William C. Odle

William C. Odle



An experienced trial and appellate lawyer, Bill’s practice focuses primarily on amateur and intercollegiate athletics. He has represented sports clients in numerous high-profile cases in the areas of antitrust, defamation, civil rights, intellectual property and business torts. His clients include colleges and universities, non-profit associations and school districts, as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which he has successfully defended in a wide variety of litigation, including cases involving student-athlete eligibility, amateurism, drug testing, student-athlete health and welfare, civil rights and antitrust claims. In addition to representing the NCAA in courts nationwide, Bill has served as outside counsel to two NCAA Presidential Working Groups, helped develop and implement major changes to the NCAA Division I enforcement program and, most recently, was engaged to assist the NCAA with implementing the recommendations issued by the Rice Commission on College Basketball. Bill also has an active entertainment law practice and regularly advises clients in the music, publishing and film industries.

In addition to sports and entertainment law, Bill is a seasoned litigator with over thirty years’ experience representing clients in a wide array of areas, including labor and employment law, business litigation, class actions, education law and Title IX, and white collar crime.

Representative Matters:

Soloviev v. Goldstein, 104 F.Supp.3d 232 (E.D.N.Y. 2015) (dismissing coaches’ discrimination claim against the NCAA and the member school that terminated him)

Class v. Towson University, 806 F.3d 236 2015 (4th Cir. 2015) (holding that university’s decision not to clear injured football player did not violation the ADA, citing the NCAA’s amicus brief on return-to-play guidelines.)

Cohane v. National Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 612 Fed.Appx. 41 2015 (2d Cir. 2015) (rejecting coaches’ claim he was denied due process in connection with NCAA infractions proceedings.).

Spirit Lake Tribe of Indians ex rel. Committee of Understanding and Respect v. NCAA, 715 F.3d 1089, 293 Ed. Law Rep. 689 (8th Cir. 2013) (affirming dismissal of antitrust, breach of contract and infringement claims brought by Indian Tribe challenging policy banning hostile or abusive Native American imagery or nicknames at NCAA championship events).

McAdoo v. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 736 S.E.2d 811, 288 Ed. Law Rep. 930 (N.C. App. 2013) (affirming dismissal of suit by student-athlete seeking reinstatement of athletics eligibility forfeited for academic fraud).

Victory Through Jesus Sports Ministries Foundation v. Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, 640 F.3d 329 (8th Cir. 2011) (upholding school district’s student “backpack flyer” program against religious discrimination claim).

Maloney v. National Collegiate Ass'n, 379 Ill.App.3d 1088, 957 N.E.2d 594 (Ill. App. 4 Dist. 2008) (rejecting challenge to Native American mascot policy).

J.M. v. National Collegiate Athletic Ass'n, 594 Pa. 714, 937 A.2d 446 (Pa. App. 2007) (affirming dismissal of student-athlete’s suit challenging results of positive test for performance enhancing drugs).

United States v. Peoples, 250 F.3d 630 (8th Cir. 2001) (landmark case on the inadmissibility of non-expert opinion evidence under the Federal Rules of Evidence).

Dufrene v. Browning Ferris Industries, Inc., 207 F.3d 264 (5th Cir. 2000) (rejecting FLSA class action challenging overtime wages calculated under “day-rate” policy).

Lam v. Curators of the University of Missouri, 122 F.3d 654 (8th Cir. 1997) (overturning jury verdict on Title IX sexual harassment claim by former student where alleged harassment did not occur in connection with an “educational program or activity”).


Fixing College Basketball: The Rice Commission Report One Year Later, KCMBA CLE, May 2019

Panelist, Film and the Law Series: Concussion, January 2018

Recent Developments in Sports Law, KCMBA CLE, June 2018

Panelist, College Athlete Compensation and Unionization and the Impact of NCAA Concussion Litigation, May 2017

Hot Topics in Sports Law, KCMBA CLE April 2016

Distinction selection information

Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association - Appointed as 2018 Chair of the Sports and Entertainment Law Committee

American Bar Association
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association, Legal Adviser and Board Member (2003-2004)
Sports Lawyers Association
The Kansas Bar
The Missouri Bar


University of Michigan Law School (J.D., 1988)

University of Kansas (B.A., 1984)

Bar Admissions
Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court