Competitive College Sports: Corrupting Character or Cultivating Character?

sports_characterPanel discussion
April 13th, 2000
Irvine 194

Summary of the arguments:

Mark Holowchak, professor of philosophy
Instead of building character, competitive sports corrupt it. Collegiate sport should be strictly amateur. College teams should receive no external support, and they should not function as farm leagues for professional teams. Let professional teams run their own minor leagues, and stop forcing college on people whose real goal is to become professional athletes.

David Carr, Physical Education & Sports Sciences Coordinator
Competitive sports do not corrupt athletes’ character. Instead, they offer valuable lessons in character development, providing valuable lessons in skills such as perseverance, dedication, and grace in victory and defeat. Many student athletes credit their athletic programs with giving them the discipline they need to keep their grades up. The college experience would be less valuable for many students without competitive sports.
Andy Kreutzer, Sports Administration Program Coordinator
Sports are valuable not just for the athletes, but for the university as a whole. Not only do they bring in money (both from alumni and from out-of-town fans attending games) and they attract better students — they also create an invaluable spirit of camaraderie in the university community. The whole university would be poorer in body and in soul without competitive sports.

Sue Bullard, NCAA Faculty Representative
Overview of role and function of the NCAA representatives. The mere fact that there is still a need for an oversight body like the NCAA suggests the current system allows and may even invite corruption. Detach sports from the university and let the professional leagues take care of player development themselves.

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