Greg Moore ’94 Scores Career Touchdown
In winter of 2009, University of Oregon School of Law graduate Greg Moore ’94 was selected out of 100 or so applicants for what many sports law-focused industry professionals would consider a dream job.
Moore was chosen to serve as commissioner for the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, a competitive athletic conference in Atlanta, Georgia that was founded in 1913. The SIAC is currently composed of 13 Division II historically black colleges and universities from five states, including Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina and Tennessee. As commissioner, Moore oversees championship tournaments in seven men’s and six women’s sports, and is committed to enhancing the college experience for student athletes.
At the time of his appointment, he was the fourth sitting African-American commissioner of the 74 division I, II and III conferences in the country.
Growing up, Moore had a passion for sports. Born in north New Jersey, Moore grew up in an intellectual and ambitious family that also encouraged his strong interest in athletics. In high school, Moore was a varsity player on his school’s basketball team.
“Our family was deeply rooted in sports and that was a galvanizing force for my family,” Moore said.
As an undergraduate at the College of New Jersey (now known as Trenton State College), Moore played varsity basketball under former Rutgers University Head Coach Kevin Bannon. But don’t let that fool you—his favorite sport is college football. Favorite team? The Oregon Ducks! And the position of favorite athlete goes to Ducks running back D’Anthony Thomas, who in 2011 elevated the Ducks’ national profile by scoring 18 touchdowns over the course of the season, the highest number of touchdowns for a freshman athlete on a Division I team.
Before becoming a Duck, Moore graduated from Trenton State College in 1994 with a degree in political science. There, he was a member of the lota lota Chapter Pre-Law Society. After graduating, he moved to Oregon and worked for a national environmental law center. He knew that Oregon Law had a strong environmental program, which initially drew him to the school. However, as more time went by, he realized his real passion lay with sports law, and focused his studies on labor law, which is heavily infused with sports law.
While at Oregon Law, Moore was a Herbert Galton Labor Relations Scholar and was appointed a member of the school’s Moot Court Board, where he and 19 other students were in charge of administering moot court competitions.
Upon graduating from Oregon Law in 1994, Moore took a year to work as a government contractor for the New Jersey State Legislature before founding his own private practice, The Moore Law Group, LLC, in Newark, New Jersey. As an attorney, Moore represented local New Jersey athletes, including former NBA player Eric Williams and four-time Olympian Joetta Clark, and served as general counsel to the New Jersey Express of the American Basketball Association.
Moore credits his time at the University of Oregon for his broad understanding of the legal work required to oversee the SIAC. In addition to selecting venues, arranging travel and accommodations for players and other administrative work, Moore’s job requires him to navigate complex legal issues such as negotiating stadium contracts and insurance policies, and handling trademarking agreements.
“My legal education allowed me to recognize the legal dimension of a project I otherwise might not have. I feel very privileged to have graduated from the University of Oregon School of Law,” Moore said.
While Moore praises the school’s curriculum and teaching faculty, he says the university and school’s relationship with Nike founder Phil Knight has been especially beneficial throughout his career in sports law. Currently, Nike is one of the SIAC’s biggest supporters, providing free shoes to every school participating in the conference. Moore is a proud supporter of Nike, and believes the company’s generosity to colleges and universities outweighs any criticism others might have.
Beyond the University of Oregon law school and its connection to Nike, Moore had two major influences throughout his life—his family, who inspired his intellectual curiosity and taught him to achieve his dreams, and Alpha Phi Alpha, his college fraternity while at Trenton State College. His interactions with fellow fraternity members crystallized his goals, and inspired him to do great things.
Moore is honored to be part of an organization as historically important as the SIAC, and believes the work he is doing is not only important to the athletes, but to the community as well.
“It’s like a family heirloom,” Moore said. “You feel a sacred obligation to take care of it while you have it before you pass it on to the next generation.”