Athletics Coaching Staff
Josephine Potuto
University of Nebraska Athletics
Coach Info:
Position: University of Nebraska Athletics
Other Position: Faculty Athletics Representative
Phone: (402) 472-1252

Josephine (Jo) R. Potuto, the Richard H. Larson Professor of Constitutional Law, has been Nebraska's  faculty representative (FAR) at the NCAA and conference level since May 15, 1997.

In 2002, Potuto was named Outstanding Faculty Athletics Representative by the All-American Football Foundation. From 2008-09 to 2011-12 she was president of the 1A FAR (FARs from FBS institutions). Among her NCAA positions, Potuto spent nine years (the maximum) on the NCAA Division I Committee on Infractions (chair her last two years) and currently substitutes when a member cannot serve.  She was one of three Big 12 Conference representatives on the NCAA Division I Management Council, served on the NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championship Committee, and currently serves on an NCAA-wide (all divisions) committee to advise NCAA staff on student-athlete issues and educational programming for coaches, staff, and student-athletes.

A sports law expert, Potuto regularly lectures and consults on sports issues in general and NCAA processes in particular.  She is an expert witness in litigation involving sports issues.  She testified before the House Subcommittee on the Constitution regarding due process in NCAA infractions hearings. 

In the past year she has appeared in media reports in the NY Times, LA Times, USA Today, Washington Post,, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, among others.   She has presented to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, the Texas Commission of Higher Education, NCAA regional conferences, law conferences and law firms, NACDA, and to universities and law colleges, including the Universities of Istanbul, Washington, Maryland, Oklahoma, Santa Clara, Baltimore and Mississippi.  

Potuto is a past adviser to the Uniform Law Commissioners Committee to draft a sports agent statute, has drafted rules governing search and seizure and hearings for the Nebraska Racing Commission, and also has written on issues of gender equity in college athletics.  She has authored numerous articles on sports law issues. She just completed an article on student-athlete use of their names/likenesses with an econometrician and tax professor.  

Potuto delivered the 2012 Chancellor’s Distinguished Lecture. She serves on the senate's intercollegiate athletics committee. She is a past member of the UNL academic senate and also served on Nebraska's NCAA site certification steering committee.

Potuto teaches constitutional law, procedure, federal jurisdiction, and sports law. She has been a visiting professor of law at the University of Arizona, Rutgers University, the Cardozo College of Law at New York's Yeshiva University, the University of Oregon, the University of North Carolina, and Seton Hall University. She has worked as an assistant prosecutor in both the Essex and Morris County (N.J.) prosecutor's offices.

Potuto was project director and a drafter of the Uniform Law Commissioners Sentencing and Corrections Act, as well as the drafter for the Nebraska Supreme Court Committee to Draft Criminal Jury Instructions. She is the author of three books.  She was elected to membership in the American Law Institute, the Nebraska State Bar Foundation, and the Douglass Society.

Potuto earned her bachelor's degree in journalism at Rutgers' Douglass College, and her master's degree in English literature at Seton Hall. She earned her juris doctorate at the Rutgers Law College.

She is a member of the bars of Nebraska and New Jersey and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and the U.S. District Courts for Nebraska and New Jersey.