Posts Tagged ‘Sports Ethics’

Jim Leavitt Still Fighting For USF Reinstatement

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Ex-University of South Florida Coach Jim Leavitt is still fighting hard to be reinstated as the University’s head football coach. Leavitt has now enlisted the help of a team of lawyers to fight the allegations that he both choked and hit (or slapped…) one of his players during halftime of a game earlier this season. Leavitt’s attorneys cite that the coach’s termination was “unwarranted” and that it has “violated his constitutional rights”. Hmm. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? I assume that the supposed constitutional violation he speaks of is that he is innocent until proven guilty of these acts, and should therefore not have been fired prematurely. Leavitt continues to deny these allegations in light of the report by AOL FanHouse, citing 5 USF players and the abused player’s father, that states the coach reacted in such manner because of a mistake by the player, Joel Miller.

Regardless of what the true extent of the contact was in this situation, no coach has the right to come at a player like this, whether in private or in front of the team. In my opinion, Leavitt should exercise maturity in this situation and step down as gracefully as possible. The University did the right thing here in terminating Leavitt. What kind of message would they be sending by keeping an abusive coach like Leavitt, especially with the publicity being generated at this time?

Do you think Leavitt should be reinstated? Why or why not?

Andrew A. Teunis – Director of Business Development, ISPA

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

Friday, January 8th, 2010

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