termination, or criminal charges. Duffy Law is here to help college coaches in any of these situations, so please contact us today to discuss how we might assist you.
The NCAA has strict rules regarding almost every aspect of collegiate sports, from recruiting practices to athlete incentives to criminal misconduct by students and coaches. The NCAA also holds coaches accountable for the actions of assistant coaches and administrators who report to them, so you need to know what is happening on every level at the athletic department and create an environment of NCAA compliance.
If the NCAA believes that a coach or assistant coach violated any NCAA regulations, the association can impose suspensions, terminations, or other sanctions on the coach and/or school. Legal representation can protect you from wrongful allegations, minimize the penalties you face, and help preserve your job and reputation.
Our attorneys can work to show you did not commit violations or were not aware of any violations within your program. You do not simply have to accept penalties or disciplinary action from the NCAA or your employer. With the right assistance, you can fight against allegations and hopefully continue your collegiate coaching career.
Criminal Defense Representation
The NCAA is not the only organization concerned with the conduct of collegiate coaches. Like anyone else, federal or state law enforcement authorities can investigate suspected criminal behavior of coaches. In recent years and months, many college coaches have made headlines for allegations of criminal conduct, which may include:
- Sexual assault – Whether it is sexual assault of current college athletes in the program or others, coaches can come under fire for this accusation and can face severe criminal penalties if convicted.
- Bribes and money laundering – In March 2019, coaches from several respected schools across the United States were indicted as part of Operation Varsity Blues. Federal authorities alleged that many wealthy parents provided bribes to college coaches to accept their unqualified children as student-athletes so they could gain admission to the school. Often, when coaches face accusations of accepting bribes, they can also be accused of hiding the source of the funds, leading to possible money laundering charges.
- Racketeering and conspiracy – If authorities believe that coaches are part of a larger plan to defraud colleges, the NCAA, or others, they may face RICO or conspiracy charges, which can lead to many years in federal prison upon a conviction.
If you are a college coach facing any type of federal criminal accusations, you need aggressive defense representation right away to fight the serious penalties you might face, including prison time and fines. Our law firm represents clients under investigation or who are already defendants in state or federal criminal cases. There are ways to minimize the impact of criminal charges, but you shouldn’t wait to seek the right defense help.
Title IX Issues
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 applies to college athletics and coaches in many ways, including equal athletic opportunities for students, protection from sex discrimination and retaliation, and more. Coaches can run into different types of Title IX issues, including:
- Accusations of unlawful discrimination under Title IX
- Suspension or termination if a coach raises Title IX concerns in the athletic program
- Allegations of covering up sexual misconduct by student-athletes
- Claims of sexual harassment or sexual misconduct
- Other noncompliance with Title IX provisions for collegiate athletics
Students and coaches have filed many Title IX complaints in recent years regarding the noncompliance of athletic departments, so gain advice and counsel from an experienced Title IX attorney if you face charges. Mishandled Title IX issues can lead to suspension or termination from your coaching duties, so you want the right lawyer on your side to prevent such consequences whenever possible.
How We Can Help
Duffy Law is in a unique position to provide legal assistance to college coaches facing controversy or criminal allegations. As a college student, attorney Felice Duffy participated in a successful Title IX action to form the first women’s soccer program at UConn, then served as the head coach of the Yale Division I women’s soccer team. This experience gives us firsthand and personal insight into the world of collegiate athletics and coaching.
In addition, the legal team at Duffy Law has years of experience working with both the federal prosecutors and federal defender’s offices, as well as in state criminal courts. If you face any type of federal criminal allegations, our team can help defend against those charges. Overall, our firm is prepared to help collegiate coaches with a wide range of legal issues, whether they involve your school, the NCAA, or state or federal authorities.
Contact Our Experienced College Coaching Attorney Today
College coaches are often in the news for a variety of scandals, many of which involve misconduct according to federal law, the NCAA, or Title IX. At Duffy Law, we regularly work with colleges, coaches, students, and criminal defendants. We know the effects that allegations or violations can have on your career, future, and family, and we work to protect your rights and reputation. If you’ve encountered any legal problems in your coaching role, please contact our office by calling (203) 946-2000 or contacting us online as soon as possible.
How Can We Help?