Jocks gone wild

The Washington Times Weekly - - Culture, Etc. -

“If sports are sup­posed to build char­ac­ter, re­cent ev­i­dence sug­gests that col­lege ath­let­ics is fall­ing down on the job. Con­sider this sum­mer, dur­ing which at least 25 col­lege ath­letes have made head­lines for var­i­ous off-field vi­o­la­tions. [. . .] Sharon K. Stoll be­lieves she knows why — and she has de­vel­oped a plan to tackle the prob­lem.

“Ms. Stoll, a pro­fes­sor of phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion at the Univer­sity of Idaho and the di­rec­tor of its Cen­ter for Eth­i­cal The­ory and Honor in Com­pe­ti­tion and Sport, has been study­ing moral­ity in sports since the 1980s. Dur­ing the past twodecades, she has mea­sured the moral-rea­son­ing abil­i­ties of more than 70,000 col­lege ath­letes. [. . .] [On]the­w­hole, ath­letes have sig­nif­i­cantly lower moral-rea­son­ing skills than the gen­eral stu­dent pop­u­la­tion. [. . .]

“Team-sport ath­letes per­form worse than any oth­ers, with lacrosse play­ers scor­ing the low­est, fol­lowed by ice hockey and foot­ball play­ers. Play­ers of in­di­vid­ual sports like golf and ten­nis fare bet­ter but still lower than nonath­letes. And al­though fe­male ath­letes score higher than men, their moral-rea­son­ing abil­i­ties have also dropped; Ms. Stoll be­lieves they could fall as low as men’s scores within five years.”

Brad Wolver­ton in “Moral­ity Play” in the Aug. 4 Chron­i­cle of Higher Ed­u­ca­tion

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