Tag Archives: Sports

Sport Governance & Ethics 412

by James Reese


  • Governance Component-5 Weeks
  • Ethics Component-5 Weeks
  • Equals Ten 2-Hour Class Periods
  • Two 2-Hour Class Periods Assigned to Ethical Theory.
  • Eight 2-Hour Class Periods Assigned to Discussing Ethical Issues in the World of Sports.

Goal of the Ethics Component

  • To Provide Students With a Basic Understanding of Major Ethical Theories in Order to Provide a Theoretical Framework for Decision-Making in Sport and in Life.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the Primary Ethical Theories-Four Will Be Addressed.
  • Understand That All Theories Are Flawed
  • Recognize Ethical Situations
  • Understand That it Is Difficult To Exclude Biases From the Decision Making Process.
  • Identify Changes in Ethical Philosophy That May Have Occurred During the Quarter.

Ethical Theories To Be Discussed

  • Deontological
  • Teleological
  • Existentialist
  • Naturalistic Approach
  • Justice Theories

Topics to Be Addressed in Class

  • Hazing in Sports
  • Salaries in Professional Sports
  • The Implementation and Effects of Title IX
  • Performance Enhancing Drugs and Supplements in Sports.
  • The Exploitation of College Athletes?
  • The Actions of Parents in Youth Sports
  • Violence in Sport
  • Pressure to Win and the Impact on Ethics


  • Final Exam-Not Whether Their Decisions are Right or Wrong, But How They Identify and Apply Ethical Theory.
  • Ethics Journal
  • Instrument-Measure Any Changes During the 5-Week Period. No Guarantee of Cause and Effect.

Possible Instruments

  • Values Auction Sheet
  • Ethical Self Evaluations Questionnaire
  • Ethics Position Questionnaire
  • Incidents in Negotiation Questionnaire
  • Business Ethics Questionnaire
  • Machiavellianism (Mach) Questionnaire
  • Ethical Slippage Questionnaire


  • The Goal of the Course and Module is to Raise Awareness That Ethical Theories Provide a Foundation for Decision Making. This Awareness Should Force Students to Question and Evaluate Their Own Decision Making System.
  • Raising Awareness May Help Them To Have a Theoretical Foundation For Decisions in the Real World.
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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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Gender and Equity in Sports

Panel discussion
April 26th, 2000
Irvine 194

  • Peggy Pruitt, Associate Director Internal Affairs
  • Statistical overview of Ohio University’s compliance with gender equity goals as compared to other colleges and universities.
  • Heather Fueger, Women’s Golf Captain, Member Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
  • Student’s view of current gender equity situation at Ohio University.
  • Mark Holowchak, visiting assistant professor, Philosophy

sports_genderFrom its inception, sports has functioned as a war game. Since war was the domain of men, sports — at least “real” sports — was an male-only activity, for the most part. The intrusion of women into an area central to the definition of male character threatens men who derive their self-image from sports and sport-like activities. Gender equity will not be achieved until sports is freed from its role as a crutch for the insecure self-image of the macho.
Anne Flannery, Pupule Sports, formerly director of marketing for Spalding Worldwide’s Women’s Sports
Review of gender equity development from the 1980s to 2000, as seen through the eyes of a central participant. The development of the WNBA and women’s sports marketing. Prospects for the future.

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Debating Sports Doping

sports_debateMiller Brown & Mark Holowchak
January 16th, 2001, 12:00 am to 9:00 pm
Anderson Auditorium

Two prominent sports philosophers debate each other and audience members on the issue of legalizing or banning performance drugs.
Dr. W. Miller Brown is a sports philosopher and dean of faculty at Trinity College. Visiting Ohio University professor Mark Holowchak writes on sport- and classic philosophy.

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What Sport Is and Is Not

Martin Bertman
September 8th, 2005, 8:00 to 9:00 pm
Bentley 140

bertman_SThe philosophy of sport is a neglected field, despite the great interest in sport. This lecture defines it, showing it to be the creation of a world by rules that provides stable expectations for the audience and yet, as a game within those rules, it provides the unpredictable excitement of play. Further, sport in its cultural import will be discussed, including the historical traces of the Greek Olympics and the Roman Gladitorial contests; also. discussed will be the distinctions between individual and team sports, sports that use machines or animals, and sports with an aesthetic element for measuring victory.

Professor Martin Bertman, Ph.d was educated at Syracuse, Columbia and Princeton Universities. He has been a member of the Philosophy Faculty of Helsinki University, Finland since 1995 and has lectured in ove 50 European universities. He has been NEH Professor at University of Scranton 1980-81 and Distinguished Visiting Professor at California State University 1981-83. He is President of the International Hobbes Association and Editor-in-Chief of Hobbes Studies. He has published 5 books and 90 articles on various philosophical subjects, including sport. He is an associate faculty member of the Institute for the History and Law of Sport of Univesita di Teramo, Italy.