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Tiller and Cross observed that legal researchers “have extensively dealt with doctrine as a normative matter but have given little attention to the manner in which it actually functions,” while social scientists “who have done important descriptive work about how courts actually function, have largely ignored the significance of legal doctrine.” This dissertation aims to fill that void. A focus on a “small, well-defined” network—rather than indiscriminate networks with large samples—can allow for the exploration of “features of network structure unobtainable in representative samples.” Applying this observation within the legal context, a focus on a “small, well-defined” network of case law can allow the researcher to give the legal doctrine created by each case its proper contextual due alongside quantitative measures of network influence. This dissertation applies a pointed methodological approach to legal citation network analysis within the specific context of sports law, where empirical approaches to studying legal citations are largely lacking. The unique treatment of the sports industry by the courts often creates discrete citation networks with “a common substantive focus and an unmistakably clear boundary” as the sport-specific exemptions that are created are very often not applicable outside of the specific and limited context of sports. Sports antitrust law is a field of law that is particularly suitable for a study of discrete networks, as the differing nature of ‘competition’ in sports relative to more traditional industries often leads to judicially-crafted exemptions that are rarely—if ever—extended outside of the specific context of sports. By applying a two-level mixed methods approach to citation network analysis, this dissertation analyzes the precedential effect of two Supreme Court sports antitrust law cases—Federal Baseball v. National League and NCAA v. Board of Regents—through the creation and analysis of two separate egocentric citation networks through a methodological scheme that includes both quantitative and qualitative analysis. This methodological approach includes two levels of inquiry: first, a quantitative citation network analysis study that looks to measure the relative ‘importance’ or ‘centrality’ of certain cases within a discrete citation network; and second, the infusion of qualitative legal doctrinal data into the network graphs to probe the context surrounding individual network connections through a doctrinal analysis of the judicial language and context surrounding each citation. This methods conducted for completion of this dissertation were undertaken to answer two research questions. By the use of centrality metrics, the first research question contains an examination of what cases have been the most influential within the discrete case networks of the baseball antitrust exemption and judicial overview of NCAA amateurism regulations. For the second question, this dissertation examined the contextual similarities and differences in how judges have cited important case precedent within the baseball antitrust and NCAA amateurism regulatory case networks and discover whether those similarities and differences have led to an evolution in the application of case precedent. Through this two-tiered analysis, this dissertation “offers a case study in precedential expansion” on the unique and highly instrumental antitrust exemptions that have shaped professional baseball and intercollegiate sports.