Calling the right play is just as important as deciding on a starting lineup. Ellis T. “Skip” Prince helps college, university and professional sports organizations do just that – call the right plays – drawing on more than 30 years of experience in senior management of and consulting with professional, collegiate and pre-collegiate athletics.
Skip leads a team of higher education attorneys and professionals in the Barnes & Thornburg university and professional athletics group, providing legal services and guidance to collegiate athletic departments and professional and amateur sports organizations throughout the United States and internationally. The group’s practice brings decades of front-line management experience to institutions of higher education, providing guidance to colleges and universities in the monitoring, maintenance and protection of their institutional integrity and essential educational mission; the administration and oversight of their athletic departments; and the development of best practices in assuring the health, wellness and future of the student-athletes pursuing excellence in their athletic programs.
Prior to joining Barnes & Thornburg, Skip was the founder and senior principal of The Prince Companies, a consortium of industry specialists providing management and consulting services to NCAA institutions and conferences, professional teams and leagues, and related providers of service throughout the sports industry.
Well-known in the collegiate and professional sports worlds, Skip was executive senior associate director of athletics, and then senior adviser to the Office of the President, at the University of Texas at Austin. His career in sports began with the organization and syndication of the Arena Football League while a partner with the Chicago law firm of Gottlieb and Schwartz. He subsequently spent nearly a decade as a vice president of the National Hockey League (NHL); was vice president of AEG Sports, overseeing its international business initiatives; won a Grey Cup as president and CEO of the Canadian Football League (CFL) Montreal Alouettes; held the position of co-CEO of the Arnold Palmer Group; and served as commissioner and president of the United States Hockey League (USHL). He also served as a special assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Outside of his practice, Skip has been an adjunct professor in the Sports Management Graduate Program at Columbia University, and is a frequent guest lecturer and panelist. He enjoys theater, music, and of course, athletics, and is pursuing his instrument ratings recertification as a private pilot. Skip is a former certified tennis teaching professional, still pursuing a reliable backhand.
Skip is not regularly admitted to practice law in the local courts of Illinois and District of Columbia. In D.C., he is working under the supervision of a member of the D.C. Bar pending his admission.
Professional and Community Involvement
Member, United States Equestrian Federation
Member, United States Tennis Association