Good and Bad in Sports Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Personal Values in Sports

As with most dimensions of life, personal values and beliefs have a demonstrable effect on what is rendered in the form of behavior on the sports field of play and with the activities that surround the same. Beyond that, this paradigm is clear and visible irrespective of whether one is talking about the athletes, the coaches or even the parents of child (or sometimes college) athletes in some instances. This research report shall focus on the factors that most significantly engage and affect people when they are operating within the sports realm. The work of Donghun Lee (2011) will be a major focal point of this report but other sources will be looped in as well. While there are many factors and things that can influence somebody when it comes to sports, it is the free will and moral fortitude of an individual and the resolve that they have to keep it strong that will best inform what the person does when faced with sports-related challenges of any kind.


Some people may think this subject is overblown and being portrayed in a way that is excessive and beyond the pale. However, anyone that is remotely aware of the sports-related scandals that have occurred over the years knows how much of a lie this is. Whether it be Malice in the Palace, the sexual molestation suppression scandal at Penn State, the much more recent sexual assault reporting suppression at Baylor or any number of other situations, the major moral failings of many coaches and athletes are not hard to find. When it comes to players in particular, the struggles and travails of the athletes in particular are no different. Indeed, Lawrence Philips of Nebraska fame and Maurice Clarett of Ohio State fame are just two examples. The latter has faltered greatly during and after college and has made some modest, if not uneven, attempts to remedy his standing (ESPN, 2016). On the other end of the spectrum is Lawrence Phillips who ended up engaging in a life of crime, falling away from the NFL in short order and recently committed suicide in his cell (Peter, 2016). However, most athletes are much more moral and upstanding in terms of what they do. Indeed, noted basketball star Tim Duncan went to Wake Forest for his full four years even though he would have almost certainly been the number one pick in the NBA draft after his junior year and would have done very well before that as well (Biography, 2016). Others still, both in college and in the professional sports realm, advocate for passions and causes that are not always lacking in controversy. One example is the advocacy for medical cannabis and having cannabis removed from the banned list of drugs given that marijuana is not a performance-enhancing drug. Indeed, it is just illegal in most (but not all) jurisdictions or applications (Thiersch, 2016).

Coming to the focal point article of the story, Donghun Lee offers his own perspective when it comes to the subject. He starts off his treatise by noting that he took a much more analytical and statistical approach to his analysis. Indeed, he notes that there were multiple regression analyses conducted as part of the study. The impetus and basis of the study was to look at the personal values, life goals and individuals cognitive and behavioral levels of involvement in their respective sport. The results of the study revealed that the personal values and goals of an athlete explained either a moderate or major part of the variance when it came to general sport fan-ship, team identification, televised sports viewership, attendance at games, internet use specific to the sport, listening to sports broadcasts, purchasing of sports memorabilia and reading about sports. The items just listed are ranked in the order of the significance and the percentages of the same ranked in size from 28% (the first two tied) all the way down to eight percent (Lee & Trail, 2011).

Lee then gets into the idea that many marketing schemes that involved or surround sports are heavily reliant on the idea and principle that many sports fans in general are benevolent and/or that they are willing to donate to a good cause. The former is a value and the latter is a goal. Lee uses the example of the Portland Sea Dogs. They are a minor league baseball team in the state of Portland. The Rotary District in that area markets to fans of the team so as to raise money to support efforts for the homeless. From 2000 to 2004 alone, these efforts reaped a great benefit as there was $50,000 raised in total, or about $12,500 a year. The money was used for things like food pantries, shelters for the homeless, soup kitchens and shelters for battered women and their dependent children (Lee & Trail, 2011).

Lee then details the theoretical framework on which he relies. He hearkens first back to the work of Gordon in 1975. Gordon asserted that values are frameworks and constructs that represent general behaviors or states of affairs that the people consider to be vital and important. He also cites the work of Kahle in 1983 when it was said that the decisions and paths of individuals are guided in a way so as to point them to the proper situations and also tell them how to act when they enter those scenarios. Sports and the players or coaches that operate within that realm are by no means the only example that can be pointed to and no less than Lee himself says as such. He speaks about similar analysis and results that were found when looking at things like shopping behavior. The primary work that Lee completed focused on a number of general realms of values or beliefs including aesthetics, ambition, benevolence, commitment, conservatism, freedom, hedonism, moderation and openness, among a few others. To state the obvious, both positive and negative dimensions and the scores for each in terms of how high or low they posted were among what was assessed. The results and the associated variances are noted above (Lee & Trail, 2011).

To state an obvious conclusion from the sports study, there is the general premise that people that are within or around the sports realm are generally good and positive in nature. They have big hearts and the presumably expect their team and their personnel to behave in a sportsmanlike, mature and composed manner. However, that does not always occur in sports and this is true at the professional and college levels, as noted at the onset of this section. One factor that Lee touches upon should be fleshed out and explored in its own light. As an example, corrupt coaches can have a huge effect on the team. It is fairly apparent that the two coaches mentioned when it came to college scandals that involved illegal acts, those being Art Briles (Baylor) and Joe Paterno (Penn State), were so focused and enthralled with winning and the glory that comes with it, that they actively ignored or suppressed the reporting of and the investigation of very illegal and immoral acts by their assistant coaches and/or players. In the case of Penn State, Jerry Sandusky was molesting and sexually assaulting children and Joe Paterno (among others) was less than vigilant in making sure that justice was discovered (CBS, 2016). In the case of Art Briles, multiple players of his were accused of sexually assaulting female students or other women and there is the appearance that Briles and others were actively involved in trying to keep those incidents and accusations, true or not, as hush-hush and quiet as possible so as to not disrupt the program or have people being removed from the team Baby, 2016). Other scandals are not nearly as morally devoid but are no less significant when it comes to bad values being just as permeable and transferable as good ones. Indeed, Southern Methodist University (SMU) had a very good football program in the 1980's. However, that prominence came to be for much the same general reason that Penn State and Baylor faltered ... winning at all costs and to hell with the rules or the morality involved. In the case of SMU, they got the so-called NCAA "death penalty" for improper benefits and disallowed recruiting tactics on a massive scale. The school lost its entire following season, a lot of victories and was put in a very bad place for quite a while due to these penalties and most of the people most responsible did not face any real punishment on a level that should have occurred (Dodds, 2015).

The point is that people consider and internalized sports and competition in different ways. Even fans manifest this when it comes to the passion or lack thereof that they manifest depending on how things go. For example, if one person's team loses the big game, their reaction might just be "oh well,…

Sources Used in Document:


Baby, B. (2016). Art Briles, Baylor officially part ways in wake of sexual assault scandal --

SportsDay. SportsDay. Retrieved 25 June 2016, from

Biography. (2016). Tim Duncan Biography. Retrieved 25 June 2016, from

CBS. (2016). The Penn State Scandal - CBS News. Retrieved 25 June 2016,

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