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‘Integrity in Sports’ Panel Discusses Hot Topics in Collegiate Athletics

Integrity & Sports-125-XLThe Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics and Belmont University Athletics  welcomed NCAA Division I administrators to campus for a candid dialogue on student athlete compensation and the commercialization of college sports on Tuesday in the Maddox Grand Atrium.

Moderated by Belmont Athletics Director Michael Strickland, participants Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart, Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Beth DeBauche and former Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe said they agreed that the NCAA business model needed a “radical change” to resolve its ethical issues and allow college and university athletics departments to be financially viable. However, Beebe argued that paying some student athletes would mean levying more student fees on their peers to provide funding.

Although some Division I colleges have multimillion dollar television deals and rising coaches’ salaries, many smaller universities do not operate profitable athletic departments on their own, DeBauche noted. In the OVC, much of the conferences’ profits return to its member institutions to pay their bills, and many of the 32 conferences are similar to the OVC, she said, adding that all conferences need to continue to meet Title IX requirements. (more…)

Fortune Magazine Editor: Practice Key to Great Performance

JMK_3760 (2)During a Wednesday convocation, Fortune Magazine Senior Editor Geoffrey Colvin shared how through practice, students can be just as successful as people perceived to have inherent talent. During his lecture titled “Talent is Overrated: Truths for Success,” Colvin illustrated how passion, values, ethics and learning are more important to corporations than hours worked or IQ, and demonstrated how world-class performance comes from specific ethical behaviors.

“Where does great performance come from? All of us carry around deep-seeded answers about this question. We want to talk about this because standards are rising everywhere,” Colvin said. “Everything is getting better all the time generally in business technology all of these devices are better, faster, smaller and cheaper every month.”

Colvin, author of Talent is Overrated, said while many people believe greater performance comes from hard work, memory or innate talent, the research shows that most geniuses, world-classes performers and athletes acquired their skills and notoriety through many years of practice. Conversely, child protégés grew up to become underachievers.


Textbook Authors Educate Students on Ethical Leadership

AHP_8828 copy (2)Drs. O.C. and Linda Ferrell spoke to students about the vital role that ethical leadership plays in one’s career success on Wednesday in Massey Boardroom in a convocation event sponsored by the Belmont University Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics.

“Good business is good ethics. Good ethics is good business,” O.C. Ferrell said. “Your success depends on your character and your confidence in ethical practices.”

Ferrell asked the audience to reflect on the biggest challenges in the ethics arena and how to assure the maintenance of personal ethical standards.

“Strong ethics and social responsibility leads employees to be motivated to serve customers, committed to the firm, committed to high quality standards, satisfied with their jobs and have a higher organizational performance,” Linda Ferrell noted.

The Ferrells are distinguished professors of business ethics at the University of New Mexico. They have co-authored over 20 books and more than 100 articles in major journals and publications including the business ethics textbook used at Belmont.  In the academic environment, they are considered the foremost authorities on ethical decision-making, stakeholder relationships and social responsibility in the world of business.

The Center for Business Ethics seeks to bring people together in the discussion of business ethics, help empower business leaders to face the current crisis in business ethics and educate ethical business leaders for a better society.

Coaches Discuss How ‘Win At All Costs’ Mentality Can Compromise Integrity

Men’s basketball coaches from Division I private universities Belmont, Vanderbilt and Butler, along with ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes, shared their perspectives on being truthful in athletics as the Edward C. Kennedy Center for Business Ethics and Belmont University Athletics hosted their first Integrity in Sports panel discussion Wednesday in the Maddox Grand Atrium.

NewsChannel 5 sports anchor Steve Layman moderated the discussion among the men he dubbed “caretakers of the game.” The panel debated the changing landscape of intercollegiate athletics and maintaining integrity and honor amidst growing pressures to win. Participants also discussed how integrity spans recruiting, practice, scheduling, road travel, balance with academics, NCAA compliance, coaches’ personal conduct and student behavioral issues.

“Things aren’t going to change until the coaching heroes talk about doing things honestly and decently,” said Belmont University men’s basketball head coach Rick Byrd. “College athletics is supposed to be a part of the college educational experience, and coaches should be held just as accountable as the mathematics professor.”

Byrd added a university’s athletic integrity starts with its hiring of coaches.

Butler University men’s basketball head coach Brad Stevens said instead of simply sitting in the rows behind athletic teams in arenas, university presidents and athletic directors  should not “waver in accountability in day to day” and be the “tone setters” to trickle down the way they want student athletes to be treated and to behave.

The coaches also discussed a “win at all costs mentality” that pushes some coaches into compromising to keep their positions and how social media and bloggers amplify wins and losses taking them beyond the court. (more…)

Congressman Lamar Smith Offers ‘Three-Prong Approach’ to Piracy

Congressman Lamar Smith

Congressman Lamar Smith speaks to students at a convo in Beaman A&B.

U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith shared his “three-prong approach” to combating the theft of intellectual property with a full room of Belmont University students this past Monday, Feb. 11. The event, sponsored by the Center for Business Ethics, was an academic lecture convocation titled “Internet Piracy: Copyright Infringement and Compensating Creativity.” Representing Texas’ 21st congressional district since 1987, Smith recently proposed legislation with the purpose of hindering the negative impact of foreign websites that consistently engage in illegal acts of digital piracy. Smith described SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and how the legislation primarily focuses on the prosecution of foreign-based websites.

Smith’s three-prong solution includes public education to the negative effects of copyright infringement, technological advances that allow artists to be paid fairly for their work and legislation that allows federal enforcement. Smith explained, “Theft of intellectual property can affect anyone in this room in one way or another.”

Several students from Belmont’s College of Law asked questions relating to copyrights and recent cases from their class studies. Second-year law student Franklin Graves commented, “It’s important for Belmont to host this type of event. They bring focus to the artist, the creator, the people the legislation truly affects. From a law student’s perspective, it’s great to hear a pro-copyright voice.”

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