Do We DWYSYWD in Sport?


Yes, that is a lot of letters jumbled together to the untrained eye. But when broken down, it poses a very important question. Students in our Concepts of Management & Supervision course looked at whether the principle of ‘do what you say you will do’ is relevant in sports like it is in other industries. Here are some of their thoughts.

By: Lyndsay Butler

Although there are multiple cases where professional athletes, as well as coaches and employees act in a dishonest manner and get away with it, I believe that honesty in sport really does matter. I know from experience in sport that teams will do anything they can for an advantage to defeat an opponent, but there should never be dishonesty or cheating in the process. The sport industry is still a business, and with that, everyone should follow the guideline of “DWYSYWD” in order to have a trustworthy and credible environment.

Sports are also associated with winners and stellar athletes, and it is not fair to declare a winner or award an individual who has been cheating or using drugs to better themselves, while the others aren’t. For example, Alex Rodriguez of the NY Yankees got caught using steroids, and was suspended for an entire season because of it. There are very strict rules about illegal enhancements in sport, and the dishonesty associated with the case also had consequences. If honesty wasn’t a big deal in sport, there would be no consequences for these actions at all and everybody would be doing it. Another example is Lance Armstrong who lost his Tour de France titles after discovery of him using enhancement drugs, as well as him returning a medal from the Olympics in 2000. This is not something that is taken lightly, and athletes who are dishonest also lose a lot of respect from their teammates and fans.

Everyone should care about these issues. A lot of times, professional athletes are role models and younger athletes look up to them. It is important to be honest and display morals that will be advertised to others. Players, coaches and fans all want to see great competition, but there needs to be honesty in order to maintain a fair playing field. Players should definitely deal with consequences if they’re caught using illegal supplements, and I don’t think that anyone should help with trying to cover up their mistakes either. All of these rules and regulations are in place to reduce the amount of illegal action causing unfair advantages, and I believe that’s a strong point for honesty and credibility in big time sports.


By: Emily Dewaters

I honestly love the quote“leadership is personal. It’s not about the corporation, the community, or the country. It’s about you. If people don’t believe in the messenger, they won’t believe the message. If people don’t believe in you, they won’t believe in what you say. And if it’s about you, then it’s about your beliefs, your values, your principles.” (Kouzes & Posner, 2003). I would like to believe that honesty does matter in big time sports and we teach our athletes that we will always be honest but that is at the Division III College level. I think to “big time”, pro athlete’s honesty does not matter. The big times is where we see all the cheating, fines, and suspensions. While youth, high school, and college sports are nowhere near under the same microscope as the professionals, I think their sports are more honest because they are more often not playing for the money.

“Do What You Say You Will Do” is lost when the game becomes more than that and is taken to the next level. Using deflated footballs in a game is not DWYSYW by members of the Patriots, such as Tom Brady. Lance Armstrong was not DWYSYD when he cheated in the Tour de France 7 times.  These big time names in sports agree to be a profession athletes and compete at a high level, but a level that is measured and set by rules, regulations, and standards.

Honesty has been lost, and it is now effecting the lower levels of play. People, such as coaches and players are often pushing that line of DWYSYD until it is Doing Something Close To What I Shouldn’t, and that’s what gets them in trouble. Money is often a cause for this, in order to make the most you must be the best even if that is going against something you said you wouldn’t do, such as cheat. However, I do not think money is the only cause, athletes are under so much pressure to be the best that they forget about their moral compass and for get to DWYSYD.

I think that we should care about honesty remaining in sports because that is the only way to control them. However, we must realize it is going to take a lot of controlling and monitoring for that to happen because people are too tempted to be dishonest and big time atheltes have more on the line that a win or a loss. Honesty should really matter at the young age when we are teaching them about life, using a game.

By: Abigail Ulewicz

Honesty does not matter in sports.  It should, but it does not.  So many athletes are caught with drugs or for “rigging games” (Deflategate) or even for not disclosing injuries throughout the season, but get slapped on the wrist, and then get to play again.  For example, Tom Brady and Deflategate.  Yes, he was punished and suspended for four games, but look at the Patriots now.  They are going to the Super Bowl.  They literally had to mess with an essential item needed to play football (the ball), and they get punished a little, and then everything is okay.  Plain and simple, they cheated.  Another aspect of honesty in sports is disclosing injuries when a player when a player is actually, seriously injured.  Writer Art Theil describes an example of this.  He talked about how Richard Sherman, arguably one of the best players in the league, was injured for the second half of the football season, but continued to play.  Sherman and the Seahawks put winning (or trying to win) above one of their best player’s health.

We, as sports fans and also future leaders in the industry, should care that honesty does not matter in sports.  When honesty is taken for granted in sports, everyone (players, coaches, and fans) suffers.  Cheating gets a free pass and injuries could end careers if not addressed properly.  What could be just missing a few weeks due to injury could turn into forever.

Thiel, A. (2017, January 19). Thiel: Apparently football has retired all sense of honesty. Retrieved January 20, 2017, from


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