Jocks gone wild
“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