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Pepperdine Caruso Law Students Publish Sports Law Scholarship

Pepperdine Caruso Law third-year students Emilie MacLean, Nicholas Tsiouvaras, and Maya Rustom have recently had their sports law scholarship published and recognized by the sports law community.

  • Emilie MacLean's article, "The Case of Tracking Athletes' Every Move: Biometrics in Professional Sports and the Legal and Ethical Implications of Data Collection," will be published in Volume 28 of The Sports Lawyers Journal (2021) (SSRN).  Biometrics in professional sports is not a new concept and historically has been used as a means of monitoring players' heart rates and speed. However, wearable biometric devices have gone far beyond these measurements and are now aiding in overall player performance. The article is a comprehensive examination of the evolution of biometrics in professional sports, and the lack of consideration of players' privacy and data ownership. Specifically, many professional leagues fail to address these concerns in its collective bargaining agreements, leaving little to no protection for its players. Very few scholars have addressed this topic, and the ones that have, have failed to consider the differing privacy rights of foreign players who play for North American professional sports teams.

Emilie, a Toronto native, came to Pepperdine for the sole purpose of working in sports and entertainment. While at Pepperdine, Emilie participated for two years in the Hockey Arbitration Competition of Canada, hosted by the University of Toronto. Next fall, Emilie will begin her Masters of Law studies at the prestigious LLM Program at the University of Toronto.

  • Nicholas Tsiouvaras's article, "The 'Fundies' of ADR in the NHL," is published in the Pepperdine Dispute Resolution Law Journal [21 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J 75 (2021)].  The article covers a range of issues in the National Hockey League (NHL) that present opportunities for alternative dispute resolution (ADR)  to be implemented. The article examines the two instances that are most prevalent are during collective bargaining disputes between the NHL and the NHL Player's Association, and during the negotiation and arbitration process of restricted free agents between players and their respective clubs.

Niko has gained a tremendous amount of experience in the sports industry both before and during his time at Pepperdine Caruso Law.  He has worked for professional sports clubs, for a large agency, and for an international sports law firm. Through this experience, he has been able to see issues in the sports world play out from all of the different perspectives. He has also gained insight into each of the three pillars of the industry: sports-related issues, business-related issues, and legal-related issues. After graduating this spring, Niko plans on taking the bar and then pursuing career opportunities with a professional hockey franchise or hockey-based sports agency.

  • Maya Rustom's article, "The New Era of NFL Antitrust Law, the Sunday Ticket Package: Was the Ninth Circuit Ruling a Touchdown or a Penalty?" is published in the Pepperdine Law Review [48 Pepp. L. Rev. 537 (2021)]. The article focuses on the antitrust implications pertaining to DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket Package, which is an exclusive distributorship agreement with the NFL that prevents fans from watching live out-of-market games unless they pay the annual subscription fee. The article analyzes the antitrust implications of the Ninth Circuit's ruling for other professional sports leagues, consumers, and future plaintiffs of antitrust litigation, and offers solutions and suggestions for the future of television and sports.

Maya is thankful to be a part of Pepperdine Law Review Volume 48 and to have witnessed the amazing and diligent work of staffers as they assisted in the publication of her article this year.  Maya considers the television industry one of the most dynamic and revolutionary industries in entertainment, and after two years of working in-house within the business and legal affairs department of two companies she is excited at the prospect of launching her legal career post-bar in entertainment law.

Professor Maureen Weston, Director of the Entertainment Media and Sports Law Program, notes that she has heard from a number of sports industry lawyers and professionals who recognized the quality scholarship and value to the sport practice these students work has helped advance. Congratulations!