Ethics issues in college sports are a long-standing problem. In fact, it’s resulted in some colleges having wins taken away and their reputations ruined.
However, ethics problems don’t have to persist. Creating ethical college sports programs is possible, but it does take time and a willingness for students, teachers, coaches and parents to report issues when they arise.
Sadly, some colleges and coaches are willing to do almost anything to win. This often involves illegally filming the opposition, having an inside person take pictures of a playbook and stealing hand signals to confuse opponents. Sometimes, players are even asked to fake injuries on the field. All of this can result in dire consequences for the school, coaches and players. Plus, it’s completely unethical.
Typically, other coaches and players notice cheating. Often, they’re afraid to speak up. Providing an ethics hotline gives them a safer way to make college sports more fair and ethical for everyone.
One of the most common ethics issues in college sports is bribing or buying off players to attend a specific college. In addition to a full scholarship, the college might give the player or their family a new car, a nice vacation, help with general expenses and anything else to sway the player’s final decision.
Ethically, recruiters are only supposed to make an offer to attend the college, explain what makes that particular college the best and offer a tour of the school. All the bribes are unethical and can blind players from attending the best college for them. Parents and students should report this whenever it happens, even if the perks seem too good to resist.
Placing Victory Over Health
The desire to win is sometimes more important than anything else. Coaches and colleges are often pressured into winning or risking losing funding from supporters that the “must win” mentality clouds their ethical judgment.
This results in players being forced to practice in unsafe conditions, such as extreme heat warnings, or be required to take steroid shots to mask the pain from major injuries. Risking the health of the players is never ethical. Sports, by themselves, already carry some risk, but playing with an injury or in highly unsafe conditions makes sports far more dangerous than they should be.
Players are often afraid to say anything for fear of losing their scholarship or a future as a professional player. However, implementing an ethics hotline gives them an anonymous way to report this type of ethics issue to make the game safer for everyone.
Ethics issues in college sports usually stem from extreme competitiveness. While there’s nothing wrong with a competitive spirit, it can go too far. Disrespecting opponents by damaging equipment, locker rooms, buses or anything else is highly unethical, yet it happens far too often. Some teams are even encouraged to try and physically hurt their opponents to gain an advantage.
Respect is key to making sports safer and more enjoyable for all. Everyone needs to take responsibility and report any instances of disrespect via an ethics hotline. Then, issues are investigated and college sports finally become far more ethical.