Ethics Dunce: College Baseball Coach Rodney Velardi

I don’t know about you, but nothing quite clears my ethics palate after a day of pondering the FBI’s corruption and people posing for happy selfies at Auschwitz like a nice baseball cheating scandal.

Rowan College Gloucester County was playing Atlantic Cape Community College (New Jersey) in a baseball game when the Rowan first baseman noticed little voices coming out of an Atlantic Cape baserunner’s helmet. He notified the umpire, who checked the helmet: sure enough, there was an electronic listening device inside. After a search, a device was found on a second player too. The assumption is that someone was stealing catcher’s signs from the stands, and using an electronic device to alert Atlantic Cape batters what pitches were coming.

Questioned during recent Boston Red Sox game this week, manager Alex Cora said, “Why didn’t I think of that? That’s much better than banging on trash cans!” [I’m kidding. Just making sure nobody forgets this: Breaking: Major League Baseball Clobbers The Houston Astros For Their Sign-Stealing Scheme, And Red Sox Manager Alex Cora Is In The Cross-Hairs]

Rodney Velardi, who had been the Atlantic Cape Community College baseball coach for 13 years, was first suspended pending an investigation, and then asked to resign. He didn’t quit, however, before making the ridiculous and unbelievable explanation that the devices were used in practice but not games. What would be the point of cheating in practice? Velardi should have been fired for insulting everyone’s intelligence by even floating such an obvious lie. On second thought, maybe he wasn’t dealing with the sharpest knives in the drawer: the investigators said that they couldn’t prove that the players were using the devices for cheating during games. Yeah, they might have been using those helmet speakers to get the latest news or messages from home.

I wonder how many other ways Velardi cheated during those thirteen years. I wonder how many students he taught that cheating was OK as long as you didn’t get caught.

I wonder how many ended up at the FBI or working in the Hillary Clinton campaign…

2 thoughts on “Ethics Dunce: College Baseball Coach Rodney Velardi

  1. No doubt the FBI has been recruiting the *right* kind of players from this school for some time now. Perhaps that is why they usually win the Intelligence Agency Intramural baseball games.

    • I heard the NSA was pretty good at stealing signs. But they can’t swing a bat to save their lives. The CIA loves to swing their bats, but are restricted from gathering information on U.S. Persons. Their sheet on opposing players is abysmal. I heard they won’t even compile a lineup let alone keep stats.

      As we see more technology used in baseball for good (automated strike zone) and not so good (e.g. wireless coms in headgear), I wonder how long it will be before an enterprising student of the game compiles footage of individual coaches and managers giving disguised hitting and baserunning signals and trains a AI network to decipher the actual sign. AI won’t be fooled by extraneous pats, or ear or nose pulling.

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