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At the Center

Capturing the lively discussions, presentations, and other events that make up the daily activities of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University.

The following postings have been filtered by category Sports and Ethics. clear filter
  •  Sports Law and Ethics Symposium

    Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013 3:00 PM
    Jim Thompson
    Jim Thompson

     Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson introduced Jim Thompson, founder and chief executive of the Positive Coaching Alliance, at today's Sports Law and Ethics Symposium.  Thompson will be giving a featured presentation on "What We Can Learn From What Happened at Rutgers," where Head Coach of the men's basketball team Mike Rice was fired for mentally and physically abusing players.

    Thompson is the first recipient of the ETHOS Award for contributions to the positive role of sport in American life, sponsored by SCU's Institute of Sports Law and Ethics. Hanson sits on the Institute Board and co-chairs the ETHOS Award Committee. 

  •  Greg LeMond on Doping in Cycling

    Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 3:37 PM

    With Lance Armstrong's admission that he was doping during much of his bicycling career, it's interesting to revisit remarks made by Greg LeMond for a 2008 Ethics Center presentation:

    Most humans are born with the moral sense of what is right and what is wrong. But many will justify cheating by stating, “Everyone is doing it; why shouldn’t I?” Well, not everyone is cheating. And those who compete by the rules are the ones being cheated. The price that an honest rider pays is not being rewarded for their full potential.

    Read the full article.

  •  The Death of Junior Seau and the Purpose of College Sports

    Friday, May. 25, 2012 12:32 PM

    "While the NFL and others discuss the safety issues in football that may have contributed to [the death of Chargers Linebaker Junior Seau], I am more interested in a man who was facing an existential crisis at the end of his career, and feeling lost as to what to do next," writes Matt Savage on this blog, "Savage on Sports." 

    Matt is an SCU senior and a 2011-12 Hackworth Fellow at the Center.  His project has been to involve his fellow students in conversation about the ethical issues in college athletics.  His most recent post explores how universities might help student athletes discover talents and passions that can serve them when they confront the inevitable end of their playing careers.

  •  Football, Concussions, and Character

    Tuesday, Apr. 10, 2012 3:35 PM

    In a presentation today for the Ethics Center, Fox Sports analyst Mike Pereira said that football was in a time of cultural change in regard to injuries. The former vice president of NFL officiating noted that the average lifespan of a man who plays 5 years in the NFL is in the range of 55—20 years less than lifespan of a man who hasn't played. He likened the situation to 1905, when Theodore Roosevelt considered banning the sport because there had been 18 fatalities in the previous year. Instead, rules were developed to protect players.

    Pereira said that Football Commissioner Roger Goodell is committed to improving player safety. His focus has been "to protect the thing we can't do without—the brain." Pereira believes that new rules to protect "defenseless players" have had an impact. "Money talks," he said, and players have been influenced by $40,000 fines for violating these rules.

    These changes are even having an effect in other sports, Pereira continued, although the moves haven't always been popular with fans. Not all fans have liked the changes, he acknowledges. "Fans like to see big hits. Fans like to watch hockey to see fights. Fans are flocking to mixed martial arts to see guys beat the crap out of each other." While the NFL has been criticized for making the game too soft, he said, they have also been sued by more than 200 former players because of concussion syndrome, which they claim the NFL knew about but did nothing to prevent.

    Pereira also commented on recent charges that the New Orleans Saints had a bounty program encouraging them to physically harm opposing players in exchange for rewards. A tape of Saints Coach Greg Williams before a game against the San Francisco 49ers caught him instructing his team, "Every single one of you, before you get off the pile, affect the head."

    In response, Pereira said, "Football is violent game. Players hit people hard to intimidate them, but shouldn't be trying to hurt them." Pereira believes that the culture of the game has to change or fewer talented young people will go out for football. "If I had children, I'm not sure I'd have them play the game," he said.