The Value of School Sports

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There is growing concern whether or not sports should be included in the school setting. Students in our Intro to Sports Administration course debated this topic, first with an initial post, and then a response to a peer. Read a few of the initial posts below.

By: Marcia Lovett

The city of Detroit had many extracurricular activity options available for the youth when I was growing up.

During my elementary/middle school years, we could run up and down the street playing tag or hide-and-seek and just enjoy being outside with our friends. We could go to the neighborhood playground to swing, climb the monkey bars or ride the seesaw.  We would practice our (near perfect) cheerleading skills while watching the boys play basketball and arguing over who caught whose eye. If we did not mind the walk, we had the option of going to the nearest recreational center for swimming, arts and crafts or any other activity going on that particular day.  These options were available to us throughout the entire year, during the school year or summer (when school was out).  Once we made it to high school, we were able to take the skills we developed during our younger years and join one of our high school teams.

Now, don’t get me wrong. Gangs existed and the temptation was there, but many of us were able to go another route because of the alternatives that were available at the time. I can honestly say that most of us turned out all right.

Turning out all right is much harder for children growing up in Detroit today. Their extracurricular options are far and few. Gangs are more prevalent than ever. The kids are unable to play outside without the thought of violence hanging over their heads because the fear of becoming an innocent victim of a crime at a young age is very real. The neighborhood parks do not exist. The equipment is unusable and the grass is uncut. Going to the neighborhood rec center is not an option because many of them have closed. The few rec centers that remain open are not within walking distance for many of kids to get to. It appears that participating in high school sports is the only viable option for some and a good alternative for others.

High school athletic programs are not without its problems, but eliminating it is not the answer. The program does more good than it gets credit for. High school sports promotes good sportsmanship through healthy competition. Eliminating of the athletic program from high school could have a negative impact on the kids. Kids that want to join a high school team are required to attend school regularly and maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA). Without having a sports program, school attendance could decline, the average GPA could be lower, and dropout rates may increase. There would be no additional incentive to stay in school. With limited extracurricular choices available, playing on the school team may be the only opportunity that some have for extracurricular activity. Another benefit is building socialization skills. Kids have limited chances to hone their socialization skills with the advancement of technology. Being a part of a team helps build additional skills that will help the kids as they navigate through adulthood: conflict resolution, leadership, time management, and team building.

By: Chad Golembiewski

High school sports are very valuable for kids. They provide so much for an adolescent looking to gain social skills and other skills that can be used in life. I grew up playing sports. I played throughout high school and when it came down for me to make the choice of going to a community college and playing baseball or going to a major university, I chose to go to the major university. I knew how unlikely it was for me to make a career playing baseball, so I did the smart decision and got a great education. If I can be brought up to think that way, then I think a lot of kids can be brought up that way. I was fortunate enough to have a great support system and some great coaches that really emphasized the importance of life outside of sports. I did very well in high school and I honestly do not know how I would have survived high school without playing sports. It gave me the motivation to wake up each day and go to school. I had something to look forward to each and every day. Sure I had many long nights of doing homework after a sporting event, but is that not real life? College consists of a lot of late nights preparing for an exam or doing homework. Some people have jobs that they have to work all night. I understand that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a great support system, and that can sometimes lead people down the wrong path. I understand everyone comes from different backgrounds and the things I was lucky enough to have many others were not as fortunate. I just feel that high school sports can be very advantageous for participants if the right support system is around these athletes.

I’ve been around a lot of sport programs, even working for one in college, that really instilled the emphasis of preparing for life and everything life will throw at you. Yes, getting the practice and improving skills for the specific sport were very important, but so were values that could be used in everyday life. Values such as integrity, hard work, responsibility, respect, and many others were taught to me for my sport, but also to use in everyday life. Sports can teach people that other things simply cannot. Everything I have done in my life since high school has involved the skills and values I learned from playing sports. Baseball might not teach you calculus, or American history, but it can teach you critical thinking, strategy, and leadership. If someone wants a job in math in the future well then they should pay attention in math class. Regardless, sports can help teach them the skills to be a successful leader in their future career. Sports can be such a great tool for all that play. Sure some coaches will be bad, but some teachers will be as well. If kids are taught by their parents or guardians the correct values, sports can be just as important of a development tool as schooling can be.

By: Lyndsay Butler

Participating and competing in high school sports has advantages because it teaches young adults crucial life lessons. There is no better way to learn about determination, teamwork and perseverance than involvement in a competitive sport. In order for a team to be successful in any sport, these values are necessary. I have lived the student athlete life since I was a young kid, and year after year I’d have to balance multiple classes and a demanding sport. Although this is not the easiest lifestyle, I can say that I truly learned those key values along with other important life skills such as communication, good time management and the ability to effectively set priorities.

Education is very important, and I do agree that there needs to be a better balance between academics and athletics, but eliminating sports altogether would be a big mistake. Life lessons are a key aspect of sport, but not only that, sports allow kids to completely open up, be creative and totally be themselves. You can get a kid who is extremely shy and never speaks up in class, but they could be the best leader and most outspoken person on the field, because that’s the element that they’re the most comfortable in. Also, the competitive nature that’s often ingrained in players through sport is something that they will always have, and in a lot of cases will influence competitiveness and strong work ethic in the workplace.

Unfortunately, some students do not excel in the classroom and some students do not get straight A’s, but in their sport they could be the hardest working player on the field and could demonstrate knowledge and intuition that other non-athletes may not demonstrate. While good grades can assist in securing a better, higher paying job, so can experience as an athlete. In one job interview I had a few years ago, being an athlete was what really struck the employer as intriguing and that’s what they showed the most interest in. While educators and parents want to see a greater focus on schooling itself, they are forgetting that sports can also be a very positive teaching tool for students.

The last thing I will touch on is the opportunity that high school sports offers for student athletes. Competitive high school sports are not just recreational and a good way to get exercise. These sports are serious, and only the best players will make the team. High school sports can be crucial for an athlete looking to move on to the next level and play collegiate sports, or in some cases even make it to the professional level. While academics are very important and they need to be stressed to high school students, sports can be very important as well. There needs to be consideration for both the scholars and the student athletes, because grades are not the only determinants of intelligence in the long run.

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SMAC at CMU

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That is sure a lot of letters in the title! I have found that sports’ people like to use abbreviations whenever possible so I figured I should continue the trend 🙂

This past Friday, faculty member Tiffany Edgar and I attended Central Michigan University’s 7th Annual Sport Management Association Conference. We participated in a career fair advertising Wayne State’s program and had the opportunity to meet with quite a few prospective students.

The conference itself was interesting. While we weren’t able to hear every speaker (at events like these you rarely are able to do that), we did enjoy listening to a few.

Bobby Glaser from Palace Sports & Entertainment spoke on the challenges of being the director of security in today’s society. His role encompasses all venues owned by Palace Sports and that keeps him quite busy. I found it interesting to learn of the multitude of certifications that are out there for someone interested in working security in a sports venue. The main organization is the National Center for Spectator Sports Safety and Security (NCS4).

The second speaker we heard was Lauren Carey. She had attended CMU and now works at UC Berkley. It was certainly a homecoming for her as she spent much of her time describing memories from her time in Mount Pleasant.

After lunch, we heard from Scott Howland who is the Customer Relationship Management & Research Manager for the Detroit Lions. He described how the Lions are now using data analytics to track the habits of their fans and work to market more strategically to these people. It was a very interesting and eye opening lecture on how the information we might provide a team when buying a ticket can be stored and used. If anyone is interested in data collection, this could be your foothold in the sports industry. Scott also mentioned that the Lions will now have Wi-Fi throughout Ford Field…Hallelujah!

The final speaker we listened to was Zach Fish. Zach was also a graduate of CMU and now works for the Fiesta Bowl in Arizona. What I found interesting about his presentation is that bowl games have a full staff that works year-round for a one day event. Keep this in mind as you are looking for a job after graduation. Zach was very passionate about his work and that was obvious from his talk.

The KHS department at Wayne State always tries to advertise any conference opportunities that come up to our students through our newsletter. These are awesome events that are worth attending. I can certainly say that I have always learned something and met great people from the conferences I have attended.

William

Current Events in Interscholastic Sports

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Within the sports administration program, we try to give our students some flexibility when working on their assignments. For example, in our interscholastic sports administration course, students were asked to find an event related to high school sports and discuss it. They had freedom to research and choose an event that interested them. Take a look at a few of their chosen events below.

By: Zach Johnson

What is the Event?

The event is the InsideOut Initiative forums in Ohio. The purpose of the event is to combat the “Win-at-All-Costs” mentality that has taken over interscholastic athletics and bring a more educational approach to the way that interscholastic athletics are run. The InsideOut Initiative first started in 2015 in Texas and Colorado, and looks to partner state athletic associations with local NFL teams to build a support community for interscholastic athletes to help build character of the athletes.

Who is running the event?

These forums are run by the InsideOut Initiative with the support of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA), Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA), National Football League Foundation, the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals, and other organizations.

When is the Event?

This event will take place on two different dates in two locations in order to help spread the ideas to a larger group of coaches and administrators. On February 13, 2017 the forum will take its discussions to FirstEnergy Stadium, the home of the Cleveland Browns, and will be attended by approximately 130 coaches and administrators from 40 different high schools in Ohio. Then on February 14, 2017 the forum will be at Paul Brown Stadium, the home of the Cincinnati Bengals, and will be attended by another 115 coaches and administrators from 35 different schools from Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky. These two dates are a part of phase 2 of the Initiative which started in Dublin, Ohio back in October 2016. (Ross, 2017)

Why is the Event taking place?

The event is taking place in order to fight the “Win-at-All-Costs” mentality that has taken over interscholastic athletics. Important educational aspects of athletics have gone missing from athletics today, and the forums are looking to get that part back in the game. Joe Ehrmann, co-founder of the InsideOut Initiative, said “The goal is to win – we play, plan and prepare to win every game – but this isn’t the purpose of education-based athletics. The purpose is the human growth and development of the inner lives of students and connecting them to caring adults in their school communities.”

Impact on interscholastic sports?

The InsideOut Initiative has the potential to have a huge impact on interscholastic athletics by helping to make it more about the educational and developmental purposes of athletics, rather than all about winning.

Bibliography

Ross, D. B. (2017, February 12). Ohio Continues with Next Phase of InsideOut Initiative to Combat “Win-at-All-Costs” Sports Mentality. Retrieved February 17, 2017, from OHSAA: http://ohsaa.org/news-media/articles/ArtMID/2006/ArticleID/128/Ohio-Continues-with-Next-Phase-of-InsideOut-Initiative-to-Combat-“Win-at-All-Costs”-Sports-Mentality

By: Erica Hayworth

What is the event?

The Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association (MHSSCA) clinic is held for head varsity softball coaches in the state of Michigan. The clinic is meant to provide education for coaches as well as help the coaches meet MHSAA coaching requirements.

Who runs the event?

The MHSSCA runs the event. There are board members and guest speakers in attendance. The board president is Tom Calnen and the vice president is Paul Marwede. The clinic is broken up into sessions and the sessions were run by name well known softball figures in Michigan. Some notable names are: Tom Buckingham (Saginaw Valley State University), Ashley Marinacci (Adrian College), Dr. Joe Eisenmann (Michigan State University), and Cindy Bristow of the NFCA.

When is the event?

The clinic took place on Friday February 10, 2017. The clinic is held at the Causeway Bay Hotel in Lansing, Michigan.

Why is the event taking place?

Each softball head coach is expected to complete a softball specific rules meeting per the MHSAA. The clinic is an all day event, which allows coaches to complete the rules meeting requirement. The clinic is used as an educational tool for head coaches to better their craft. The MHSAA and MHSSCA want these coaches to be well-prepared and well-knowledgeable about softball. To do this, the clinic is divided into sessions, which discusses different aspects of softball. Some of the sessions include: team drills, catching drills, mental game, etc.

How is the event related to interscholastic sport and what is the impact?

First and foremost, this clinic is related to interscholastic sport because the clinic specifically focuses on high school softball. Head coaches are expected to complete a rules requirement and are encouraged to be in attendance at this event. The rules requirement makes coaches aware of certifications they need to have such as, CPR. The rules requirement also discusses any rule changes that the MHSAA has made.

Coaches from all over Michigan gather and it is an opportunity for coaches to socialize with one another as well as continue their softball education. This continued education helps the coaches grow and develop their softball craft, which they pass along to the athletes they come in contact with. This clinic provides coaches the tools and tips they need to have success with their individual teams.

Reference:
Michigan High School Softball Coaches Association. (2017). Retrieved from http://mhssca.com/coaches-clinic

By: Samantha Bohy

National High School Activities Month was a program, developed by the National Federation of State High School Associations, that encourged programs spotlighting interscholastic activities to be held at all schools all month long, with a different theme each week.  The program focused on all interscholastic activities, including athletics.

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) developed the event.  They created and released all programming and encouraged school participation.  This program will ensure job security for the NFHS by design.  The more they recruit interscholastic activity participants, the more the federation can grow.  The NFHS relies on participation to continue its service.  The schools are the ones who carried out the events and programming.  Encouraging participation and recognition of interscholastic activities is beneficial to them to increase student involvement and for recruiting purposes.

The program took place in October of 2016.  The first week was about sportsmanship, fan appreciation, and public announcers.  The purpose was to bring awareness to these topics and support good sportsmanship.  Week two was centered on performing arts.  This week aimed to recognize those students, coaches, and sponsors of the performing arts programs at respective schools.  The third week went to recognizing coaches, advisors, sponsors, and officials.  These contributors were supposed to be hilighted in their schools for the service they provide to athletics.  The final week was national community service/youth awareness week.  This term focused on giving back to the community in any way possible.  The service acted as a way to thank community members for their support.  Programming ideas were listed for each week and testimonials from adolescents were featured.

The event was created to encourage participation in interscholastic activities as well as to recognize those who support the programs throughout the United States.  Each school has a different support group within their school and community and this event targeted each group at their respective schools.  The programs were flexibile so schools could include key members or coaches they felt fit the description of the weekly theme and could host an activity of their choice with multiple options suggested by the NFHS.

This event is related to interscholastic sports because each section applies to them.  Even the performing arts activities week pertains to interscholastic sports because although some of them may not participate in competitive or team sports, ballet and dance is absolutely still considered a sport.  This section specifically hilights those involved in all perfoming arts, whether they are involved in interscholastic sports or not.  The NFHS values all interscholastic activities.  The event is also relevant to interscholastic sports because it recognizes those who are not athletes that make sports happen.  It is important to recognize coaches and sports boosters, past and present, as well as officials because without them, there would be no teams.  The programming also encourages those past participants of interscholastic sports to give back to the programs they came from.  The recognition may keep a coach from retiring for a few more seasons or encourage more past players to become referees of their respective sport.

National Federation of State High School Associations. (2016). National High School Activities Month. Retrieved from https://www.nfhs.org/media/1016835/national_high_school_activities_month_2016.pdf.

Social Media in Professional Sports

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The explosion of social media continues in society today. The sports arena might be one of the biggest places for this ‘new’ form of communication. Our Professional Sports Administration students looked at pro athletes’ and executives’ social media accounts and answered questions based on the content they found. They also discussed the broader social media implication to the world of sport. Check out a few responses below.

By: Craig Otter

Today a large amount of people in the professional sports world use social media.  Some may use it to make money, find significant others, or just to have fun.  I am going to analyze two professional athletes (Reggie Jackson and Ezekiel Ansah) and two professional sports executives (Tom Gores and Rod Wood).

Athletes  

After looking into Reggie Jackson’s twitter account I believe he is personally posting his own content based on his tweet referencing the Super Bowl, “Screw the game the game will screw you #TB12 #GOAT.”  He also tweeted, “5:48am, touched down can’t wait to crawl into bed.”  I do not think anyone who is letting someone tweet for them will write something so casual.  I believe Reggie does a variety of things with his tweets.  He gives his personal thoughts, it’s a way for him to be entertain or be entertained, to help kids by tweeting charity events, and by giving people props.

Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah looks to post all of his twitter content by himself.  After examining his tweets I do not believe what he is putting on Twitter looks professional, and he also has grammatical errors.  Ziggy goes on to tweet bout his personal interests including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Ghana Soccer, and he also congratulated former teammate Kyle Van Noy on winning a Super Bowl with the Patriots.  All of these tweets align with personal usage.  It seems that Ziggy uses this social media platform to have fun, tweet what he feels, promote his country, give recognition to friends, and promote his endorsement deal with Hungry Howies.

Executives

Tom Gores, the owner of the Detroit Pistons uses Twitter to promote different things like Platinum Equity, a global private equity firm.  He also uses Twitter to network, as he and Dan Gilbert were “kicking around ideas.”  He uses Twitter to help raise money for residents of Flint deal with their water crisis.  I believe being the owner of the Pistons and multiple other companies he needs to make sure his behavior both on-line and in-person are above reproach.

Rodney Wood, The Detroit Lion’s Team President mainly uses Twitter to make the Detroit Lions appealing and promote the team.  He tweeted about the Lions updating Ford Field with wifi for a better fan experience.  He also tweeted a picture of updates to the stadium like the new standing room only section.  Like Tom Gores, Rod Wood needs to always be on guard with whatever he does so he is never a distraction from the team so he can maximize the profit the organization brings in.

Social Media in Pro Sports

Social media is a great platform for building a loyal fan base.  Currently we live in a society where we want what we want, and we want it now!  Social media provides that almost insatiable desire of the most avid fans.  Fans do not have to wait for or buy the newspaper anymore.  They go directly to the teams twitter account or favorite athlete’s Facebook page and get their fill.  Pablo Sandoval’s story is an example of a disadvantage of using social media to get the latest news to fans.  Pablo got traded to another team. Before he could even break the news to his teammates it was all over social media.  Things like this does not create a team cohesiveness needed to win.

By: Chelsea Kouri

The two athletes that I followed in order to observe their social media presence were Kevin Durant and Mike Fisher. I am very confident that Mike Fisher posts a majority of his content on his own. He is known to be a person who is very into his faith and he posts about that and more personal things such as his family and especially his wife Carrie Underwood. I think more personal posts come from the athletes themselves and I would say more than 90% of his content is more personal. He has some retweets but he also makes comments with these retweets which again make me believe that he is posting his own content. Kevin Durant on the other hand is a little harder to be sure. He has a TON of retweets about apps and things that involve him that almost anyone could do. however the loose language used makes me believe that he also tweets his own content. When other people tweet for athletes I feel like it is usually extremely professional even in 140 characters. I feel that Kevin Durant’s twitter is all about exposure. As i mentioned getting his apps and emojis attention or camps that he does or eye wear. Its basically advertisement. Mike Fisher’s on the other hand reflects more of who he is as a person. Again posting more personal content you see more about his life outside of hockey and the type of person he is. He seems to be giving fans a closer look at who he is behind the athlete.

The two executives that I followed were Mark Cuban and John Elway. As many know Mark Cuban is way more than just a basketball executive. He is part of a show called Shark Tank and very out spoken when it comes to things that he believes in. A lot of the more recent of Mark’s tweets are retweets about either political things, shark tank or things that are happening within the Mavericks organization. I think that everyone who is very well known may have someone to manage part of their account. Retweets of information about the owner of the twitter account is easy for anyone to do. But I believe the main part of Mark’s twitter is all him. Just because of the type of person he is. He is not afraid to share his opinion and he doesn’t need any help in doing that. I don’t think he would allow anyone to limit what he says on his account. John Elway is a little harder to read. His tweets are pretty basic. I think his account could easily be run by someone else. There is not too much opinion on his account. I do believe he tweets his own content every once in a while but I also think there is a very good possibility that someone else posts his content for him. He seems to be limited to information about the Broncos or at least all football related things.

Social media is almost necessary for high profile people these days. How they use it can hurt or help them in their endeavors. Some use it to advertise themselves and some use it in order to let their fans get to know them more personally. Either way it is capable of creating a larger fan base for them. When you get to see what an athlete is like outside of the game your opinion of them can change totally. Whether it is for better or worse. From a marketing standpoint twitter and Facebook are 24/7 outlets and new can be dropped at any time. This can be very important for the business side of things.

By: Michael Feld

For this assignment, I chose to follow the Twitter accounts of NFL punter Marquette King and former Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson. On the executive end, I went with Lions president Rod Wood and Maple Leafs GM Brendan Shanahan.

There is little doubt that King is in control of his own account. Aside from being on the league’s top punters, King is notorious for having one of the best Twitter accounts in the league. His content is plentiful, lighthearted and humorous. He’s done a great job to build his online brand (149,000 followers) as well as his personal brand with his account. While I do believe King uses his account to interact with fans and as something fun, I’m also convinced he’s well aware he’s marketing himself. He’s one of very few punters that have become household names, which can lead to plenty of marketing deals.

Calvin Johnson is a different story. He sparingly used his account as an active player, and has mainly stuck to forwarding Instagram images and advertising his appearances on Dancing with the Stars. While I do think he is responsible for most of his tweets, I am convinced the recent marketing attempts came from a phone/computer not belonging to Johnson. A private player like Johnson isn’t looking for a lot of attention (66,000 followers) and is sticking to minor marketing choices with his account.

Rod Wood’s account is a marketing extension. It’s almost 100 percent news releases, sponsors, and photos from games/events. Wood has used his name as a way to keep hardcore fans up-to-date with the latest Lions press releases. Essentially, the account is geared toward people looking for a specific type of tweet. He’s only tweeted 41 times, so the account is likely in full control of the team. Surely, the limitations are to keep it positive and informative.

Brendan Shanahan’s Twitter account was created when he was in the league office. As Leafs GM, it’s photos and retweets with fans, as well as posts of old and vintage Red Wings posts. I believe Shanahan is using the account to show a bit of personality in a cutthroat job considered to be owned by stiff executives. I don’t think he has many limitations from the team; the jokes and inside bit tweets are right there with the fan photos. I believe the Maple Leafs have allowed Shanahan to be himself as long as it does not present negative attention.

The biggest thing social media has done for athletes, teams and executives is humanize them across the board. While it certainly has several drawbacks, I think it’s fantastic in building individual and team fan bases. Simply put, it builds a brand. The two biggest issues are that there is obviously concerns with pushing the envelope or going too far, as well as the negativity fans also provide on any given moment. By in large, however, athletes and teams showing personalities are a win-win on social media.

Youth Sports Infographics

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In our program, we try to expose our students to new technologies and new ways of presenting data. One of the tools we like to use is Infographics. This graphical representation of data is perfect for the millennial generation. Students in our Intro to Sports Admin course created inforgraphics based on the content they were learning about in this week’s module. Check out a few of them below.

By: Christina Harris

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/19802776-christina-harris-infographic

By: Luke Bronkema

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/19991345-bronkema-concussion-in-youth-sport

By: Elizabeth Candiotti

https://www.canva.com/gb5830

By: Lyndsay Butler

https://magic.piktochart.com/output/20043023-lyndsay-butler-youth-concussions-copy-copy

Do We DWYSYWD in Sport?

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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.

References:

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2013/09/12/221906413/13-years-later-lance-armstrong-returns-olympic-medal

http://m.mlb.com/news/article/66433260/arbitrator-rules-alex-rodriguez-to-be-suspended-for-2014-season/

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 http://www.heraldnet.com/sports/thiel-apparently-football-has-retired-all-sense-of-honesty/

Thinking Like a Sport Leader

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We have a new course this semester at Wayne State – Sport Leadership. In it, students will learn what it takes to be a great sport leader. This week, they took a look at a statement from 1909:

“Reflecting on the business of sport during the first decade of the 20th century, P.R. Robinson, president of the New York Sporting Goods Company, concluded that it had been a good decade. Robinson noted tremendous growth in the popularity of sport, particularly in baseball, tennis and golf, football, basketball, fishing and target shooting, and roller skating. Even the business panic of 1907, remarked Robinson, had not hurt the sport industry. “When general trade is down,” he said, “people have more time to devote to sports.” Looking to the future, Robinson saw only good times for the sport business industry. As times became better, he concluded, the demand for high-priced sporting equipment would increase because people would want to perform more effectively” (Robinson, 1909).

Our future leaders were then asked to critically answer questions (see Liz’s post for the exact ones) based on what was in Robinson’s statement. A few responses are found below.

By: Liz De Souze Ghellere

Describe the critical thinking skills (see pg. 22-23 of the course text) Robinson employed to reach his conclusions?

  • I would say that to get to that conclusion, Robinson used the following critical thinking skills:
  • What are the reasons? – We can see by the quotation that we has different reasons to believe that sports industry had a good decade and that he believes it will still grown more.
  • What are the issues and the conclusion? – He utilize the experience, and the many issues to get to a conclusion. So, with what he already know, and with the evidences he has, he got into a conclusion.
  • What are the descriptive assumptions? – His assumptions are based in knowledge and experience, so he can say that it was a good decade and why, and he can “assume” how the future will be based on his experiences.

Summarize the questions you would like to ask Robinson?

  • I would like to ask him if his evidences are good enough and if there is no fallacies in him conclusion.
  • I would ask this, because I believe that money crisis is something very determinant for the sports business. For example: my parents have a sport’s store in Brazil, and there is a economic crisis very strong in Brazil for more than a year now. So, the whole market business is more slow and not as good as it was couple years ago. Therefore, when there is an economic crisis, people focus in spend money is what is essential and crucial to their lives. Most people will not invest in the best equipment, or will not start a new sport and spend money with more products, or even will not change their shoes as often as they did in the past. Because people are focus on save money and spend it with what is more important, and for the most part, sports are in a second plan.

Explain ways in which you could apply Robinson’s comments and approaches to today’s sports industry.

  • The way I could apply his comments to today’s reality is when he talks about products, and how people spend more money buying better equipment when they want to be better. “…the demand for high-priced sporting equipment would increase because people would want to perform more effectively” (Robinson, 1909).
  • A good example of that will be what happened to me every year. I play for the university, and we go by new tennis shoes every new season. Most people that are not proficient in tennis, or do not play it as much as my team does, they can have a regular shoe – and not very expensive. However, we, that spend a lot of hours on court, we need very good shoes, that will last a long time, and that are comfortable. Therefore, we always get shoes that are more than U$ 130 dollars, because we know that if we by shoes that are less than that they will break down, and/or hurt our feet.

Defend whether or not you agree or disagree with Robinson’s conclusions (why or why not).

  • I agree with Robinson in a certain way. I agree that when people get better and better in a sport, they want better equipment, because they know it will help then to perform better. Sometimes, you are very good in a sport, you have the ability, the movements and everything, but you do not have the right equipment. And for the most time, good equipment are very expensive.
  • Another good point is that sports are getting more and more popular. People are more worried about their hearth and their quality of life. So more people are starting new sports, or even taking sports more seriously. People are spending more time, and more money on things related to sports, because now, with marketing, with TV, with information, people know how important it is to exercise. Therefore, we can assume that these people will buy more equipment, clothes, shoes, etc. and spend more money on the sports industry.
  • One more good point is technology. Today technology is so advanced that sports industry comes with something new every year. A new tennis racket (that is more light, and efficient), or new shoes (that are very good to your posture and are very comfortable, and makes you run faster), or new clothes (take dries your sweat faster), etc. So, the industry comes with something new every year, with more information, more technology, and a massive marketing – making people want those products, and making people spend more money in the sports industry. As in the
  • Just one thing that I would be more worry and aware than Robinson, is the economic crisis. When he said, “When general trade is down, people have more time to devote to sports”. (Robinson, 1909). As I said before I believe economics plays a very big role in any type of industry and store, so for sports it would not be different. I do not believe that people have more time to play sports. People will cut their spend, and focus in what is the most important thing for them, which for the most time, are not sports.
  • “Three elements necessary for success in sport management are professional preparation, professional attitude, and career planning and management” (Ross and McCullough, 2014). I totally agree with this quotation for the 2nd chapter of our book. I believe that a Sport industry needs to prepare and plan when the trade is not very good, so knowing that a crisis is close to happen, they can manage the industry so it does not suffer a lot, and they can prevent the trade for any damage.

References:

Robinson, P. R. (1909). Trade prospects for 1909. Sporting Goods Dealer, 20, 31-32.

Pedersen, P. M., & Thibault, L. (2014). Contemporary sport management. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

By: Jacob Galarowic

P.R. Robinson concluded that the first decade of the 20th century had been a good decade for the sporting good community, and that there will continue to be growth in this field (Robinson, 1909). To reach these conclusions, certain critical thinking skills must have been used. Based on Robinson’s responses I would say that he used descriptive assumptions, which led to descriptive conclusions, and ultimately this led to his conclusions. Descriptive assumptions are defined as, “unstated beliefs about how the world is, was, or will be” (Pederson & Thibault, 2014, p 22). While looking back on the decade, Robinson noticed that more time and money had been spent on the sports industry. From here, he was able to make a description conclusion and state that “the demand for high-priced sporting equipment would increase because people would want to perform more effectively” (Robinson, 1909).

Due to the somewhat vague responses that Robinson had made, I would like to ask him what exactly does it mean to have a “good decade”? Does this mean that more people were attending sporting events? Or was the overall gross profit for the New York Sporting Goods Company higher than the previous decade?

Robinson’s comments and approaches could be applied to today’s sports industry in many ways. Researching trends in not only sporting good stores, but also in ticket sales for professional sporting teams, would be one way to apply his approach. Another way would be to gather information on the price of sporting equipment from X amount of years ago until today, taking into account that inflation is inevitable. I would be willing to bet that the prices have slowly increased over the years.

Overall I would say that I agree with Robinson. Today there are many more sporting good stores, fitness centers, sport stadiums, sports bars and programs geared towards sports/ physical fitness in general. I have also noticed that people are willing to pay more for equipment and services, because they believe that it will be beneficial for their sport. For example, a friend of mine is big into power-lifting, and recently bought a lifting belt for supporting his lower back. Well, there was a belt for around $60 available at the store, but he decided to order a belt online for $200 because it was made of better material and he figured he could lift more with that particular belt.

References:

Pedersen, P. M., & Thibault, L. (2014). Contemporary sport management. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Robinson, P. R. (1909). Trade prospects for 1909. Sporting Goods Dealer, 20, 31-32.

By: Damiquel Williams

When thinking about Robinson’s conclusion and what critical thinking skills he used, there are a few. One of the questions he probably asked is, what the issues are. He would probably answer this be saying something along the lines of not much exercise equipment exist now that could help the performance of an athlete in a specific sport. He could also ask himself is there and will there really be a need for sport performance equipment. And will people want to pay the price that he is selling it for. Another question he would ask is what the reasons are. The reasons would be because people would want to improve the sports performance. What are the value conflicts and assumptions? This would be a question to ask because values are abstract ideas that people see as worthwhile. If people see the improvement of sports performance something that is worth the while, then of course they would mind paying for it the product. How good the evidence is another question he might want to ask. In order for him to know that exercise sports equipment is in demand, he must know that it is something that people will be willing to spend money on (Pedersen).

I would ask questions pertaining to the type of equipment he would be manufacturing. How much will the equipment cost? Would it be something that any age group could use? What level of complexity would this machine use? These are all questions that are important to know if the consumer will want to buy this product or not. They is a need for sporting equipment even today. I think that is something that will always be around, and will the sporting industry steady growing, more and more equipment will need to be manufactured.

Even though Robinson had a good conclusion, I would all the way agree with him. All with advancements in technology and knowledge about health and fitness, an athlete no longer need high priced equipment in order to reach peak performance in a sport. Over time we have learned that you can get the same effects using body weight as weightlifting (Weight vs bodyweight). However, I am not heavily involved in every sport there is, so I don’t know what the market is in certain sporting equipment. All sporting equipment doesn’t have to be high priced in order to be effective.

References

Pedersen, P. M., & Thibault, L. (n.d.). Contemporary Sport Management (5th ed.).

Weights vs bodyweight exercises. (1970, January 01). Retrieved January 19, 2017, from             http://www.startbodyweight.com/2014/04/weights-vs-bodyweight-exercises.html