Archive - June 2016
- Column: The IOC Is Punishing The InnocentJune 30, 2016
In his 2007 bestseller Where Have All the Leaders Gone? Lee Iacocca, former CEO of Chrysler, discusses the ten C’s that can be used as a test of a good leader: Curiosity, Creative, Communicate, Character, Courage, Conviction, Charisma, Competent, Common Sense and the one that he regards as the most important, Crisis. If you believe Iacocca, and dismiss him at your own risk, the so-called leaders of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have failed the test. The IAAF, the world governing body for track and field events, recently banned Russia’s track and field athletes from participating in this summer’s Olympic Games in Brazil. The IAAF ban was actually an extension of a suspension imposed last fall after a comprehensive report by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) detailed Russia’s “deeply rooted culture of cheating (i.e., doping).” The IOC upheld the IAAF ban.
- Column: Are Beanball Wars Out Of Control?June 23, 2016
Just as the MLB season has heated up, so too have the “Beanball Wars.” The motivation for the incidents may vary, but the potential result is the same: Suspensions and/or injuries that could affect a team’s performance or jeopardize a player’s career. The most recent dust up occurred when Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura plunked Orioles third baseman Manny Machado in the back during a game on June 7. Machado’s offense was barking at Ventura after the pitcher had thrown inside to him earlier in the game. Machado dropped his bat and charged the mound, precipitating a benches-clearing brawl. When the melee ended, Ventura and Machado were ejected and later suspended by MLB, Ventura for nine games and Machado for four.
- Column: Washington Redskins - A Controversy That Won't EndJune 16, 2016
If you’re looking for a controversy with no end, try this one: The debate on whether the Washington Redskins should change their nickname and team logos. Depending on who – and how – you ask, the nickname of the NFL’s third most valuable team ranges from a non-issue to a slur against Native Americans. The controversy was recently inflamed when the Washington Post published the results of a new poll that asked Native Americans a series of questions regarding their opinion of the term “Redskins.” A whopping 90% said the name doesn’t bother them. Only nine percent said the name was offensive, while one percent had no opinion.
- Column: WNBA Still StrugglingJune 9, 2016
The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) kicked off its 20th season on May 14 and depending on your point of view, it’s either on track to rival the success of its male counterpart or a league that’s still struggling for success and relevancy. In 1997, one year after the women’s Olympic team began a stretch of five straight gold medals and twenty-five years after the passage of Title IX, optimism ran high that the WNBA would be successful. And why not? It was underwritten by the NBA, played in first class arenas during the NBA’s “off season,” and included the greatest female basketball players in the world. League attendance in the first two seasons did nothing to dampen that enthusiasm, climbing from an average of 9,664 in its inaugural season to 10,864 in 1998.
- Column: Baylor University Brought To TaskJune 2, 2016
After a damning report chronicled the mishandling of numerous sexual assaults on campus, Baylor University announced the suspension with the intent to fire its football coach, the demotion of its President and the probation of its Athletic Director. Despite the apparent severity of those penalties, given the horrific nature of the actions described in the report, they are both insufficient and come way too late.