Sports Lawyers Association Awards Seton Hall Law Student
Seton Hall Law student Nicholas Plinio’s creative paper on the impact of technology on professional athletes was awarded second place at the 5th Annual Sports Lawyers Association Law Student Writing Competition in May in Denver, CO. “Be-Wear of Wearables: Addressing cutting-edge technology and unique data privacy challenges in the “internet age” of professional sports,” explores the privacy challenges of increasing more intrusive ways of measuring athletic performance and all-around health.
Expecting to graduate in 2018, Plinio (pictured second from right) has always been an avid sports fan, but his studies at Seton Hall Law position him to meld that interest with law practice.
With the mentorship of Dean Charles Sullivan, Plinio submitted his paper to the Sports Lawyers Association’s annual writing competition, and was gratified by how enthusiastically it was received.
“The paper took a dive into the lesser known issues facing sports law today such as wearable technology on helmets to track speeds,” explains Plinio. Due to fitness trackers such as Fitbit, trackable technology has become accessible to nearly anyone, and it is now a staple for athletes and professional sports organizations alike. “As soon as these items hit the market, they were adapted to pro sports in order to obtain more data on athletes and their performance.”
A hot topic and rapidly growing issue present day, lines can easily be blurred regarding specific privacy challenges and technology devices. Plinio’s paper “focused on what distinctions are made between health data in order to better protect the athlete, and what is performance-based, which ultimately factors into contracts and negotiations,” he says.
The annual Sports Law event offered not only a great networking experience for Plinio to meet other sports-law focused attorneys, but also the opportunity for him to be noticed even before graduation.
“It’s not easy to get into sports lawyering,” says Plinio. “I have a long way to go, but it’s been helpful being able to translate what I learn in Dean Sullivan and Dean (Timothy) Glynn’s classes to work.”
Plinio calls himself lucky to currently work with the NFL furthering his interest in sports law and extending his knowledge of labor relations and employment law in that field.