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Volume 24 No. 156

Sports Society

          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).