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Jeffrey S. Moorad VSL ’81 commits $5 million to Villanova University School of Law for creation of Center for the Study of Sports Law



The landmark gift, which marks the largest in VSL’s history, was officially announced at the 2012 Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal Symposium

Villanova, Pa. – Villanova University School of Law (VSL) announced today that Jeffrey S. Moorad VSL ’81, the vice chairman and CEO of the San Diego Padres, has committed $5 million for the creation of the new Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law. The landmark gift, which marks the largest in VSL’s history, was officially announced at the 2012 Villanova Sports and Entertainment Law Journal Symposium. Headlined and conceived by Moorad, the event featured an all-star panel of baseball experts including Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane, subject of the book and Oscar-nominated film Moneyball, former New York Mets General Manager and current San Diego Padres Senior Vice President Omar Minaya and MSNBC President Phil Griffin, discussing the impact of “Moneyball” on sports and business. Former Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell VSL ’68 moderated. 

“This transformative gift will add to the continued academic excellence of the Villanova University School of Law and serve as a fitting legacy to Jeff Moorad’s loyalty to his alma mater,” said The Rev. Peter M. Donohue, OSA, PhD, President of Villanova University. “The extraordinary support of alumni like Jeff is a reminder that the strong sense of community fostered at Villanova extends far beyond the boundaries of our campus.” 

The Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law, named in recognition of Moorad’s leadership gift, is one of only a handful of institutes in the U.S. dedicated to the study of sports law. VSL’s new Center will prepare students for careers in amateur and professional sports through rigorous academic study, innovative programs, internship opportunities, scholarship and research. Located near Philadelphia, home to one of professional and amateur sports most dedicated fan bases and largest media markets, Villanova University School of Law is situated along the Northeast corridor in close proximity to several major sports markets including New York City, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.  

“The Villanova University School of Law provided a foundation for me to pursue my dream of coupling a traditional law degree with a career in sports,” said Mr. Moorad. “I've always believed it’s most important to give back, and, at this stage of my career, am excited to provide for this new Center for Sports Law. It's my hope that the ambitions of young law students and legal scholars who share my passion for sports will be furthered and that Villanova will become synonymous with the study of sports law.”

“The commitment of alumni like Jeffrey Moorad helps sustain and strengthen the excellence of Villanova University,” remarked Mike O’Neill, Vice President for University Advancement. “Jeff has achieved remarkable success in his career and it is a testament to both Villanova University and his leadership and dedication to the school that he has chosen to give back with such a meaningful gift.”

“As we begin this exciting new chapter in our history, it is extraordinary to have the support and guidance of an industry leader and innovator such as Jeff Moorad,” said John Gotanda, Dean of the Villanova University School of Law. “Villanova Law students have long displayed their interest in this field and, through Jeff’s generosity, they will now have the opportunity to follow in his footsteps, training to become the next generation of sports executives.”

About Jeffrey S. Moorad

A Villanova Law School alumnus, Jeffrey Moorad is one of the most recognizable names in professional sport and has been a leader in the sports industry for more than 25 years. The founder of Moorad Sports Management, he began specializing in athlete representation in 1983, focusing mainly on Major League Baseball. Two years later, Moorad joined forces with Leigh Steinberg to form one of the most dynamic partnerships in the history of sports representation, covering both Major League Baseball and the National Football League. The successful duo negotiated more than $3 billion in athlete contracts throughout their 18 years together, including representing Pro Football Hall of Famers Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon and Thurman Thomas. Moorad negotiated a number of landmark contracts for a baseball client base that included Manny Ramirez, Eric Karros, Ivan Rodriguez, Mo Vaughn, Shawn Green and Raul Mondesi. Moorad's reputation as a knowledgeable and respected negotiator has earned him a spot on The Sporting News' 100 Most Powerful People in Sports on eight occasions.

In 2004, Moorad was named a member of the executive team of the Arizona Diamondbacks, bringing with him a wealth of experience in Major League Baseball on the player side of the table. While with Arizona, he was a General Partner, Chief Executive Officer, the spokesperson for the team’s ownership group, and he oversaw, along with Ken Kendrick, the day-to-day operations of the franchise. Moorad has served as Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the San Diego Padres since February 2009. At that time, he and a California-based group reached an agreement to purchase 100 percent ownership of the team over several years.

A native of Modesto, California, Moorad earned an Associate in Arts degree from Modesto Junior College, where he served as student body president, in 1976, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from UCLA in 1978. He received his Juris Doctor degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1981.

Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. The Villanova University School of Law provides broad-based legal education and its award-winning clinics and Lawyering Together Program provide free legal aid to those in need. The School is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the American Association of Law Schools. Notable alumni include:  Hon. Edward Rendell (Former Governor, Pa.), Hon. Marjorie Rendell (Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit), Richard Trumka (President, AFL-CIO), Joseph T. Sebastianelli (President and CEO, Thomas Jefferson Health Systems), Jeffrey S. Moorad (CEO, San Diego Padres) and Michael Holston (Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Hewlett-Packard Company).