From Litigation to Unpacking NIL Issues, Sexton Thriving
as KC Attorney
June 24, 2020
Curry Sexton is ready to talk about acts of
Or student-athlete compensation, the
transportation industry and a host of other topics that might
come across his desk at the Kansas City law firm of Seigfreid
The seventh-leading pass catcher in
K-State history was sworn into the U.S. Court for the Western
District of Missouri last summer, but COVID-19 has thrown
Sexton plenty of curveballs as he navigates his first year as
"There are some days where you look up and
it's 11 or 12 at night and you're still trying to crank out
some work," he said.
Despite the long hours, Sexton
still has time to follow college football and the historic
legal challenges that have been as much a story in the world
of college sports as any game this year.
Acts of God,
though? It's really just a standard contract clause, also
known as a force majeure, which can help businesses
that can't meet their obligations due to events beyond their
"It's such an ambiguous phrase and there
hasn't been a lot of litigation over it in years past," Sexton
said. "It's going to be very interesting to see how courts
interpret that because it's definitely going to get litigated
due to COVID-19."
For a young attorney like Sexton,
helping clients understand that kind of legalese is just part
of life in 2020 – he pointed out that with the economy
suffering, law firms are busier than ever.
four to six weeks of the pandemic were a whirlwind," Sexton
said. "The number of lawsuits tend to rise because people are
seeking every last dollar that's owed to them."
the hectic schedule, Sexton has found time to write about a
number of issues for his law firm surrounding name, imagine
and likeness compensation for student-athletes.
his ability to unpack complicated legal phrases, when it comes
to understanding the challenges that await students-athletes
and the NCAA, Sexton speaks from experience.
might not be a more productive wide receiver tandem to come
through Manhattan than the All-Big 12 duo of Sexton and Tyler
Lockett, that helped lead K-State to the Alamo Bowl in
In the history of K-State football, no pair of
receivers have combined for more double 100-yard games (13)
and only 12 Wildcats have more career receiving yards than
More than just stat-stuffers, the 2014 senior
class posted a 38-14 record during Sexton's college career
with appearances in the Cotton, Fiesta, Buffalo Wild Wings and
After graduation and a stint with the
Minnesota Vikings as an invitee to their rookie minicamp,
Sexton made the move to law school at Washburn University,
where he served as a judicial extern at the Kansas Court of
Appeals and wrote for his school's law journal.
recent article NCAA Takes Step Toward Allowing
Student-Athletes to Earn Compensation Through Endorsements and
Promotions, Sexton outlined some of the challenges and
guardrails that will be necessary after the NCAA's April
announcement that it would support rule changes.
name, image and likeness stuff is going to change the
landscape completely," he said. "The minute you allow
individual states to determine the law with respect to NILs
and there's no uniform set of regulations that apply, it's
going to change everything in college sports."
focused on the limitations of what would be a historic
agreement on NIL activities. In the NCAA's April
recommendations, Sexton singled out the fact that
student-athletes would be allowed to use their sport and
school towards compensation, but not school or conference
Additionally, he stressed that schools will be
prohibited from any activities that could be interpreted as
"pay for play" and a third party could play a role in
regulating NIL activities.
"Anything that's in the
student-athletes best interest is also in the university's
best interest," Sexton said. "There's so much to learn, but
I've been very intrigued by these NIL issues."
looks back on his time as a K-State student-athlete, Sexton
said he credits his coach for positioning a team that achieved
so much on the field for success after
"Coach Snyder's program and K-State really
gave us a platform to springboard into the real world. The
nature of Coach Snyder's program was very rigorous and
detail-oriented," he said. "I think most guys who played for
him would agree that once you get into the real world, you're
very prepared for that because of his program. I've heard
similar things about Coach Klieman."
Wildcats feels a little different these days, as Sexton
pointed out the 2019 season was the first in which none of the
current players were one of his former teammates, but the
connections from his time in Manhattan remain
Sexton said he still texts with a group chat
full of seniors from the 2014 season every day.
addition to Wildcats like Lockett and B.J. Finney who are
playing in the NFL, Sexton said he has kept in touch with
former teammates pursuing a range of different careers
"For four or five years, we did the same thing
every single day, aside from classes," Sexton said. "Now,
everybody is doing something completely different from one
another and that's been really fascinating."
might have different careers and more than a few different zip
codes, but Sexton said that's just another reason he's excited
to watch the next generation of the Wildcats.
uncertainty is very exciting. I think some people look at the
players that we lost after a really solid year," Sexton said.
"But for me, it's just really exciting."
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