SBD/31/Sports Society

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  • SPORTS ORGANIZATIONS TEAM UP TO PROMOTE GOODWILL IN SPORTS

              A coalition of professional, college, high school and
         Olympic sports officials announced the formation of the
         "Citizen Through Sports Alliance" yesterday.  The goal of
         the alliance is to "generate a sports culture that supports
         those values necessary to teach and learn respect for self
         and respect for others" (NFSHSA).  Representatives from the
         NHL, NFL, NBA, USOC, NCAA and groups commented on the
         coalition.  USOC Exec Dir Dick Schultz: "We will try to
         target virtually everything out there, violence in sports,
         drug abuse, respect and the attitudes that individual have. 
         We will try to develop positive role models who can have an
         impact on younger kids" (Colorado Springs GAZETTE TELEGRAPH,
         1/31).  Schultz: "We're all here because we all have the
         same problems ... But we see a unique opportunity if we work
         together to really have a dynamic impact on our society"
         ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/30).  NCAA Exec Dir Cedric Dempsey
         said "Sports in America is really a reflection of our
         society.  We are attempting through this coalition to lead
         that society" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 1/31). 
              REAX:  In N.Y., George Vecsey writes "It was hard to
         think about respect [at yesterday's press conference] while
         much of the world was preoccupied with the grubby spectacle
         of Bill Parcells trying to bolt a contract with New England.
         ... Money, money, money.  The four top professional leagues
         are held to a high standard because their players make so
         much money" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31).  On "NBC Nightly News," Bob
         Dotson examined sportsmanship in the feature, "Spoiled
         Sports."  Dotson: "It's not a pretty picture.  The kicking,
         the spitting, the tantrums well rewarded."  Noting
         yesterday's alliance, Dotson said sports leaders "finally
         decided to try and stop the craziness.  Their solution:
         present a united front, from high school to college to the
         pros, stressing an antique value --  sportsmanship."  Don
         McPherson, of the Center for Sports in Society: "It's too
         late for the professional athlete because they've been
         rewarded for this type of behavior because they're in the
         pros and they're making money. ... it's very difficult to
         get a guy who's making a million dollars a year, plus, to
         all of the sudden change his behavior because you're
         concerned about the culture" ("NBC Nightly News," 1/30). 
    
    
    

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