Sports play a significant role in the society and culture at large. It influences the values of many people who are either participants or spectators who love it. Sports instill a positive attitude and impact on youths as shown by performances in schools. Research shows that students engaged in sporting activities performs better than those who are dormant. The research also indicates that the students have lower dropout cases and more disciplined than others. Many students who have the opportunity to join culture get to earn their degrees. Sports teach students and other interested parties valuable lessons involving teamwork and appreciating team effort.
Coaches who are in charge of the participants of sporting activities influence the characters of the participants. High profile role models involved in various sporting activities are also influential in many students’ lives. There are several instances of good sportsman behavior and relationships created, but cases of unethical behaviors are evident. Unethical behaviors are disruptive activities that occur in and out of the sports field (Morgan, 2007). These behaviors include cheating, commercialization and misconduct among players and spectators.
The ethical issues have negated the pride and love for the sports which have prompted the formation of control bodies. One essential body was formed by a group of elite and non professional sports figures in the sports world. They formulated about sixteen principles of sportsmanship to ensure that disciplined is instilled in sports (Yiannakis, 2001). The aims for the formation of the principles were to ensure that ethical values are lifted, and the character building potential is maintained. The ethical values were based on the Olympic philosophy formulated to guard against mischief in the games.
Some of the ethical issues in sports includes the use of illegal drugs. The drugs have been used to enhance the performances of athletes, while it is against the rules. The issues regarding the use of performance enhancement drugs are referred to as doping. It is unethical for athletes to use drugs to enhance performance in competitive sports. The world anti doping agency plays a role in providing the framework to guide against unethical issues. This act is similar to cheating and the proposed framework model is based on sportsmanship principles.
These principles are essential in setting the required standards for sportsmanship. The principles were designed to work on the six pillars of trustworthiness. These pillars were essential in building the character for kids, coaches and the spectators. Getting involved in the implementation of the principles is essential especially when creating good relationships. The six pillars of character are enumerated as follows: Respectful, Fair, Responsible Caring, Trustworthy and good citizenship.
Trust is an essential trait any every aspect of human life. Being a trustworthy person is a trait that is admirable to most people in different professions. This trait assures the trait of integrity especially where truth and honesty are required (French, 2004). One is required to follow his or conscience, be honorable and upright where integrity is involved. One is encouraged to do what is right and to take risks no matter how hard or costly the event might be. This trait requires the involved party to build his or her reputation and avoid doing things that are wrong. Courage is essential in this trait as fright is not considered in order. Loyalty, honesty, courtesy, and reliability are other traits emphasized and trust. One is required to keep his or her promises to ensure that there is honor, commitment and dependability in one’s undertakings.
The trait of respect involves the use of good manners, politeness, courtesy and avoiding insults. Insults are common in sporting activities where there are misunderstandings and conflicts. Other attributes of respect are the golden rule, non violence and tolerance. It is essential to discourage bullying behaviors because some opponents may be smaller or perceived to be weak. Some participants in a sporting activity are likely to avoid taking responsibility of their actions or avoid working in a team. It is essential for participants to think about their actions before they act. This involves thinking on the long term and analyzing the outcomes of situations.
Accountability also allows participants to set a good example for those looking up to them as role models. It is advisable to take every available opportunity to make a difference by not looking the other way when things are bad (Pedersen, 2011). The trait of fairness has attributes such as justice, openness, and fair opportunities. It is essential for participants in sporting activities to treat people equally. This involves making decisions without taking sides or favoritism. It is necessary to implement disciplinary actions consistently to those that are affected. Participants are advised to have the spirit of sharing by not taking more than what they are supposed to take. Sharing promotes the spirit oneness and prevents mischief.
Approaching issues with a fixed mind is not encouraged for sportsmen. It is good to develop listening traits to listen to other people’s opinions and consider their views concerning ethical issues. It is required that those involved get the facts right and be tolerant to opposing views. Competition is a relevant phenomenon in every sporting activity. The sportsman plays the game is key as the resultant expectation is an honor. The main aim in every sporting event is to emerge victorious. The sportsman model requires their commitment to the principles of integrity that requires total compliance.
These principles are designed in line with the rules and regulations that govern participation in the game. These principles are emphasized even when it is easy to violate the rules and walk free with the offenses. There is a difference between sportsmanship and gamesmanship because they differ in their application. It is a fact that participants and coaches practicing sportsmanship may be in conflict with those who practice gamesmanship.
A gamesmanship participant’s goal is to win the game even if it means acting unethical. This may be a setback for a sportsmanship participant who would rather sacrifice losing than acting unethical. It is arguable that a victory that is earned through unethical practices is not honorable. True victory involves not taking part in unethical activities that where honor and respect in involved. It is the duty of coaches to remind their players that true victory comes as a result of honor in a competition. It is essential to note that taking part in a competitive event is more significant than winning it.
The Olympic concept states that true victory can only be achieved through honor. The Gamesmanship model is another essential model that is common in addition to the sportsmanship model. This model recognizes several ways of breaking rules in order to achieve a competitive advantage. Winning is the most essential thing in this model and participants have made it their mission to achieve it. They are concerned with winning and would only acknowledge that they cheated once they are caught. They argue that it is the work of match officials to determine who cheated or did the right thing.
There is no strategy or determination to identify the difference between the right and the wrong thing. Some of the offences that are acceptable in this model include; faked fouls, doctoring the equipment and having an illegal head start. Some participants believe that it is right to willfully foul opponents by pulling them down or knocking them down without reason. Some participants are seen to intimidate their opponents to create and instill fear in them. Some participants who support gamesmanship believe that it is not a big deal to injure opponents to prevent them from participating. Some of them take part in espionage, where they film game secrets of their opponents and use it against them. This is evident in instances where participants ask to be given copies of their opponent’s tricks to copy.
The two models differ in tactic and safety of the game. Sportsmanship promotes integrity and safety of participants who take part in the game. Gamesmanship has a different goal as it aimed at promoting practices and schemes. These tactics could be unsafe and can violate the integrity of the game. The safety of athletes is paramount in any sporting activity, in consideration to the rules involved.
The rules are mainly designed to prevent any conduct meant to create a non essential risk of injury. Some of the techniques that cause harm to participants violate the foundation of competition. Activities such as causing physical harm to opponents bring about dangerous elements in sporting activities (Shogan, 2007). Ethical issues are integrated with other bodies such as NCCA who are in charge of institutions.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association is a body tasked with creating and enforcing laws governing sports on campus and colleges. The body investigates any violations that are deemed to have taken place during a championship event. They take actions against guilty participants who violated the rules. The body has been in existence for a long time and has officiated over several championships in the last decade. Once a team has committed a violation, they are investigated rigorously to ensure that all facts and evidence are consistent. Suspension and sanctions are among the disciplinary actions taken when a team is found guilty.
The violations that are under this body’s control include the ones committed on the pitch and off the pitch. Some violations committed on the pitch include those that infringe on the rules applied in the games that participants are involved (Arnold, 1997). Apart from the game rules, other violations include those that are committed off the pitch intentionally or unintentionally. Violations that are committed on the pitch are usually handled by the referee. A special committee handles the case when it exceeds the referee’s mandate.
One special case is the recent violation by Texas Southern football and men’s basketball teams. The teams had continually violated the set rules and had lied about having taken their own disciplinary actions. The case was handled by the Division I committee. The teams had no institutional control for over seven years spanning over 13 sports. Some of the rules that the teams had broken include the use of ineligible athletes. They were not keen on following the set academic rules that all players were expected to follow.
Some of the players exceeded the scholarship limit that required certain commitments on the part of the athlete. As a result, the basketball team was banned from taking part in the 2012-2013 post seasons. The football team was banned from taking part in both 2013 and 2014 seasons. The disciplinary body took further action by imposing penalties such as five years probation for both teams (Thornton, 2012). Their scholarship opportunities were limited and also had their records erased up to the year 2006.
This means that the gains achieved by the teams such as the Texas Southern team win of 2010 was disregarded. The NCAA found that the University allowed up to 129 students who were ineligible to take part in the events. Travel expenses and financial aid were accorded to these athletes irregularly (Bodin & Sempé, 2010). In return, the school fired some of its officials who were in charge of the teams during that time. A case in point is the case where Coach Johnnie Cole was relieved of his duties in April 2011.
The coach allowed a booster to recruit athletes which was against the regulations of the NCAA. Another recent occurrence was the firing of Gene Bleymaier who worked as the athletics director at Boise state University. The football team was faced with several irregularities, and as a result, the school was facing sanctions. The women’s tennis team lost several scholarships and were fined $5000 as a penalty for their actions. Many institutions are recommended to have their own control systems in dealing with violations. This would reduce the violation cases and reduce NCAA intervention when ethical cases arise.
Analyzing this ethical practice require the use of ethical decision tools for proper comprehension. The use of decision tools is essential in finding the best solution to a prevailing problem. Formulating a body in charge of implementing disciplinary actions such as the NCCA was the most appropriate in this instance. It is evident that matter became complicated because of the inclusion of ethics in the rules of various games (Andreff, 2011). The body created to bring sanity to sporting activities in colleges ensured that ethics is the standard for making judgments. The steps involved in decision making are computational as every decision process is essential as a tool.
Violating the ethical values and set rules would cause danger to athletes whose aim is to enjoy the competitive experience (Wurtzel, 2006). Stakeholders of every sporting activity have their own rules that are applied independently in different sports. The main intention of setting rules is to set standards that can be used as benchmarks in the sports field. The rules ensure security and reduce harm to participating athletes. Additional rules and regulations are used in cases where there are gross violations. These rules apply in different jurisdictions such as rules enforced by the NCCA in college competitions. All these efforts are aimed at improving the characters of participants to become better competitors and encourage sportsmanship. Ethical issues are essential in any profession especially in sports to ensure the security of the participants.
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