Why I Teach and Believe in Sports Ethics

My passion is in teaching and consulting on one simple topic: helping others to make good choices and good decisions. I also teach a related concept: bad choices lead to negative consequences. My work takes me all over the country and it sometimes takes me overseas.

Sports EthicsI have taught and consulted to the very wealthy and to men and women just starting out. I have taught people with incredible, natural talent and people who have had to struggle and fight for anything and everything they have ever received. I have been blessed beyond measure, and cursed out as well.

Once, a long time ago, I had been a rising star in a large organization, well on my way to a successful career. I had the respect of my peers and the accolades that was putting me in position to become a very wealthy person. I also had a wife and young family and by all stretches of the imagination, I was (without sounding like a jerk) the kind of person other people admired.

It wasn’t good enough for me. I made some incredibly rotten personal decisions. I was in a position of great trust, but I got greedy. I was the kind of person a lot of people despised.

To make a long story short, I wound up wearing an orange jumpsuit for 18 months in a Federal penitentiary and got three years of probation. I lost my job (of course), my status, my certifications, my friends and my family. I was a Country & Western tune, a Greek tragedy, a Blues song and a parody. I did not lose my faith, though I had pretty much hit bottom.

It was during that time, when a man who would become a mentor said something to me that remains a part of my soul to this very day:

“Chuck, you made a terrible mistake, but you are not a mistake as a person.”

It was in that one, simple statement that I could look up at the sky and see there was hope and also a choice. I could make more mistakes, or I could put my heart into making good choices and good decisions.

The Rebuilding Process

As I climbed out of the valley which I had made for myself, I learned lessons I had not bothered with before; I learned about humility; I learned our time on this earth is limited; I learned about the value of a good reputation and I learned that good ethical behavior is not a topic we sleep through in our college courses, but a living, breathing part of our lives. I decided to devote my life, time and energy to helping others avoid the same mistakes that I had made.

Sports have always been important to me; as an athlete, a fan and a speaker and consultant. I was lucky in the sense that I was able to completely rebuild my life.

An athlete, especially a professional or highly scouted athlete is usually not that lucky. The playing life of an athlete is extremely brief. If you are extraordinarily lucky (there’s that word again), you might have three to five years; if you “win the talent lottery” you might have a playing life of 10 years or so. Yes, I know about guys like Tony Parker and Jaromír Jágr; please don’t go there right now.

The point is that one really bad choice or a series of bad decisions can wipe out a career. The competition is so intense right now; a torn ACL is one thing; a charge of rape or several DUI’s or assault or a gun charge is all it might take to destroy everything you have tried to achieve. Even using social media incorrectly begins to erode a career. No one needs a loser; with good ethics you will not be a loser.

I am passionate about teaching athletes, teams, coaches, sports executives and associations about making good decisions.

Another important point to consider is that young men and women are propelled into professional athletics at an extremely early age. If a solid foundation in making good choices is lacking, the temptation to make bad decisions is always right in front of you. It may not even be your fault, because no one has cared enough to really work with you.

Frankly, there are no lack of friends-of-friends, hanger’s on and bucket carriers who want to carve out a life on your back. They will go away the minute your career gets into trouble. It is hard for a 20 year-old to say no to them; it is not hard for me to teach an athlete how to say no. You see, I don’t care that someone trying to steal a piece of your paycheck might have to go out and get real work. I care very deeply about you and your career.

Without a good sounding board, without a clear path, it is very easy to go off course. I know this personally and intimately. Sports Ethics will keep you on course. It is my passion.

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Phone: (828) 244-1400
Fax: (866) 426-4118
Chuck Gallagher
3620 Pelham Road #305
Greenville, SC 29615