Michigan attorney now earning his doctorate at the sports academy

Even though he has worked as a bankruptcy attorney, written opinions for a U.S. District Court judge, and compiled research for an Irish political party, what Patrick Brennan really wanted was a job in the sports profession.

After whetting his appetite attending National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) seminars and the Sports Lawyers Association annual conference, Brennan applied for one of five doctoral teaching assistant positions at the United States Sports Academy.

He was chosen from more than 100 applications to the Daphne, Ala., university, which is also known as America's Sports University and is the largest graduate school of sport education in the world. Brennan received the Robert Campbell Scholarship, plus an annual stipend to attend.

Brennan, who graduated cum laude from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in May 2010, plans to pursue a career in sports administration and teaching at the college level after completing the Academy's three-year residential doctorate program. Nearly 75 percent of Academy graduates are currently employed in the sports industry.

"I really have a passion for examining current issues in college athletics," Brennan says. "In addition, I've always envisioned myself at a university in an administrative or teaching capacity. This degree is a straight shot to that kind of career."

Brennan earned a bachelor's degree at Michigan State University's James Madison College, graduating with honors in political theory and constitutional democracy. At Michigan State, he oversaw university athletic facilities for nearly three years as a club sports supervisor in the intramural sports department. Brennan also interned abroad in Dublin, Ireland, where he contributed to the research department of Fianna Fáil, one of that country's major political parties. During law school, he wrote and edited opinions in prisoner rights cases with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. After passing the Michigan bar exam, he worked for Trott & Trott, P.C. in Farmington Hills, Mich., as a bankruptcy attorney.

At the Academy, Brennan will earn valuable experience teaching, developing new courses, doing research, and learning about the latest developments in sports management. He is currently assisting on a project to develop a golf diploma program that the Academy will eventually deliver in China, Malaysia, and online worldwide.

"Mr. Brennan is part of a very talented group of TAs," says Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich. "We will ensure our residential doctoral program is meaningful and productive for all of them. We expect great things from them while they are in the program and in their future careers."

Published: Mon, Sep 12, 2011

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