Ethics Hero: Texas Ranger Pitcher Cole Hamels

This has been a terrible year for Ethics Heroes. No, I don’t consider a sexual harassment or sexual abuse victim who comes out and accuses a man ten years after the alleged incident a hero. A hero would risk her own interests and welfare to protect all the potential victims over those ten years, by blowing the whistle before the harm to others, not after it. No, millionaire football players who engage in pointless and incoherent protests to turn what should be a unifying public event into a divisive one aren’t heroes either.

Maybe I need to do a post on all the phony “heroes” of 2017. There were a lot of them.

Cole Hamels, however, is a real ethics hero.  The 33-year-old Texas Ranger pitcher and his wife Heidi are donating  their 32,000-square-foot mansion and 100 acres of land in southwest Missouri to Camp Barnabas, a charity that provides camps for children with special needs and chronic illnesses. The Hamels’ gift is valued at $9,418,400.

In the statement,  the athlete said that he became committed to the mission of  Camp Barnabas as he learned about the charity. “Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it,” he said. “Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.” Continue reading

The O’Bannon Case: A Judge Explains How The Law Requires An Unethical and Corrupt Practice To Be Fair….But It’s Still Unethical and Corrupt

NCAA-ban

Now that a federal judge has declared the elite student-athletes at big time sports colleges to be what they are…paid mercenaries…and the sports programs at such institutions to be what we always knew they were…cynical sideshows that sacrificed education to greed…will the pubic, the media, educators, and universities now stop this slow-moving ethics train wreck?

Of course not.  If they cared about how high-profile college sports were warping both America’s education and its values, they would have addressed the problem decades ago. They would have stopped it before, for example, schools started paying football and basketball coaches more than any professor. They would have stopped it before prestigious schools gave degrees to graduates whose entire education was a sham, who took ridiculously easy courses and who were held to infantile academic standards, all so rich, fat alumni would continue writing checks. They would have stopped it before a revered football coach held such power in a university that he was able to persuade the school’s leadership to allow a child sexual predator operate on campus.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken, in a 99-page ruling agreeing with the claim of a group of plaintiffs fronted by former UCLA basketball player Ed O’Bannon, issued an injunction against the NCAA from “enforcing any rules or bylaws that would prohibit its member schools and conferences from offering their FBS football or Division I basketball recruits a limited share of the revenues generated from the use of their names, images, and likenesses in addition to a full grant-in-aid.”

The ruling will be appealed, and some of its legal conclusions certainly seem debatable. That is not my concern. The opinion effectively kills the fiction that the semi-literate youths who perform on-the-field heroics to burnish the images of universities and attract huge broadcast fees are what the NCAA, alumni, students , the schools and the media pretend that they are. Now that we know they are not truly students, what persuasive ethical justifications can be given for them to play college sports at all?

My answer?

None. Continue reading