UF Law grad joins global sports powerhouse ESPN as business reporter
By Jared Misner
"Hold on," she said. "This earring is killing me."
For a newly minted ESPN reporter, a killer earring isn't an oft-cited hold up. But Kristi Dosh (JD 07), ESPN's newest sports business reporter and a lifelong Atlanta Braves fan, certainly knows how to throw a mean curveball at any preconceived mold.
Dosh sets a high bar with her ability to simplify and explain the intricacies involved in the messy intersection of sports and business in topics ranging from the National Basketball Association's recent lockout, to the financial impacts of Missouri's migration to the Southeastern Conference, to the national economic love affair with former Gators quarterback Tim Tebow.
Dosh, who played softball for 22 years, grew up wanting to be the first female general manager in Major League Baseball, a dream that's still up for grabs. Dosh tells stories of her first childhood Braves game with glee. And the job at ESPN, she said, is a dream come true.
And it's a dream born in an unlikely place: a UF Law tax law seminar.
During her third year, Dosh decided to take a tax law seminar with Professor emeritus David Richardson because the class meshed well with her schedule and involved a final paper rather than an exam. She knew nothing of tax law or the Internal Revenue Code.
But what she did know was baseball.
So Dosh approached Richardson with an "out-of-the-box" idea for a paper. She wanted to write about luxury taxes and revenue sharing in the MLB.
To her surprise, Richardson agreed, and the paper was a grand slam. The University of Denver Sports & Entertainment Law Journal published the paper.
"Her paper was actually a remarkable explanation of very complicated rules and regulations," Richardson said. "For a student to have that talent is memorable in and of itself."
That grand slam sent Dosh running.
"That's sort of where things changed for me," Dosh said. "It really transformed things for me."
The academic paper led to an expanded version in a book deal Balancing Baseball: How Collective Bargaining Has Changed the Major Leagues set to be published late this year or in 2013.
But the book deal was only first base in Dosh's trip around the bases.
Making her a "legitimate expert on collective bargaining," as Dosh said, her book allowed her to begin working in May 2010 as a sports analyst for SportsMoney and Comcast.
And she did it while practicing affordable housing and finance law at several Atlanta firms.
"I really enjoy practicing," Dosh said. "But when I woke up, what I was really passionate about was what sports business topic I wanted to write about."
Writing and providing TV commentary was just for fun, Dosh said.
And the burgeoning website she created, businessofcollegesports.com, to fill the gap in college sports business reporting? That was just for fun, too.
"She has a striking passion for sports, particularly baseball," Richardson said. "I think there's very few passionate fans of baseball who go the next step to learn the business of baseball."
By the time her agent mentioned her name to ESPN, the global sports powerhouse was already well aware of Dosh.
As she adjusts to days where she can now attach the Holy Grail of sports letters, "E-S-P-N," to her name, Dosh is still thankful for her law degree. Without it, and maybe a wacky idea for a tax law paper, she wouldn't be where she is today, she said.
"If I had to do it all over again, I would do it exactly the same," Dosh said.