Athletics Director McVeigh discusses next steps for Gaveliers 


RENO, Nev. (Sept. 1, 2023) — NJC Athletics Director Haskel K. McVeigh[i] took questions from reporters this morning after ESPN reported that two of the four remaining Pac-12 conference teams – Stanford and Cal – are leaving to join the ACC. Last month the judicial college announced it was exploring the possibility of moving its recently established athletics program, the Gaveliers™, from the CFC[ii] to the diminished Pac-12.

Below is the transcript provided by the college’s media-relations department.

Opening statement:

Thank you for coming out today, and a special welcome to you if this is your first time in Reno.   

With this morning’s news about Stanford and Cal moving to the ACC, I’m sure many of you are interested in an update on our Pac-12 negotiations. I know many of our fans were excited by the news.

Bottom line is we remain interested but have yet to hear from the commissioner’s office. To put things in legal terms, we are in the discovery phase. We’ll know more after I or a member of my staff can arrange a meeting with league officials. And we expect that to happen as soon as we discover who they are and how to contact them.

I’ll take questions now.    

What makes you believe that the Pac-12 would be interested in having the NJC?

The geographic advantages are obvious, and obviously the defections of Stanford and Cal can only boost our prospects, but the NJC also enjoys a stellar academic reputation. We were founded by a Supreme Court justice. Can any other top intercollegiate athletics program say that? Ten SCOTUS justices have studied with or taught for us in some fashion over our 60 years, and an 11th will be joining that elite fraternity later this year. One of our alumnae, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, once said, “It is wonderful to be an alumna of this college. It has a truly excellent reputation as a professional school (and) it has never had a losing football team.[iii]

How many tickets have you sold for the inaugural season?

We have not yet made tickets available to the public. Our ticket manager will have more to say about that as plans move forward and we hire a ticket manager.

We do expect strong demand. In the first few hours after we announced our interest in Pac-12 affiliation, alumni from all over the country emailed to offer congratulations and inquire about how to purchase Gaveliers shirts. Some volunteered to coach or compete. Interested judges should submit an academic transcript, statement of personal jurisprudence, and evidence of one or more of the following: speed (“lightening” or better), craftiness, nerves of metal (steel preferred), muscularity (“buff,” “ripped,” “chiseled,” “ordinary”), a short memory (especially for defensive secondary and relief pitching positions), mad hops, and the ability to intimidate, up to but excluding witnesses.

Many other styles and colors available.
Click image to browse.

About those Gaveliers shirts – how do you get them?

You can now order the shirts and all kinds of official Gaveliers fan gear from the NJC online shop. Free shipping is included in the prices. Some items are also available for in-person purchase – no mail orders – at the gift shop in our Reno headquarters. Supplies there are limited to stock on hand.

Let me remind NJC fans that all profits from Gaveliers merchandise sales support the NJC’s core academic enterprise and mission, which is … er (here Athletic Director McVeigh searched the lectern for a brochure, found it, and read aloud) “Making the World a More Just Place by Educating and Inspiring Its Judiciary.”

Is it true that you intend to field all these sports teams with nothing but judges?

In this job I’ve learned to never say never, except when asked to purchase a scented candle with the aroma of egg salad. Then I say never. But the answer to your question is, yes, we expect, for the foreseeable future at least, to compete as every other respectable collegiate athletics program does, with student-athletes drawn from our regular enrollment and curriculum. No ringers. No courses in basket weaving or gavel waxing. Certain affiliates of ours in the British Commonwealth will continue to offer Wig Powdering and Appellate Harrumphing.

As one of our alumni, Judge Adam Torem of the Washington Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals, reminded me last week, judges and justices have a long history of participating in collegiate and professional sports. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron “Whizzer” White played professional football. Minnesota Vikings Hall of Famer Alan Page served as a justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court. Judge Torem noted that today in New York City, Aaron Judge continues the tradition of mixing law and sport. (Here the athletics director appeared to groan involuntarily.)

I walk the halls when our classes are in session and see future sprinters, point guards, medley relayists. And even when the U.S. Olympic Team is not touring the building, there are some judges who appear to be athletically inclined. We are robed and ready.

Is it true that the NJC will be celebrating its 60th anniversary next month at the fabled New York Athletic Club in New York City? If so, will you be there recruiting players for the Gaveliers?

It is true that our 60th anniversary celebration will be at the New York Athletic Club on September 28. One can register for the event online. Sadly, I will not be attending because of a scheduling conflict.[iv]

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Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2023, The National Judicial College remains the only educational institution in the United States that teaches courtroom skills to judges of all types from all over the country, Indian Country and abroad. The categories of judges served by this nonprofit and nonpartisan institution, based in Reno, Nevada, since 1964, decide more than 95 percent of cases in the United States. The NJC Gaveliers are, at least for now, entirely imaginary, although the College recently made souvenir shirts and other logo wear available for purchase.

[i] Not a real person

[ii] Completely Fabricated Conference

[iii] This is true, all of it.

[iv] This is not entirely true. AD McVeigh cannot attend because he has been banned from the club since 2008. That was the year when college football adopted a 15-yard personal foul penalty for committing a so-called “horse-collar” tackle. Mr. McVeigh created a disturbance at the club when he argued that rather than being penalized, a player performing this potentially injurious maneuver should be rewarded, with a horse.

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