Leach, Leavitt, Pitino, and Han – Lowering the Ethical Standard

Coaches have been receiving quite a bit of publicity lately regarding their own actions on and off the job. For example: Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach and the accusations that he locked player Adam James in an electrical closet for three hours because of his inability to play due to a concussion; University of South Florida football coach Jim Leavitt and the accusations that he grabbed player Joel Miller by the throat and hit him in the face during halftime of a game; Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino’s alleged sexual relations with Karen Sypher in a Kentucky restaurant and later funding her abortion; San Gabriel High School girl’s basketball coach Jannie Han, whom suited up for a JV exhibition game. What kind of examples are these coaches setting for the athletes and prospective players that look up to them as role models and leaders? The message they are sending is “it’s OK as long as I don’t get caught”. No wonder young professional athletes today get into as much legal trouble as they do. Their role models throughout their athletic careers (whether they be direct or indirect) have imposed this attitude of being “untouchable” and that they can do whatever they want…as long as they don’t get caught – a dangerous attitude indeed.

These are exactly the kind of attitudes and actions that ISPA looks to eliminate in the world of sports today. We are looking to dignified,  ethical coaches across the globe to step up and establish a new ethical standard for coaches today. Speaking as a coach myself, I feel a reform is in order and long, long overdue.

Andrew A. Teunis – Director of Business Development, ISPA

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