Rodney Smith

Rodney Smith
Rodney Smith
Distinguished Professor of Law
Honorary Doctorate, Capital University;
LL.M. and SJD, University of Pennsylvania;
J.D., Brigham Young University, with honors;
B.A., Western Colorado State College
Phone: (619) 961-4389

Rodney K. Smith received his B.A. from Western Colorado State College, his J.D. with honors from Brigham Young University, and his LL.M and SJD from the University of Pennsylvania, and an honorary doctorate from Capital University. He currently serves as a Distinguished Professor of Law. He previously served as President of Southern Virginia University, is a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy of Liberal Education, has served on the International Board of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, and recently served as a Visiting Professor at the Washington and Lee College of Law. Professor Smith previously served as dean of the schools of law at Capital University, the University of Montana, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. He also taught at the University of North Dakota, Widener University, Brigham Young University, and the University of San Diego. Professor Smith held the Herff Chair of Excellence in Law and was serving as interim dean at the University of Memphis immediately prior to his service as President at Southern Virginia University. Professor Smith is the author or co-author of three scholarly books:


Public Prayer and the Constitution: A Case Study in Constitutional Interpretation (1987)


Sports Law, West Publishing Company (1986) (with Schubert and Trentadue)


Sports Law and Regulation: Cases, Materials and Problems, Aspen Publishers (2005, 2009) (co-author with Davis, Mitten, and Berry)


Professor Smith is also the author of more than twenty-five scholarly articles and is recognized for his scholarship in the freedom of religion and sports law areas. Download Professor Smith's full c.v.


In 2011, Professor Smith presented a paper, “The Rule of Law, Core Texts and Liberal Education,” at the ACTC conference at Yale University. He also presented a paper at Wake Forest University, “The BCS and Big-Time Intercollegiate Football Receive an ‘F’: Reforming a Failed System,” which will be published in the Wake Forest Journal of Law and Policy. He is also co-authoring a text for use in under-graduate and graduate sports management programs, Sports Law, Policy and Regulation to be published by Aspen Publishing (with Davis, Mitten, Berry, and Shropshire).


Courses include:

Contracts I & II, Amateur Sports Law, Infractions and Compliance




The Right of Conscience and the Meaning of the First Amendment (in this book, I argue that the First Amendment is intended to protect the right of conscience in its various forms) (forthcoming)

Sports Law, Policy and Regulation [a text for graduate and upper-level undergraduates to be published by Aspen, co-authored with Professors Mitten (Marquette), Davis (Wake Forest), Berry (formerly of Boston College), and Shropshire (of the Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania)] (forthcoming)

Sports Law and Regulation: Cases, Materials, and Problems (Aspen Publishers, 2005) (2nd Edition 2009) (co-author with Davis, Mitten, and Berry)

Public Prayer and the Constitution:  A Case Study in Constitutional Interpretation (Scholarly Resources, Inc., 1987)

Sports Law (West Publishing Company, 1986) (with Schubert and Trentadue)


Articles Editor, The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process (1998-2001)


Issue editor responsible for soliciting articles for and performing initial substantive edits of articles for an issue of The Journal of Appellate Practice and Process highlighting the work of federal and state offices of the Solicitor General


The Bowl Championship Series and Big-time Intercollegiate Football Receive an ‘F’: Reforming a Failed System, J. L. & Pol'y (forthcoming)

Increasing Presidential Accountability in Big-time Intercollegiate Athletics, 10 Vill. Sports & Ent. L.J. 297 (2003)

Treating Others as Our Own: Professor Levinson, Friendship, Religion and the Public Square, 38 Tulsa L.J. 731 (2003) (paper presented at symposium celebrating the work of Professor Levinson)

James Madison, John Witherspoon and Oliver Cowdery: The First Amendment and the 134th Section of the Doctrine and Covenants, 2003 BYU L. Rev. 891 (2003)

Religion and the Press: Keeping First Amendment Values in Balance, 2002 Utah L. Rev. 177 (with Patrick Shea)

From Inequity to Opportunity: Keeping Promises Made to Big-Time Intercollegiate Student-Athletes, 1 Nev. L.J. 160 (2001)

The Role of Religion in Progressive Constitutionalism, 4 Widener L. Symp. J. 51 (1999)

Responding to the Supreme Court’s Effort to End the Conversation about Religious Exemptions and Welcoming Professor Sullivan into the Conversation, 81 Marq. L. Rev. 487 (1998)

Solving the Title IX Conundrum With Women’s Football, 38 S. Tex. L. Rev. 1057 (1997)

Regulating Religious Broadcasting: Some Comparative Reflections, 1996 BYU L. Rev. 905

Converting the Religious Equality Amendment into a Statute with a Little Conscience, 1996 BYU L. Rev. 645

When Ignorance is not Bliss: In Search of Racial and Gender Equity in Intercollegiate Athletics, 61 Mo. L. Rev. 329 (1996)

Conscience, Coercion, and the Establishment of Religion: The Beginning of an End to the Wanderings of a Wayward Judiciary? 43 Case W. Res. L. Rev. 917 (1993)

Justice Clarence Thomas: Disappointment, Dismay, and Diminishing Hope, 7 St. John's J. Legal Comment. 277 (1992)(based on testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee)

Little Ado About Something: Playing Games with the Reform of Big-time Intercollegiate Athletics, 20 Cap. U. L. Rev. 567 (1991)

Equality in American Constitutional Law, Groupe d'Etude ede Recherche sur les Jurisdictions Constitutionnelles (1991), (based on a paper delivered at an International Colloquium held in Warsaw, Poland, regarding the constitutional jurisprudence of equality)

A Dean's Role in Supporting Minority Faculty Members, 10 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 373 (1991) (solicited, text of a talk given at the University of Cincinnati)

Nonpreferentialism in Establishment Clause Analysis: a Response to Professor Laycock, 65 St. John's L. Rev. 245 (1991)

Eligibility and Disciplinary Rules in Amateur Athletics, in Law of Professional and Amateur Sports 12-1 (Gary Uberstine et al. eds., 1988, updated 1990)

Legal Utopia and Myopia: Some Comments Regarding Shiffrin, Lipkin, and Looking Beyond the Mark in Legal Education, 19 Cap. U. L. Rev.1059 (1990)

An Academic Game Plan for Reforming Big-Time Intercollegiate Athletics, 67 Denv. U. L.Rev. 213 (1990)

Eligibility and Disciplinary Rules in Amateur Athletics, in Law of Professional and Amateur Sports 12-1 (Gary Uberstine et al. eds., 1988, updated 1990)

Establishment Clause Analysis: A Liberty Maximizing Proposal, 4 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol'y 463 (1989)

The NCAA's Version of the Death Penalty or How Educators Punish Themselves and Others, 62 Ind. L.J. 985 (1987)

A Time for Reflection: The Jaffree Case and Its Aftermath, 37 Ala. L. Rev. 345 (1986)

Getting Off on the Wrong Foot and Back on Again:  A Reexamination of the History of the Framing of the Religion Clauses of the First Amendment and a Critique of the Reynolds and Everson Decisions, 20 Wake Forest L. Rev. 569 (1984)

Justice Potter Stewart: A Contemporary Jurist's View of Religious Liberty, 59 N.D. and L. Rev. 183 (1983)


Panelist, NCAA: Enforcement, Sanctions, and Relationship with Universities, The New Normal in College Sports, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA (April 5, 2013)


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