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The relationship between a university and its athletic department is essential, yet it often seems to be an uneasy alliance. No matter how well-regarded a college or university is academically, it is often the athletic teams that bring it its notoriety, both good and bad. Over time, the rise in popularity of college athletics has made sporting events a big business, with millions if not billions of dollars at stake in the form of sponsorships, media deals, salaries, bonuses, and more. This lure of fortunes to be made has resulted in temptations that are sometimes too difficult to resist, and, hence, ethical dilemmas are rampant in college sports.
As a result of several highly publicized scandals in the 1980s, The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics was formed in 1989 to “recommend a reform agenda that emphasized academic values in an arena where commercialization of college sports often overshadowed the underlying goals of higher education.” The Knight Commission’s groundbreaking 1991, Keeping the Faith with the Student-Athlete: A New Model for Intercollegiate Athletics, indicated that college sports are often on a separate mission from their respective universities. They contended that this dual mission is difficult and damaging to the universities to sustain.
Yet, college athletics continue to grow, and continue to contribute to increased costs in terms of new facilities, uniforms, publicity, and other considerations. Given these contradictions, do you agree or disagree with the Knight Commission that college sport in its present state is unsustainable? Discussion 1 focuses on this question through an ethics lens.
Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. (2013). Knight Commission launches groundbreaking, interactive college sports spending database.
> Use the Learning Materials to help with your discussion (https://www.knightcommission.org/2020/04/name-imag…)*
According to the Knight Commission (and many college presidents), “College sports in its present state is unsustainable in the future.” Do you agree or disagree, and why?
For your post, consider the following:
Should college sports continue to exist?
What, if any, are the ethical considerations associated with this question?
Note the quote’s mention of college sports “in its present state.”
Post a response to the following:
Explain your perception of what Knight Commission means by “in its present state.” Explain whether you agree or disagree with the Knight Commission’s statement, and why. Relate your answer to ethical issues you have examined in this course.
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