Wade Phillips: What He Can Teach Us about Ethics


The announcer initially said that “Wade Phillips has collapsed on the sideline.” I was in the process of replenishing the salsa and chips in the kitchen at the time and I ran back to the television saying, “Oh no!” Given the stresses of coaching, I must admit that I initially thought the worst. I did not see him get hit by one of his own players. “Collapse” was inaccurate; it was more like “leveled.” I saw a group of coaches and trainers surround him and several players down on one […]

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Not a Book Plug, Just Some Sports Ethics Observations


The book reviews 23 of the most “famous” sports scandals over the past 65 years. We give a detailed history for each scandal and then Chuck Gallagher, one of the nation’s leading ethics experts and sports ethics keynote speakers, discusses each case from an ethical perspective. Each example serves as an important lesson but more importantly it stirs conversation. Whether you are a D-I athlete, coach a MiLB team, play high school sports or are a member of an association or conference, each case is bound to cause meaningful, ethical […]

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NFL Viewership is Down: We Blame Poor Ethics


There is a lot of hand-wringing as the NFL is conceding that TV ratings are down for NFL games so far this season. The season is early, to be sure so we can only comment on the present and not make projections. Naturally, everyone who cares about these trends has an opinion. Some feel it’s the new rules, or it is a violation of laws; others believe the game has gotten boring and over-commercialized. Some believe it is all “Kaepernick’s fault,” while others point to the “Concussion” movie. Critics say […]

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Enough with Protest, Let’s Talk

Sports Ethics is not political and it cannot be biased, bent, swayed or manipulated. Sports Ethics cannot be media driven or beholden to sponsorships and endorsements. Sports Ethics does not stand for anyone’s national anthem nor does it sit, whine, beg or scream. Sports Ethics does not follow or favor a given team. Sports Ethics doesn’t care if your coach is named Lombardi or Belichick or Dungy, or if your favorite athlete was/is Serena or LeBron or Peyton or Wambach or Steph. Sports Ethics is. So it bothers us when […]

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When is it Time to Get the Hook?


Have you ever seen a boxing match or gone to an MMA fight? OK, if neither is your cup of tea how about a ski  jump competition, downhill, a hockey game or even a soccer match? In any of those events if a player is knocked out or badly concussed, they are generally out of the competition. Is that a fair enough scenario? Have you ever seen a boxing match or gone to an MMA fight where a fighter was in such bad shape that the referee stopped the fight? Of […]

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Stanford: Put Up or Shut Up

Brock Turner

D-Day has come and gone. For the most part, the world seems to have forgotten that on that day, and in the months after, men hardly older than teenagers, fought for and died for a cause much greater than self-indulgence and personal gain. It has been nearly 72 years since D-Day and the generations have passed. However, we are not so far removed that we cannot find a record of fathers, grand-fathers and even great-grand-fathers of every race and religion who sacrificed. We fast forward. We hear hype about how […]

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Ali Made Us Laugh, but He Was Never a Clown

Cosell and Ali

There was an old debate from back in the day: did Cosell help elevate Ali’s career or did Ali help elevate Cosell’s career? The wise money was always on “both.” Some might find it ironic and all: a white, middle-aged Jew and a black, youthful Muslim with inter-twining lives, somehow elevating one another. I did not find it ironic at all. They needed each other and they respected each other. Were an aged Cosell alive today, I have no doubt he would have been the first in line to offer […]

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Rachelle Thompson: Power over Ethics?

Rachelle Thompson

It isn’t a question of “Who is Rachelle Thompson?” It is a matter of “What have collegiate sports created in encouraging Rachelle Thompson?” As for the “who,” it is easy to find a biography in the PSU media guide. Prior to joining the Penn State coaching squad in 2011, she had quite an impressive career. A product of Auburn (she graduated summa cum laude in 2004), she was a two-time Auburn University Assistant Coach of the Year over an 11 year career at that school, produced four NCAA All-Americans and […]

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The Ethical Sports Circle

A number of years ago, I was fortunate enough to return to Japan for a bit of business and some sightseeing. I value my experiences in Japan, from my friends to the food to baseball! The MLB could learn a few things from the enthusiasm of Japanese baseball fans. Anyway, I found myself entering a Japanese temple one day and was impressed with the peace and tranquility I found in the midst of Tokyo. The temple had a small gift shop that sold various trinkets and for about $5.00 U.S. […]

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Bad Blood, One Punch, Sanitized Sports

Baseball Fight

We are fairly certain that “officially” Rougned Odor of the Rangers will probably be coerced into apologizing to the media and fans of MLB. He landed a clean, Tyson-worthy punch to the noggin of Jays Jose Bautista last Sunday, after he was nearly taken out by a legal but hard slide. The punch was not about the slide. It was about bad blood between the two teams going back to last season’s playoffs and an idiotic bat flip. If baseball were an animal, it would be an elephant on steroids. […]

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