Michael L. Buckner

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Michael L. Buckner, shareholder and president of Buckner, conducts internal investigations and projects for global sports organizations, college sports departments and educational institutions relating to alleged unethical conduct, sports regulatory violations, academic fraud, student-athlete abuse, governance issues and performance enhancing drug policy violations. Mr. Buckner previously practiced as a private investigator through his consulting firm, Collegiate Proactive Solutions, where he conducted internal investigations for corporate entities, performed investigative audits for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the United States of America and Puerto Rico, as well as completed background checks and skip tracing for private clients. He has appeared on HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” and ESPN’s “College Football Live” and has been quoted in numerous newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News and Lexington Herald-Leader.


Buckner speaks regularly at national and regional conventions, meetings, seminars and workshops. He also conducts private and public seminars for managers, administrators, attorneys and other professionals on ethics, leadership, compliance, efficiency and investigation issues. He also has written numerous articles and reference materials regarding ethics, productivity, compliance, investigation and operational efficiency issues.


A published author, Buckner’s first book, Athletics Investigation Handbook (2015 Edition): A Guide for Institutions and Involved Parties During the NCAA Enforcement Process, was originally published in 2004 (and with a new edition in March 2015). His second book, The ABCs of Ethics: A Resource for Leaders, Managers, and Professionals, was published in 2007 (and re-released in 2010). He also wrote a chapter on ethics in The Handbook of College Athletics and Recreation Administration.


Buckner was formerly with Holland & Knight LLP, where he headed its collegiate sports administration and compliance practice. He also represented clients in education, commercial, product liability and appellate legal matters.


Buckner is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court; the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; the United States District Courts for the Middle and Southern Districts of Florida; and all state courts in Florida. He is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). In his community, Mr. Buckner is a member of the Publications Committee of the Broward County Bar Association and previously was appointed to serve on the Broward County Charter Review Commission, Florida Bar Education Law Committee and Volunteer Florida, the Governor’s Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service.


Buckner earned his bachelor’s degree in international relations and social sciences and communication in 1993 from the University of Southern California. He was awarded a law degree in 1996 from Florida State University, where he was a member of the Moot Court team.

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