Case Study: The Ethics of Sport
Case Study: The Ethics of Sport
Although the National Collegiate Athletic Association was put in place for the purpose of maintaining and enforcing discipline and ethical standards in collegiate sport, its approach has been seen from a very rigid point of view. While enforcing a code of ethics remains vital for the development of sports organizations and players, a more plausible consideration that seeks to rectify and remedy immoral conducts needs to be in place for resilience. Challenges remain part of the organizational cycle, but through the provision and implementation of corrective measures that seek awareness and rectification, institutions are guaranteed of development and growth amidst organizational hurdles (Christopher, 2016). Therefore, a very strict approach that offers no corrective arena for those who commit mistakes or act in defiance of an accepted code of conduct does not necessarily guarantee ultimate progress but developmental uncertainties and imminent managerial collapse (Ferrell et al., 2014). Equally, an institution charged with the responsibility of ensuring the compliance of members and stakeholders to the code of ethics should do its best and to the limits of accepted legal and moral guidelines to see that every rule is followed to the latter.
The NCAA’s ethics program would have prevented the occurrence of the scandals in Penn State, Ohio State, and the University of Arkansas. From the description of the scandals, it is evident that the NCAA only assumes its role after things have exploded and the violation has become prevalent across the school and even the community. Therefore, instead of focusing on disciplinary actions of members who violate its provisions, it would have been more judicious for the association to assume corporate governance by having its observers within the school (Christopher, 2016). The observers would often oversee the conduct of both the school administration, student-athletes, and even the sports administrators. Such observers would take an impartial position in the analysis of the conduct of all the involved parties. The selection of observers would also have been effective if it incorporated members of the school and the sports department (Ferrell et al., 2014). Additionally, student-athletes as the key stakeholders in the association should have been part of a committee charged with the responsibility of observing the conduct of their team members, the school administration, and staff pertinent to the sports department.
The cause of Penn State scandal in 2011 would have been prevented if the NCAA had instituted a leadership position on the side of the athletic-students. Such a leadership position would also compromise of few community members as observers in the sport (Erin, 2010). The occurrence at Ohio State would have been prevented through the existence of an investigative team that would have shared the information of the plans to use the gears. At this point, the NCAA would have issued directives to the concerned party at that time to confiscate the gears. Similarly, it would also have been wise if the association ensured that rules were frequently made clear to the players for avoidance. The scandal at the University of Arkansas would have been prevented by the NCAA if it had officiated a thorough personality check of the head coach before his admission as the coach of the state’s team (Eddie et al., 2015). Therefore, the association failed in advocating for a proper personality assessment of the coach, despite the fact that he had previously been caught up in some ethical scandals. The instances were, therefore, avoidable only that the association assumed the role of issuing sanctions and punishment without a definite follow up on the root causes (Ferrell et al., 2014).
As much as the NCAA is the watchdog of ethics in sport, it partially contributed to the ethical violations witnessed in the states of Ohio, Penn, and the University of Arkansas. According to the stipulated principles of intercollegiate sport, the principle of rules compliance provides that the NCAA will help institutions to develop their compliance programs. However, the NCAA appears to have contributed to the scandal since it did not offer assistance to the institutions in developing their definite compliance programs. Similarly, it did not have clear enforcing mechanisms that would ensure the administration of the principles in institutions (Eddie et al., 2015). This means that the association concentrated on the aftermath of an already accomplished scandal rather than having moral frameworks which would see that the participants abide by the code of conduct. Therefore, institutions learned to value the profit that the sports programs would bring over compliance of stakeholders to agreed mutual ethical standards (Ferrell et al., 2014).
For instance, it is appalling to note that the scandal in Penn state had happened for several years despite the existence of the NCAA. This means that the association did not concentrate on checking the progress of the institutions in a matter relating to compliance with the ethical code of conduct and therefore encouraging the school’s leniency in abiding by the right ethical provisions (Eddie et al., 2015). Similarly, it took the association several months to discover the Ohio State scandal. This could mean that the association rejoiced in the fines that it imposed on institutions rather than having observers who would seemingly prevent the scandals. In the scandal involving the University of Arkansas head coach, it is clear that the NCAA contributed to the scandal by failing to advocate for a personality assessment of the personnel by the institution before assuming office (Ferrell et al., 2014).
The incident at Penn State can be described as an event that occurred as a result of poor management and negligence by the school and sport department managers (Christopher, 2016). It is a scandal that can be viewed from a lens of exploiting clients for the purpose of maximizing profits. The scandal would have been prevented but due to the scheme between the school and the football staff, the misdeed meant nothing. What mattered most was the protection of the perpetrator of the scandal so that the entire school’s reputation would not be blemished. However, if the concerned managers had assumed corporate social responsibility for all stakeholders, the scandal would not have happened (Ferrell et al., 2014). The Ohio scandal illustrated a team that was determined to unite in executing crooked plans so long as mutual benefits were guaranteed for the planners. The covering up of the athletes by the coach demonstrate that the seniors would even protect their juniors so long as they ultimately gained and avoided the penalties for their actions (Eddie et al., 2015). However, this demonstrates qualities of a poor human resource manager who takes an unwanted risk by shielding rogue personnel in his organization. The scandal at the University of Arkansas illustrates an organization characterized by poor criteria for hiring staff. In a good organization, apart from emphasizing on employee competency, their values are key to their job (Ferrell et al., 2014). However, at the university, no attention on professional values and history was paid since they ignored his previous scandals, and only focused on his role of making the school the champion of games.
The NCAA ought to come up with their own team that should be involved with the supervisory role and provide insight at school level so that it makes sure that all stakeholders abide by the code of standards and no violations are witnessed. The team should be able to supplement efforts of various institutions in complying and enforcing the rules to other stakeholders (Ferrell et al., 2014). Additionally, the association should initiate the program’s awareness among the stakeholders so that all involved parties are informed of their obligations and the expected outcome (Eddie et al., 2015). The NCAA in this context must communicate the need for corporate governance and their responsibility to all stakeholders, both the school, sports teams, and even the community.
The human resource departments of colleges and universities should make sure that personnel recruited and selected for jobs in various department in the institutions meet ethical standards and values (Christopher, 2016). This can be eased through the provision of good conduct certificates where organizations will get to know the kind of a professional they hire. Ultimately, that will help in maintaining integrity and organizations to stick to their established missions and visions (Erin, 2010). During selection of personnel, the HR departments should only hire competent workers whose values meet the organization’s code of conduct and behaviour. Additionally, HR departments in various institutions should uphold the integrity of the office and summon workers who appear to violate stipulated codes of conduct. Employees who violate rules should face disciplinary actions from the HR department so that discourage repetition of such deviance. Equally, performing employees should be rewarded so that they are motivated to continue upholding organizational values and objectives (Ferrell et al., 2014).
Christopher, R. (2016). Institutional Control and Corporate Governance. Brigham Young University Law Review. Vol. 2015 Issue 4, p985-1050. 67p.
Eddie, C., Alan, B., & Nicole, S. (2015). Issues in Athletic Administration: A Content Analysis of Syllabi from Intercollegiate Athletics Graduate Courses. Innovative Higher Education. Vol. 40 Issue 4, p359-372. 14p.
Erin, A. (2010). The Need for a Global Amateurism Standard: International Student-Athlete Issues and Controversies. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. Vol: 17, p341
Ferrell, O., John, F., & Ferrell, L. (2014). Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making & Cases. (10th Ed). Cengage Learning.
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