There’s Already a College Course on ‘Deflategate’

The University of New Hampshire will offer the class next fall.

Photo by Olga Khvan

Photo by Olga Khvan

It might seem premature with Patriots fans and sports reporters still reeling at the revelations in the NFL’s newly released report on “Deflategate.” But the scandal surrounding the deflation of the Patriots’ game balls has already inspired a college course. Next fall, the University of New Hampshire will offer “INCO 460 – Deflategate.”

Unlike the lecture on the topic offered up by Professor Bill Belichick himself, the UNH course won’t be a science class. Instead, it’ll focus on sports law. Once a week, up to 75 students will meet for 2 hours and 50 minutes through the fall semester. (And no, “Spygate 101” is not a pre-req for this class.) According to the description posted to the UNH website, the course title is actually a bit of a misnomer:

This course is not about deflated footballs. Instead, it is about the interplay between those footballs — along with numerous other sports things — and the legal, regulatory and journalistic systems governing sports. Students in Deflategate learn about crucial areas of law that relate to sports and the methodologies used to practice in relevant fields.

It will be taught by Michael McCann, who directs UNH Law’s Sports and Entertainment Law Institute and serves as a legal expert for Sports Illustrated and NBA TV. (His daily coverage of the Aaron Hernandez trial was a must-read.)

McCann told Bloomberg News that he’s been designing the course for months and its posting on the school’s course catalogue wasn’t deliberately timed with the release of the NFL’s report. (It would have been hard to time anything to that release, which seemed to take forever.)

McCann said he intends to invite speakers who dealt personally with the scandal, including Patriots executives and lawyers who conducted the NFL’s investigation. One person who probably won’t be offering a guest lecture: Tom Brady, who so far has proved rather unwilling to speak at length about his involvement.