Commencement Speaker


Joyce Thompson Pic (1)Joyce Thompson, is an associate director in the enforcement department at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Working in college athletics keeps Joyce close to her love of sports, the law and her commitment to fair play and integrity in intercollegiate athletics. For more than 12 years, Joyce has served in the enforcement department, and is one of the most senior investigators on the enforcement staff. She is responsible for the development of investigative strategies involving violations of NCAA legislation at Division I, II and III member institutions.  Once an investigation is complete, Joyce also presents evidence of rules violations before the respective divisional adjudicative body. Joyce is the primary contact in Level I and Level II infractions cases and serves university presidents, institutional and outside legal counsels, university and athletics department personnel, current and prospective student-athletes and parents.  One of Joyce’s most notable cases involved Baltimore Ravens standout Michael Oher.  This case lead to Joyce’s character being featured in the movie “The Blind Side.”   Joyce also spends time educating member institutions and conference offices on NCAA legislation and its impact on infractions matters.  Prior to starting at the NCAA, Joyce worked at the Indiana Attorney General’s Office and the Indiana Department of Health.

Thompson is a native of Indianapolis, and received her bachelor’s degrees in Criminal Justice and African-American Studies from Indiana University in 1995. She received her Juris Doctorate degree from Valparaiso University Law School in 1999. In her spare time, she has taken on the challenge of “paying it forward” by trying to mentor other Valparaiso law school students about seeking alternative legal careers. Thompson also assists children from the second grade with their reading comprehension skills at Garden City Elementary School in Indianapolis.