Panel on drugs in entertainment, sport industries hosted at School of Law

Kahlil Said

Panelists discussed the controversial legal issues of recreational and performance drug use within the entertainment and sport industries during a panel hosted Friday at the UT School of Law.

Guest speakers, including several UT Law alumni and practicing attorneys, shared information about drug use within the sports and entertainment industries as well as the coverage of these issues in the media. The Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law and Action Committee for Career Services jointly sponsored the panel.

Jenae Steele, third-year law student and symposium editor for the Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law Journal, organized the event.

“It is vital for students to see the realities and actualities of what occur in the entertainment and sport worlds,” Steele said. “What you see on television doesn’t accurately present the legal aspect of the sports and entertainment industries.”

Holt Hackney, sports journalist and founder of Hackney Publications, spoke about the adverse impact of legal and illegal drugs on the talent and career of athletes.

“Performance and recreational drugs affect an athlete’s talent by creating a dependency,” Hackney said. “Athletes don’t necessarily have to become addicted to the drug; they can become addicted to the way they perform while under the influence of the drug.”

Hackney said the use of performance and recreational drugs by athletes is more common in professional sports than in college sports.

“Fortunately in college team sports, it is difficult to use performance or recreational drugs because they are so closely watched,” Hackney said.

Attorney Emilio Nicolas, who practices media and entertainment law, said the issue of recreational drugs is very prominent in the entertainment industry.

“The use of recreational drugs in today’s world is a serious issue, and the entertainment industry is no exception,” Nicholas said.

Steele said this panel serves as an inf ormative session as well as a networking event for students involved with the entertainment and sports industries.

“This panel presents an opportunity for students to hear about the legal realities of the entertainment and sport industries, as well as interact with experienced professionals,” Steele said.

Nicholas said the panels show law students critical, hidden aspects of these industries.

“For students going into the entertainment world as agents or attorneys, it is helpful to learn about the unforeseen issues they will eventually run into,” Nicholas said.

Correction: The panel was hosted at the UT School of Law, not by the school. The event was sponsored by the Texas Review of Entertainment and Sports Law and the Action Committee for Career Services.