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Eth/316 the Responsibility Project

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The Responsibility Project
Iris C.
ETH/316
July 30, 2012
Penny E. Hylton, PhD, MBA

The Responsibility Project
The lack of responsibility in collegiate athletics has become a common practice and very little is being done about it. As the sport continues to grow there is a need to remain concerned with Corporate Social Responsibility in sports. With the rising interest in collegiate athletics, there is a need to further investigate the constructs of social responsibility and social accountability, especially considering the controversy surrounding the concept of amateurism in college sports. College sports usually have to balance between amateurism, education and commercialism. Amateurism is essential to collegiate athletics and rest on two pillars – the athletes are unpaid and they also are not professionals in training (Sports Science, 2011). After watching the film on college sports I realized that many college athletes are taken advantage of. The film focus on a very diverse group of five different individuals in the sports world. There was a round table discussion with a former NFL Player, a columnist with ESPN New York, columnist with New York Times, Athletic Director of Princeton University, and an NBA Agent. The question among some the panel members were whether being a college athletic builds character or if it attracts character. One panelist also believes giving a college athletic a full scholarship is great, but the demand placed on them at the expense of getting an education is distressing. It almost seems as though the athletics are given these scholarships unethically because the universities are using this as their personal gain rather than for the benefit of the athletic. Another panelist stated that often times the athletics are removed from the academic environment of the university and placed in dorms with only athletics. They sleep with other athletics, eat with other athletics, and attend classes with other athletics, therefore, they have no idea of how the rest of the students function daily. There are shoe companies who pay the university lots of money for the student athletics to wear their shoes, and the athletics get none of this revenue. The student’s academic vision is lost because the university is focusing mainly on the benefits the athletic can bring to the university athletically rather than how well they do academically. After listening to each panelist individually, I believe that the ethical issues here is that the university is giving these students an opportunity for a free education, but are focusing more on their athletic ability rather than their education. Ethically this is not fair to the students. In an effort to address these issues, I made the decision to encourage not only the young men and women that are still in high school, but I also think that speaking to the high school officials about preparing the young athletics more for an education rather than a career as athletics will benefit everyone in the end. I based this decision on the fact that in my neighborhood, I have seen several young men graduate from high school, attend college, and are drafted into the pros before completing their college education. For various reasons their careers as professional athletics end sooner than they expected, and not only do they not have a college degree, but was not educated on how to manage their finances wisely, and are therefore near broke. Because of these matters, I feel very strongly about encouraging the young athletics of today to complete their college education before entering into a professional career as athletics. Also, I believe that it is important for these young athletics to study a subject that will benefit them once their career as a professional athletic is over. Many young men and women have no transferable life skills from college to pro, and from pro to real life (Responsibility-Project, 2011). The solution is leadership, starting at the top and reassessing the relationship between students and the university. One panelist suggested that the high school offer a course on sports in America. I believe that this is an excellent idea. Educating our high students on the advantages as well as disadvantages of becoming a college athletic prior to them entering college will help them to make better decision that will benefit their future. Getting a college education is fundamental for someone, and should be taken very seriously. Although my workplace is much different from college athletics, the situation is very similar. There are students who work for our department while attending college. These young men and women are very bright and have a lot to offer to the community. Unfortunately many in the office will try to encourage these vulnerable young people to remain with the department once they have graduated from college, whereas, I think that encouraging them to branch out into the community and offer whatever skills and knowledge they may have earned from college to different areas of the community is a great way of giving back to the community.

References
Responsibility Project. (2011, December 19). RP Roundtable College Sports. Retrieved from http://responsibility-project.libertymutual.com/films/rp-roundtable-colege-sports#fbid=lq3FifQnmYH
Review Sports Science. (2011, April). Sports Science. Retrieved from http://review.sportsscience.ro/wp-content/upload/2011/04/fritz_polite.pdf

References: Responsibility Project. (2011, December 19). RP Roundtable College Sports. Retrieved from http://responsibility-project.libertymutual.com/films/rp-roundtable-colege-sports#fbid=lq3FifQnmYH Review Sports Science. (2011, April). Sports Science. Retrieved from http://review.sportsscience.ro/wp-content/upload/2011/04/fritz_polite.pdf

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