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Markkula Center for Applied Ethics

Sports Ethics: Mapping the Issues

Alt text: Ice hockey game in a large stadium with a cheering crowd.

Photo by Photomatt28 available under a Creative Commons license of

Mapping the Issues

Kirk O. Hanson and Matt Savage

Between the recent disciplining of Olympic badminton teams for intentionally losing in early rounds to obtain a more favorable seed, to the "bounty scandal" involving the New Orleans Saints, to the cover-up of child sexual abuse occurring at Penn State, the field of sports has been a fertile one for ethical analysis lately. And of course, there are the perennial ethical issues in sports, such as doping, recruitment violations, and cheating. But what do we really mean when we talk about sports ethics?

This set of materials was developed to answer that question. Originally created for the 2012 Sports Law Symposium of the Santa Clara University Institute of Sports Law and Ethics, the resources cover the following topics:

What Role Does Ethics Play in Sports?
Ethics in Professional Sports
Ethics in College Sports
Ethics in Youth Sports

Kirk O. Hanson is the executive director of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. Matt Savage was a Hackworth Fellow at the Center. These materials were prepared for the Institute for Sports Law and Ethics, of which the Markkula Center is a partner organization.

August 2012

Aug 1, 2012
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