Posts Tagged ‘cheating’

NFL pounds New Orleans Saints for paying bounties for maiming opponents. Will the NBA, NHL, NCAA, FIFA be inspired?

March 21, 2012

 

I used to be a boxing fan. Joe Louis, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jake LaMotta were boyhood heroes, and the highlight of my week was the Gillette Cavalcade of Sports, telecasting fights every Friday night. The program was top-rated until more and more fans—eventually including me—gradually came to understand that the object of the game was to cause brain damage, hopefully temporary but occasionally permanent and cumulative, as happened to thousands, most famously Muhammad Ali.

I became an even bigger pro football fan, until being turned off by the violence—not the inherent violence of the game, but the intentional maiming of marquee players like Brett Favre, DeSean Jackson, and Tony Romo.

It was no surprise when earlier this month the NFL disclosed that the New Orleans Saints had paid bounties for injuring opposing players, with extra money for “cart-offs” –when the injured player had to be carried off the field in a motorized gurney.

But today there was a surprise—a welcome one: the league came down with crushing punishments for the practice: Saints head coach Sean Payton was suspended without pay for the entire 2012 season, former Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams (who apparently initiated the practice) was banned indefinitely (more…)

Rose Bowl, BCS Bowl, Ethics Bowl

December 8, 2011

The bowl season is shaping up well for fans of ethical football, as Les Miles’s LSU Tigers head for the BCS championship at the Sugar Bowl, and Chip Kelly’s Oregon Ducks go to the Rose Bowl. But my favorite is the Ethics Bowl, where the UC Santa Cruz Banana Slugs  defeated the Cal State Chico Wildcats Saturday in the West Regionals to go to the National Finals in Cincinnati  on March 1.

The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl is a team competition that tests the skill of undergrads in analyzing and describing ethical dilemmas. I was privileged to serve as a judge, and see the enthusiasm and determination that students from eight California colleges showed for dealing with ethics.

The students were all volunteers, motivated not by course credit but by their interest in the ethical life. They put in a huge effort to research the fourteen cases used in the competition, and backed up their conclusions with facts and theory.

At a time when so many adults are behaving unethically and so many college competitions are marred by cheating and unsportsmanlike conduct, it’s a joy to see so many millennials working so hard to rise to the challenge of ethics.

Brazilian women cheated and paid the price against the US in World Cup quarter finals

July 13, 2011

It’s nice to see cheaters caught and punished, and especially rewarding when their cheating costs them a victory that was almost in the bag.

In the Women’s World Cup (soccer) quarter-finals Brazil led the US 2-1 with time running out. Brazilian defender Erika (Brazilian players don’t use their last names, presumably because they’re so famous: think Kobe. Wilt, Magic, Manny, etc) faked injury and fell to the ground, writhing and moaning. The delay would rob the Americans of the slim chance they had to tie the game.

Erika was carried off the field strapped to a stretcher, then, once off the field, rolled off the stretcher and raced back into play. (Video here) Not so fast: the referee gave her a yellow card and put three extra minutes back on the clock. The US scored in the extra time, and won on tie-breaker penalty kicks.

The referee got it right this time. Unfortunately the referees don’t get it right every time, and soccer has no instant replay. As a result games often turn on “diving”—falling to the ground to make the ref think you’ve been fouled. Soccer should take the simple step needed to disincentivize diving: (more…)

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel resigns, long after lying to NCAA and playing ineligible players

May 30, 2011

Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel, arguably the top coach in college football with eight BCS bowl appearances in ten years and a national championship, resigned today. Tressel has been caught lying to the OSU administration and playing players he knew to be ineligible.

In the midst of an NCAA investigation into OSU athletics, and with several allegations of higher-ups condoning the rule-breaking, the university is trying to pin the entire rap on Tressel and avoid penalties against the Buckeyes’ top-rated football program. The school used the old trick of sugar-coating public relations pros by releasing the news on a holiday weekend, hoping that fewer people would notice.

A year ago the NCAA levied harsh penalties against USC for what appears to be a much lesser offense involving one assistant coach and one player, Reggie Bush. The OSU case involves the head coach, the director of compliance, and twenty-eight players over nine years. It may also involve the athletic director and the university President. Stay tuned for more transgressions and to compare penalties.

Cal Bears admit cheating against Oregon Ducks after incriminating video surfaces and Pac-10 announces investigation

November 28, 2010

 

One and one-half cheers for Cal Bears head coach Jeff Tedford and athletic director Sandy Barbour for punishing Tosh Lupoi, the assistant coach who instructed a player to fake an injury to slow down the lightning-fast play of the Oregon Ducks.

Not three cheers, because immediately after the Cal-Oregon game, won by Oregon 15-13, Tedford had denied any faking of injuries. Not until after damning video evidence surfaced and the conference said there would be an investigation did Cal take action, suspending assistant coach Tosh Lipoi for one game. (more…)

Who’s unethical: USC Trojans coach Lane Kiffin or the Washington Post?

November 26, 2010

When the newspaper says you’re a cheater, a womanizer, and only got your job because of your father’s influence you must be a pretty bad person, right? Well, maybe not if it’s the Washington Post making the accusations.

The Post’s Norman Chad wrote these things last Sunday, in a piece headed “USC’s Kiffin and Carroll are the best – at circumventing the rules.”

It’s true that last year, as head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers, Kiffin broke some rules that the NCAA called secondary violations with no penalties, mainly speaking disparagingly of Southeastern Conference rivals. It’s also true that the USC football program was sanctioned by the NCAA because star running back Reggie Bush’s parents accepted gifts from an agent looking to buy influence with Reggie. No suggestion, however, was made by the NCAA investigation that coach Pete Carroll had even a hint of the payoffs—the charge was that the school’s policing of the rules was inadequate.

The Post calls USC football a rogue program. Far from it: to make up for its failure to learn about the Bush pere payola, USC has hired a new athletic director, the squeaky-clean Pat Haden, and appointed a university vice president for compliance. An example of USC’s dedication to compliance: the Trojans’ suspended their hot-shot running back, freshman Dillon Baxter, for the Oregon State game (which the Trojans lost) for accepting a campus ride on a golf cart that was driven by a student who—unknown to Baxter—was a part-time sports agent. Baxter was reinstated only after making a donation to charity of five dollars—the imputed value of the illicit ride. (more…)

PAC-10 Football Ethics: Cal’s Jeff Tedford teaches cheating: his Cal Bears almost beat the Oregon Ducks

November 17, 2010

 

Cal’s football coaching staff has found a way to slow down the lightning speed of the Oregon Ducks: cheat. The Ducks are undefeated and ranked #1 in the nation, but they almost stumbled Saturday against the Cal Bears, holding on to win, 15-13. Cal’s secret weapon? Faking injuries to stop the game and give Cal players time to catch their breath and get ready for the Ducks’ next play.


Several times during the game Oregon’s offense was stopped as a Cal player went down with an apparent non-contact injury, then quickly returned to the game. The most egregious example was captured on YouTube. Cal head coach Jeff Tedford denied cheating, telling ESPN,


“People get hurt during games and in fast-tempo stuff, there’s cramps. That’s not the deal. I know that anytime anybody goes down against Oregon, they always think that’s the case. But it’s not the case.


However, The Oregonian reports that “a source within the Bears football program confirmed to The Oregonian that this [faking injuries] indeed was “a big part” of the defensive game plan (more…)

More shame for USC: After spreading careless accusations of cheating, a non-apology from Mike Garrett

July 12, 2010

When you’ve done something wrong and you want to apologize, say. “I’m sorry.” Even better, say what you’re sorry for. This doesn’t apply to the University of Southern California.

After USC was hit last month with sanctions from the NCAA for serious rule violations involving football star Reggie Bush and basketball star O. J. Mayo, the athletic department feared that players already committed to the Trojans (or already enrolled) would switch to other schools. Not just fears: according to ESPN, USC accused five other schools–Oregon, Washington, Florida, Alabama, and Fresno State—of cheating by contacting top Trojan recruit Dillon Baxter without the Trojans’ permission.

Mike Garrett, Trojan athletic director confirmed the ESPN report when he sent letters of “apology” to the five schools. After accusing the five schools of cheating Garrett belatedly asked Baxter, who said he’d not been contacted by any of the schools.

Garrett didn’t apologize for his careless accusation of cheating, or perhaps for damaging their reputations, nor for anything he had done. No responsibility for Mike Garrett, nosirree:

“I apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter has caused to you and your institution,” Garrett wrote.

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World Cup: How to stop the kind of cheating that got undeserving Netherlands to the final

July 9, 2010

Here we go again. A World Cup elimination game decided by an illegal play. But this one is of a different character than when Uruguay striker Luis Suarez used his hands to slap away a sure game-winning goal by Ghana. Suarez’s action was forthright, against the rules, duly penalized, but smart. Bad for the game, but not something one could brand as unethical. I proposed a rule change that would eliminate such plays.

But when Netherlands star Arjen Robben fell to the ground, writhing in pretended pain from pretended contact from the Brazilian defender (diving, in world footballspeak), he cheapened the game. The referee was fooled by Robben’s deception into awarding Holland a free kick, which was converted into the deciding goal in a 2- 1 win that ended Brazil’s hopes of another championship.

Robben cheated, and it got his team into the semi-finals against Uruguay, who they beat, 3-2. Now only Spain stands between the Dutch and the championship. It’ll be sad for the game if the Dutch win, their trophy forever tarnished by the way they won it.

There are three ways to reduce the incentive for players to dive: (more…)

World Cup: Uruguay defeats Ghana on Suarez hand ball: cheating or smart soccer?

July 5, 2010

The World Cup has offered a lot of exciting soccer plus some serious controversy. The most controversial incident came in the quarter-final match between Uruguay and Ghana, in the 120th minute (that is, the last minute of overtime).

Ghana had been awarded a free kick, and the Ghana player unleashed a strike toward the net. The Uruguayan goal keeper leaped and missed the ball. It was the game-winning goal, until…Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez stretched his hands up and slapped the ball away.

Suarez’s action violated Law 12 of soccer’s official rules:

A player is sent off if he …denies the opposing team a goal or an obvious goalscoring opportunity by deliberately handling the ball (this does not apply to a goalkeeper within his own penalty area)

So Suarez was sent off (i.e., kicked out of the game) and Ghana was awarded a penalty kick—an unchallenged kick from twelve yards from the goal. Penalty kicks are converted to goals about three quarters of the time, but Ghana’s star striker, Asamoah Gyan, hit the crossbar with his kick. The game then proceeded to a shootout (alternating penalty kicks by either side), which Uruguay went on to win, 4-2. Ghana was eliminated from the World Cup, while Uruguay goes on to play the Netherlands in Tuesday’s semi-final match, but without Suarez, who was suspended for one game.

Did Suarez cheat? Not according to his coach (more…)


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