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SBD/31/Sports SocietyPrint All
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).