Law & Policy: Sportsmanship
Cal U. Cancels Game After Players Beat Man Unconscious
by Michael Gaio October 2014
California University of Pennsylvania has canceled Saturday’s football game against Gannon University after five of its players were arrested in connection with a violent beating outside a California restaurant.
HS Coaches Resign after Players' Ebola Taunt
by Andrew Brandt October 2014
The coaches of a high school soccer team in Northampton, Pa., have resigned just one day after allegations that their players taunted an opponent with chants of "Ebola."
Nazareth High School soccer player Ibrahim Toumkara moved to Pennsylvania from a small town in Guinea, a country located in West Africa, three years ago. After hearing the Ebola remarks, he charged a Northampton player and was ejected from the match.
According to Toumkara's guardian, Edward Bachart, the teenager worries about his parents, who still reside there.
Northampton's head coach and assistant coach, Craig Carvin and Jason Melniszyn, submitted their resignation letters Tuesday evening as the Northampton Area School District was finishing its investigation into the matter.
District superintendent Joseph Kovalchik said that neither district tolerates any form of discrimination, and that "appropriate discipline will be dispensed to any students who violated the code of conduct."
"I am glad Nazareth and Northampton took this incident very seriously and did a very thorough investigation," Bachart told The Morning Call. "I think kids nowadays have to realize that their words can cause a lot of damage and you've got to think before you speak and be careful with what words you choose."
Bachart believes the Northampton coaches made the right decision in resigning, but he thinks Northampton's players should be held accountable as well.
"This doesn't belong in society," he said. "It certainly doesn't belong in the field."
In response to the episode, the Nazareth soccer team has taken to Twitter to promote and sell wristbands that say "#ENDRACISM."
Patriots All Class, Jaguars Crass on NFL Sidelines
by Michael Gaio October 2014
The New England Patriots won their game against the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday night, but more important, won over the hearts of just about everyone watching with a touching tribute to Bengals' offensive lineman Devon Still.
High School Coach Fired After Pop Gun Hazing Incident
by Michael Gaio August 2014
What was supposed to be a night of fun and team-building has instead cost a Minnesota high school dance coach her job and divided supporters of the team in the process. The Cannon Falls school board voted Monday not to renew the contract of Madi Salisbury, the head coach of the Bomber Dance Team, due to a July 25 incident at the school's auditorium.
Stopping Hazing in College and High School Athletics
by Hank Nuwer July 2014
When it comes to hazing incidents serious enough to gain national attention, the big question posed again and again recalls the sad refrain from the old ballad, "Where Have All The Flowers Gone?" Specifically, when will they ever learn?
Dungy Clarifies Comments, Michael Sam Responds
by Michael Gaio July 2014
Former Buccaneers and Colts head coach Tony Dungy made news earlier this week when he was quoted saying he "wouldn't have taken" former Missouri defensive end Michael Sam, who is openly gay, in the NFL Draft.
Fans, Players, Coaches Caught in Court-Storming Melee
by Michael Gaio February 2014
It's a situation any administrator or facilities professional dreads: a court-storming gone wrong. And that's exactly what happened Thursday night in Orem, Utah, after Utah Valley knocked off New Mexico State to remain atop the standings in the Western Athletic Conference.
Official Report Released in Incognito Bullying Case
by Emily Attwood February 2014
Just two days after Richie Incognito tweeted “the truth is going to bury you,” the truth is out, but it doesn’t look like Jonathan Martin is the one who’s going to be buried. The results of the NFL-sanctioned report investigating allegations of misconduct among the Miami Dolphins were released this morning. In his report, investigator Ted Wells concluded that Richie Incognito and two other teammates demonstrated a pattern of harassment against Jonathan Martin and others.
“The Report concludes that three starters on the Dolphins offensive line, Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at not only Jonathan Martin, but also another young Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer,” Wells said in a press release. “The Report finds that the assistant trainer repeatedly was the object of racial slurs and other racially derogatory language; that the other offensive lineman was subjected to homophobic name-calling and improper physical touching; and that Martin was taunted on a persistent basis with sexually explicit remarks about his sister and his mother and at times ridiculed with racial insults and other offensive comments.”
He continues, “The Report rejects any suggestion that Martin manufactured claims of abuse after the fact to cover up an impetuous decision to leave the team. Contemporaneous text messages that Martin sent to his parents and others months before he left the Dolphins — which have never before been made public — corroborate his account that the persistent harassment by his teammates caused him significant emotional distress. The Report concludes that the harassment by Martin’s teammates was a contributing factor in his decision to leave the team, but also finds that Martin’s teammates did not intend to drive Martin from the team or cause him lasting emotional injury.”
Wells’s firm, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, examined thousands of documents since its hiring in November 2013, resulting in a 144-page report.
Blog: Don't Let Sexual Orientation Define Sam
by Michael Gaio February 2014
"I'm not afraid to tell the world who I am. I'm Michael Sam: I'm a college graduate. I'm African American, and I'm gay," he said. "I'm comfortable in my skin."
High School's 'Arab' Mascot Called Into Question
by Michael Gaio November 2013
UPDATE: In September 2014, the Coachella Valley School District board of trustees approved a decision to change the team name to "Mighty Arabs" and adopt a new logo.
When it comes to nickname and mascot controversy, typically Native Americans and teams like the Indians and Redskins come to mind. But a Southern California high school's longstanding Arab mascot is at the center of its own controversy.