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Villanova Students Win Sixth Annual Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition

Competition Winners
Austin Meo ’22 & Ryan Murphy ’22

For the third time in the past four years, Villanova Law students won the Annual Tulane Professional Football Negotiation Competition. First-year students Austin Meo ’22 and Ryan Murphy ’22 were victorious over 48 competing teams from 39 schools across the United States and Canada.

The competition, sponsored by the Tulane Sports Law Society, is a simulated contract negotiation which uses real-life scenarios, along with actual upcoming NFL free agents. The competition provides participants with the opportunity to sharpen their negotiation skills as well as their knowledge of NFL contracts.

Simulating a real negotiation, competing teams represented either the football team or the free agent and received a set of confidential objectives that served as guidelines for the negotiation. They were also provided with an Excel workbook that allowed them to quickly make calculations and determine whether the contract proposals met their requirements.

Left-right: Arun Thottakara ’21, Austin Meo ’22, Ryan Murphy ’22 & Stephen Dranoff ’21

The judges for each round of negotiations consisted of industry experts, including experienced NFL agents, the founder of Over the Cap and members from professional sports organizations, such as the New Orleans Saints, the Philadelphia Eagles and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Judges concluded the event with a discussion of relevant NFL topics.

In the quarterfinal round of the competition, Meo and Murphy faced the second Villanova team competing this year, which included previous competitors, Stephen Dranoff ’21 and Arun Thottakara ’21, whom they surpassed before going on to triumph over a team from the University of Denver in the final round.

Tulane Baseball Competitors
Left-right: John Reid ’22, Michael Horvath ’21 & James Jensen ’21

Additionally, Michael Horvath ’21, James Jensen ’21 and John Reid ’22 competed in the 2020 Tulane International Baseball Arbitration Competition, which is a simulated salary arbitration competition modeled closely after the procedures used in Major League Baseball in a moot court style competition. Horvath, Jensen and Reid finished in the top four out of 40 teams from around the world.