Past Industry Panels

Houston: America's Hottest Host City
In Spring 2017, the panel discussed how Houston, the most diverse and soon-to-be the third largest city in America, has grown to become America's Hottest Host City. In the past calendar year alone, H-Town has played host to three of the largest events on the worldwide sports calendar: Super Bowl LI, the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four, and the Copa America Centenario. The panel featured Kevin Cooper, Callye Dannheim Emmons '07, Diane Crossey, and Doug Hall, who were all behind the scenes in organizing and executing these incredible events. Handout

Alive and Kicking: A Discussion of the Business of Soccer
In Spring 2015, the panel discussed the growing popularity of soccer and how the business continues to grow from both the organizational side and the retail side. The panel featured Chris Canetti (President of Business Operations - Houston Dynamo), Frank Arnold '08 (Director of Enterprise Operations), and David Siddons (Strategic Account Director - Nike). Handout

Inside the War Room - Evaluating NFL Talent
In Fall 2014, the panel brought in Neil Stratton, president of "Inside the League", and Miller McCalmon, Assistant Director of Player Personnel with the NFL's Detroit Lions. Stratton interviewed McCalmon about the decisions he has had to make in the War Room. Also, Stratton discussed how to get started in the talent evaluation industry, while McCalmon discussed his 35 years of NFL experience as a scout, coach, and administrator. Handout

To Draft or not to Draft? Exploring Athlete Images
In Spring 2014, the panel discussed the importance of professional athletes' images and how they are managed from the perspectives of an agent, a team's front office, and from within the locker room. This issue is an extremely hot topic with athletes such as, Johnny Manziel, Michael Sam and Richard Sherman, making headlines. The panel featured James Casey '10 (tight end for the Philadelphia Eagles), Jeff Nalley (chief operating officer of Select Sports Group and contract agent for Heisman Trophy-winner Johnny Manziel), Brittany Bock (midfielder for the Houston Dash), Brian Cooper (former president of the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, a D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets) and Clark Haptonstall (founder of the Haptonstall Group and chair of Rice's Department of Sport Management).

Labor Issues in Sports: A Discussion with Experts in the Industry
In Fall 2011, the panel discussed recent and current labor issues, particularly the NBA and NFL lockouts. It featured Russ Granik (former Deputy Commissioner for the NBA; current ESPN NBA business analyst), Jeff Nalley (CEO of Houston-based sports agency Select Sports Group), Adelqui Boue (Executive VP/General Counsel of International Sports Agency), Brian Cooper (Business and Finance Officer of Rice Athletics), and Martin Levy (Professor of Law at Thurgood Marshall School of Law).

NCAA Athletic Director Forum
In Fall 2010, the panel focused on issues concerning NCAA Athletics and featured Athletic Directors Chris Plonsky from the University of Texas, Rick Greenspan from Rice University and Tim Fitzpatrick from Texas A & M Corpus Christi.