In the 50 years since the landmark Title IX civil rights law was passed, there has arguably never been a greater focus on preventing, properly responding to, and eliminating gender-based discrimination and crime on college campuses across the country than there is presently.
At the University of North Texas, LSU Law alumna Alic’a Oliver (’14) continues the important work of creating and maintaining safe spaces for student-athletes in her role as the Associate Athletic Director of Compliance.
“Every day provides an opportunity to solve a problem,” Oliver said. “I am most passionate about helping affect and change the lives of student-athletes by shaping their experiences, and, whether it’s about compliance or not, making them feel comfortable asking for help.”
In her role at the Denton, Texas-based university, Oliver manages the compliance office staff and provides compliance guidance to administrators, coaches, staff, and student-athletes in 16 athletic programs. As collegiate sports approach new territories, Oliver said it’s vital that all athletic programs provide equal resources and opportunities, and to ensure that student-athletes of all gender identities feel welcomed, included, and supported.
Oliver also works to diversify the field of college athletics and bring more women and administrators of color into the sports industry through her membership in the National Association for Athletic Compliance, Women Leaders in College Sports, and the Minority Opportunities Athletics Association.
“This year we celebrate 50 years of giving women equal opportunity, and I am happy to have a place in that,” said Oliver, who enjoys baking and spending time with family in her free time.
Even as a child, the Missouri City, Texas native knew that she wanted to study law. Her father played college football, which sparked her love for sports, and her uncle’s career in law inspired her to pursue a career in the legal field. After briefly considering becoming a sports agent or athletic legal counsel, Oliver discovered the field of compliance while at LSU Law.
“Luckily I found a path to a niche that aligned with my interests in the field of compliance,” said Oliver, who earned her undergraduate degree in psychology at the University of Texas at Austin in 2010. “I spoke with career services at LSU Law and my advisor suggested looking at athletic compliance. I worked with LSU Athletics as a legal compliance intern, and it was a great fit.”
Oliver said she has very fond memories of her days at LSU Law, including participating in the study abroad program in Lyon, France, where she recalled one particularly interesting evening when Professor John Church had to call the fire department to rescue her and a classmate after becoming locked in the partner university.
After graduating from LSU Law, Oliver started her career at Kansas State University as an Athletic Compliance Coordinator. In 2015, she became Director of Athletic Compliance at the University of Tennessee, where she remained for slightly more than three years before joining UNT as Director of Compliance in the fall of 2018. In March of last year, she was promoted to Associate Athletic Director of Compliance.