Sports Law

Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto Richard H. Larson Professor of Constitutional Law Emeritus

Professor Potuto joined the faculty in 1974. She currently teaches Federal Jurisdiction, Constitutional Law, Sports Law, and Criminal Procedure. She also maintains a special interest in Conflict of Laws and Appellate Advocacy and, among other courses, has taught Mass Communications, Civil Procedure, Contract and Criminal Law. In 2003 Potuto received the Nebraska Alumni Outstanding Faculty Award.

Professor Potuto is the author of three books – Prisoner Collateral Attacks: Habeas Corpus and Federal Prisoner Motion Practice; Winning Appeals; and Federal Criminal Jury Instructions (co-authored with Perlman and Saltzburg). She has authored numerous articles focused on issues in criminal procedure, federal jurisdiction, and intercollegiate athletics. She is a member of the American Law Institute, the Nebraska State Bar Foundation (and a recipient of its Shining Light Award), and the Douglass Society, the College's "highest honor for its most distinguished graduates." In Spring 2012, Potuto delivered the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecture. Selection as the Chancellor's Distinguished Lecturer is the "highest recognition the Research Council can bestow on an individual faculty member." Lectures are "high profile public events that celebrate significant achievements and contributions made by faculty."

Professor Potuto is a past member of the Federal Practice Committee of the Federal District Court, District of Nebraska; the Nebraska Crime Commission; and the Robert Van Pelt American Inns of Court (Master in the Brandeis Inn). She has been a visiting professor at the law colleges of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, Oregon, Arizona, Seton Hall, Rutgers, and Cardozo. She was the project director and a reporter for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) Model Sentencing and Corrections Act.  She was the reporter for the Nebraska Supreme Court project to create model jury instructions for cases.   She was an advisor on the NCCUSL Uniform Collegiate Agents Act.   She was a consultant and hearing officer for the Nebraska Racing Commission.

Professor Potuto is the Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and is the immediate past president of the 1A Faculty Athletics Representatives.  She currently serves on the 1A FAR executive committee. She represents the University on NCAA committees and is a member of the governance groups of the Big Ten Conference. Professor Potuto is the sole FAR serving on the NCAA Interpretations Committee.   She served three terms on the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions (chair 2006 to 2008). She is one of two members of the DI Infractions Committee who worked  on an NCAA project to make the NCAA enforcement/infractions processes more accessible to media representatives. Professor Potuto represented the Big 12 Conference on the Division I Management Council and also served on the NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championship Committee and the Region 5 Postgraduate Scholarship Committee. In 2002 she was named Outstanding Faculty Athletics Representative by the All-American Football Foundation. In Summer 2011 she was one of two FARs to participate in the NCAA Division I Presidential Retreat. In April 2011 Professor Potuto gave the keynote address and also was a presenter at the University of Washington's Executive Masters Program, Evans School of Public Affairs. Potuto  consults on sports issues and is a regular presenter on panels dealing with sports law issues, including at the National Association of Collegiate Athletic Directors, NCAA Regional Rules Seminars, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, and at, among others, law schools at Maryland, Marquette, LSU, Arizona State, Santa Clara, and Mississippi.  Potuto is on the editorial board of the Journal of NCAA Compliance.

Professor Potuto has a B.A. in Journalism from Douglass College, an M.A. in English Literature from Seton Hall University, and a J.D. from the Rutgers University Law College where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Rutgers Law Review, Best Oralist in the Rutgers Intramural Moot Court Competition, and Captain of the Rutgers National Moot Court Team. She is licensed to practice in Nebraska and New Jersey and is a member of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

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