Importance of Sportsmanship

When it comes sports, one of the major issues discussed is sportsmanship. The issues of sportsmanship deals with how players handle themselves during the game and after the game as well. As far as shaking hands after the game, I believe that players should be encouraged to do this. It shows respect for the game and the other team as competitors. Sportsmanship can go beyond the court or field of play, and can show someones character. In article on foxnews, it details a story of outstanding sportsmanship. An Ohio runner helped a struggling competitor finish a race and has been praised for her actions. It states, “Arlington High School sophomore Arden McMath, whose body was giving out, had Vogel put McMath’s arm around her shoulders, half-dragging and half-carrying her about 30 meters to the finish line”. McMath was so grateful about the action, but more shocked than anything and did not think something like that would happen. This just shows that sometimes being a good sport can have a greater impact than winning the game or competition.

I think it is different when it comes to pro sports, because that is a situation when grown men or women are competing against each other at the highest level. I still think there should be some sportsmanship, but forcing teams to line up and shake hands is not as big of a deal. Rick Reilly wrote an article for ESPN and stated, “We live in a world where Peyton Manning walks off the Super Bowl field without shaking anybody’s hand. Where Tiger Woods leaves the Masters without a word of thanks to the fans or congratulations to the winner”. He makes a good point, but at the same time we never see an outcry from the public about this or anybody being highly upset about their actions.


NCAA Drug Testing Policy

I believe that the NCAA has good intentions in regards to their drug policy and procedures, but the system in place is largely flawed. They place a large emphasis on testing for certain drugs like marijuana and PED’s, but do not ever provide athletes with a complete list of banned substances and supplements. This causes a gray area in that athletes are advised to go through their athletic trainer when taking certain supplements, but they do not always do that and sometimes the trainer may wrongly advise them. A major problem with the testing is that it not universal from school to school or even sport to sport. The issue with schools independently having their own drug testing procedures is that the NCAA allows them to adopt their own policies, and there is no independent agency to handle results or punishment. According to an article by the Associated Press, “Syracuse was put on probation for five years and coach Jim Boeheim was suspended for nine games for violations that included failure to adhere to a drug-testing program that was deemed too confusing by school administrators”. This is am example of the NCAA not having an effective policy in place and forcing schools to try to find the solution themselves, which does not always lead to positive things.

In another article by Jon Solomon on CBS sports, he discusses when the NCAA penalized Oklahoma State for not having a drug policy in place.  One point that stood out to me was  when he said that Oklahoma State athletic director Mike Holder told the infractions panel “there is no question” he should have abided by “the letter of the law.” Holder said that he “mistakenly” thought he had “latitude” to make exceptions. This is the problem with the NCAA placing the responsibility on the schools and when they allow the school to have their own policy, they will feel they can do things to their own standards and punish athletes at their own discretion.





Should the NBA and NFL control when an athlete can turn Pro?

The idea that the NBA and the NFL have control as to when an athlete can choose to pursue a professional career is one that does not make much sense. I think that the decision should be up to the individual and when someone is 18 years old they are able to decide what they want to do with their life. I believe that especially in the NBA where athletes are forced to wait until one year after high school to turn pro, that the rule is only put in place to protect NBA teams. The idea that kids are gaining the needed experience or maturity in that one year is just a cover up and a disguise for the NBA to basically use a free minor league system to evaluate a player. The main argument is that a kid is not emotionally or mentally ready for the NBA out of high school, but how much difference is a year actually going to make? I do not think it helps players and in turn also hurts colleges because you have players that do not want to be there feeling like they are forced to play for a year. I think that going to college even for football players to force them to stay there for three years is useless. If an athlete is ready after one or two he should be able to go. Most of these kids are not finishing their degrees even if they do stay for three years. An article on out kick the coverage brought up the point that only 4.3% of baseball players have a college degree. I think that the idea that pro leagues place a value on education is fake and put out there to try to protect their brand in society.