High School Sports

We Can All Be Inspiring: The Adam Reed Story

Adam Reed

You know those inspirational posters we are always seeing on the social media? I have little use for most of them. Many of them are made-up, trite and soulless; sort of like an air sandwich if such a thing exists. That’s OK, I suppose. Lots of times I think the people posting them are posting them more for themselves than for the rest of us. That’s OK, too. We’ve all got pain. We see a lot of these posters around holiday time. Why? Despite all of the commercials with happy […]

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On High School Sports and Sexting

Canon City

Cañon City, Colorado is a small quaint town, usually associated with the nearby Federal Penitentiary and local wineries. It is much more than that. However, it is not a hotbed of prurience, drugs or drinking, any more than any other town in America, including yours or mine. A sexting scandal erupted at the high school that involved about one-third of the school and half of the football team. Literally, hundreds of children. Essentially the kids, both boys and girls, were trading images of themselves; nude, semi-nude and in provocative underwear. […]

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H.S. Football in the Era of Craziness

Chances are you have seen the viral video. A little over a week ago, Linden High School was playing Immaculata High School. A Linden High School player, allegedly or apparently, ripped the helmet off of an Immaculata player and slammed the Immaculata player with his own helmet causing a gash that required 10 stiches. The student who was injured was taken to the hospital and the Linden student who ripped off the helmet was allowed to continue the game. However following the incident, the Linden Superintendent of Schools suspended the […]

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PED Disconnect: Holding the Mirror to Ourselves

Last week I was interviewed in regard to ethics and PEDs. I am ethically against them, but we can save that conversation for another time. Later the day of the interview, a woman reached out to me on the social media and said that it was a silly argument as the “pharmaceutical industry” had taken over sports and that everyone who plays sports cheats. She admitted she did not like sports or professional athletes in general. I thought a great deal about the interview and the comments above. Something was […]

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How Dare You Wear That Varsity Letter?

Michael Kelley

Michael Kelley will never make it to the Final Four. Not this year and not any year. He is both autistic and has Down syndrome. He plays on the special needs basketball team for Wichita East High School. He lives in a world most of us cannot imagine, but I am willing to guess that when he is on the basketball court, he does not feel like “special needs,” but special. If you have ever played a sport – any sport – for any level of athletics, from elementary school […]

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Sports Ethics Minute: What’s the use of Title IX (If it leads to this)?

Girls Hockey

Title IX, if I am not mistaken, is now more than 40 years old. Time does pass quickly, and it was legislation that was needed decades before. However, I wonder if all the underlying attitudes have really changed – or if sometimes, coaches and officials are still more inclined to pat women and girls on the head instead of letting them play. For this blog, I draw upon a thought provoking article by Cam Smith for USA Today (March 10, 2015) entitled: “Disconnect emerges in Connecticut girls hockey title game […]

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Sports Ethics Minute: Dump the name!

Lancaster High School

Imagine, just for a minute; a Sports Ethics minute, that your child went to a high school where about 15 percent of the students were from the same racial, ethnic or religious group. In fact, you and your child are also members of that group. Not so far-fetched. OK, we all got that image? Let us further imagine there is a negative name, character, trait or a behavior associated with your group; you know, a stereotype. You don’t like the name or character (or both) and it offends you and every other […]

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Karl Turk: Sports Ethics Good Guy Award

Karl Turk

We have gotten in the habit of awarding a “Sports Ethics Good Guy Award” when we find individuals at any level of sports who exhibit outstanding tenacity, courage and a strong sense of ethics. To be honest, we give this “award” as much for ourselves as to honor the individuals. It is so easy to get jaded and turned off by sports if we focus only on the negative. Fortunately, there are good people out there who do try to make a difference. These people elevate all of us. We […]

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In the Age of “Everybody Wins”

Prep Schools Tank

Sometime in the recent past, psychologists told moms, dads and their teachers that it was bad for the self-esteem of children to lose. We started to have a shift in mindset so that in leagues and schools across the country, the net result of athletic competition was that “everyone won.” Every kid received blue ribbons and trophies whether their team was in first place or last; weather they won a “squeaker,” or were trounced 100 – 23. It was supposed to be good for the psyche and good for self-development. […]

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Just when I think it can’t get worse


It is not a huge, national sports story. It has nothing to do with Deflate-gate, Tiger Woods shooting an 82 or the upcoming Super Bowl and Marshawn Lynch and his media day circus. This little story, in its own way, is bigger than all of the other stories I mentioned above. On January 28, 2015, Yardbarker.com (Larry Brown Sports), ran the following story: “Father and son allegedly attack coach over playing time.” The story is a reflection of entitlement, parental interference, lack of respect for authority, violence and it sums […]

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