Barbara Osborne

Adjunct Professor of Law

(919) 962-5173

Areas of Expertise

  • Administrative Law
  • Agency
  • Antitrust and Trade Regulation
  • Arbitration
  • Civil Rights and Discrimination
  • Compliance
  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts
  • Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law
  • Intellectual Property Law
  • Labor and Employment Law
  • Leadership
  • Torts


Barbara Osborne joined the UNC faculty in 1998 in the department of Exercise and Sport Science to direct the Sport Administration graduate program. She began teaching at the Law School in 2007 and earned a joint appointment in 2017. Her teaching and research interests include sport law, legal issues in college athletics, and discrimination and sport. Osborne is a co-author of three books, including Sports Law & Regulation: Cases, Materials and Problems, the leading sport law casebook. She has published numerous book chapters and journal articles and is a popular speaker and guest lecturer. Osborne received the North American Society for Sport Management Distinguished Educator Award in 2020, the J. Carlyle Sitterson Teaching Award in 2015, and the Edward Kidder Graham Outstanding Faculty Award in 2005. She is a Research Fellow in the Sport and Recreation Law Association and was awarded the Betty van der Smissen Leadership Award in 2014. A non-traditional law student, Osborne had a career in collegiate athletics administration before attending Boston College Law School. Her background includes experience working for a sport attorney/agent, as a television sports commentator, and as a sports information director. Osborne practiced law with Ice Miller LLC in their College Sports Practice Group and served as General Counsel for NACWA (now Women Leaders in Sports). She served as chair of the NCBA Sport and Entertainment Law section, and is also an active member of the Sport Lawyers Association.


  • J.D., Boston College Law School, Newton, MA, 1997.
  • M.Ed., Human Movement (Sport Management Concentration), Boston University, Boston, MA, May 21, 1989.
  • B.A., cum laude, Communication, University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, WI, 1982.