What are the cultural aspects of college athletics that led employees of the athletic department and the university administration to cover-up the sexual abuses of revered coach Jerry Sandusky, who was sodomizing children for years in his dual role as the boss of the Second Line charity? Is Penn State football so revered in Pennsylvania that football coaches can’t be held accountable to the same moral and legal standards as all citizens? How come Sandusky wasn’t cut loose and dealt with in 1999, when charges first began to surface?
The answer lies in a disturbing part of the human psyche, in one of our tragic flaws that is essential for survival, but has also created its share of human misery throughout time. I’m talking about loyalty, which has the power to bind you to a group that means more than yourself, but also to blind you to the abuses that a group may make in its own interest.
Continue reading “"Circle the wagons!" The problem of loyalty in the culture of college sports”
This history of sport psychology was my contribution to the Sport Psychology Wikipedia entry, and a much abbreviated version appears on Wikipedia. In this history, I tried to focus on the modern applied sport psychology movement and the events that have led to the crossroads the field now stands at.
I was urged to write a portion of the new Wikipedia entry by my Michigan State cohort Sam Forlenza, who is battling the stunning lack of clarity in sport psychology knowledge and information on the web. Sam has also revived the sport psychology movie database, a comprehensive list of movies related to sport psychology.
Early History: Isolated Studies of Motor Behavior and Psychology of Sport and Physical Activity
Look back at the history of sport psychology, and until the mid-1960s, it is hard to find a consistent line of research and applied practice typical of a scientific discipline. From the late 1800s until the middle of the 20th Century, psychologists, physical educators, coaches, and even ornithologists, carried out the “work” of sport psychology.
Continue reading “A Brief History of Sport Psychology”