Headlines from the past several weeks have included: 1) Reggie Bush forfeiting the Heisman Trophy after the revelation of his numerous NCAA violations, (which were at the root of an investigation that cost the University of Southern California heavy sanctions.) As of this writing, according to a Chris Dufresne article in Tuesday’s LA Times , Bush still has not offered up any apology. 2) In the little State of Rhode Island, one Primary Candidate for Lt. Governor, an under-funded, relative unknown, was soundly beaten by another under-funded, relative unknown Candidate. Only days after the Primary, the winner dropped out of the race and threw her support to an Independent Candidate for Lt. Governor. However, what is interesting is the silence from the Party officials in the state- it is deafening. 3) In the Great State of Alaska, the loser in a US Senate Primary is embarking on a “write-in” campaign for the General Election because she cannot believe that the people of Alaska don’t want her. 4) In Delaware, The First State, a relative unknown and long-shot, beat an entrenched, well-financed, expected victor who was deemed not to be true to his Party’s Platform. The loser, and many of his Party’s Leaders, have yet to support the Victor.
What do all of these “events” have in common? Duplicity, fraud, hypocrisy – The reader can decide which most aptly fits each. What is unfortunate is that these instances of deception and fraud are being perpetrated on a public that is “innocent”, and occurring in areas of our culture that one would, perhaps naively, think should be immune to such trickery. All too often, people today “pose” to be something they aren’t and with a “wink and a nod” those in power look the other way so the fraud can be perpetrated and those in power can retain their power.
According to the NCAA.org website, the Core Purpose of the NCAA “is to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount.” In spite of this, college football has become a Big Business; player’s Agents are virtual “King-Makers” and will do what they can to assure their own financial future by way of young athletes’ allegiance and fealty. How did we get from that Core Purpose to Reggie Bush having to forfeit the Heisman Trophy and USC receiving heavy sanctions? When did we exit the path of righteousness?
Public Service is all but absent from politics today; those that have political power, whether they are elected or not, are unwilling to relinquish it. Party name does not matter, once the “outsiders” gain power and are “insiders”, they do not want to relinquish it, even to their own Party. Which is why today, there are bigwigs in a major political party who are cannibalizing newcomers so they can retain their own grip on power. Ideology has nothing to do with what these bigwig politicians say or believe. Even when these newcomers are more closely aligned with the official Party Platform than the individuals they beat, if they are a perceived threat, they are attacked.
Is this what our Founding Fathers had in mind? Is this what we, the “regular people” want? Or, do we want to demand truthfulness, righteousness and honesty from our athletes, politicians, business and civic leaders? After all, Leadership by a good example is what makes Great Teams, Great Movements, Great Companies, Great Cultures and Great Nations.
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May You Be Healthy, Wealthy, and WISE