Contributor Tweets
Other Tweets
Search Site
Subscribe to blog's feed

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Disclaimer

Information on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. If you have a legal problem, consult your institutional counsel or an attorney licensed to practice law in your state. Information and views presented in this blog are solely those of the individual contributors and not their employers.

« Please deposit urine here ... and attend classes there ... | Main | Private College Conduct Hearings »
Tuesday
Sep062011

Settlement reached in high school football hazing case

An interesting and disturbing news article came across the wire today about a settlement reached in a Las Vegas high school case in which seven football players sued after being sodomized and hazed by teammates. The case also involved coaches and the district superintendent, who knew about this and other incidents yet failed to act.

http://www.kob.com/article/stories/S2265791.shtml

A lot of my research has focused on the liability that institutions face when it comes to the safety and well-being of students (e.g., sexual misconduct, alcohol abuse, mental health issues). I recently completed a manuscript that compared legal trends in the K-12 and higher education sectors involving negligence suits brought by student-athletes and their families for injuries sustained as a result of interscholastic competition. In the course of that research, I looked at the emerging issue of “culture” in the dialogue of the courts. At every level, students are sacrificing their safety to be part of the team. Recently PBS’ Frontline series aired “Football High,” a case study set in Arkansas that illustrated the dangers of competitive and aspirational interscholastic sports. Players, coaches, trainers, and administrators alike reiterated culture as a central force in their decisions. The reward system values prestige and winning, not safety.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/football-high/

Whether it is a culture of hazing, a culture of winning, or a culture of self-sacrifice for the sake of the team, I think administrators and educators need to look at athletics in a way that courts, the NCAA, and university presidents have continued to fall short—and that is by changing culture.

As culture within and among groups are formed, norms are not taught but inferred as members are socialized into the group. Shared values and assumptions become validated by shared experiences of the group. Groups learn from external forces and pressures; how they deal with them are imposed and taught by the leader (E. Schein, “Organizational Culture and Leadership,” 1992).  

The recent scandals at the University Miami and Ohio State University, for example, provide ripe discussion. Though it is easy enough for us to identify the problem, I unfortunately do not see a lasting solution on the horizon.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (1)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    I don’t think so that these kinds of the occurrences should be occurring again in the future. We should have to take this issue in serious way so that we are never getting this all in the future. Please keep us informed from this.

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Textile formatting is allowed.