Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blog #15- Abstract and Bibliography

My final project brings to question the prevalence of academic dishonesty among collegiate athletes and how this academic dishonesty can be explained. The first reason I found to explaining the prevalence of academic dishonesty is the fact that many times the athletes do not consider themselves student athletes in any sense, but rather just athletes. However, it is not only the athletes who view themselves this way, but so does every person who becomes connected and intrigued by college sports. One of the major theories that is used to explain the prevalence of academic dishonesty is the Neutralization Theory which analyzes the tendencies of criminal to rationalize their criminal acts. I found through research that Neutralization Theory should not be used to generalize academic dishonesty among college athletes because there are too many complexities involved in why athletes are likely to cheat. One of the major complexities is the fact that many times the athletes are not aware that they are cheating because they have either been influenced, directly or indirectly, to be involved with certain acts. The students are influenced by the higher authorities of college athletics. In a sense there is no reason for the athletes in cases like these to neutralize their behavior because someone else has already taken that step. This falls in line with a study done by Michael Macy and Andreas Flache which focused on why certain organizations are more likely to be involved in corruption compared to others. The prevalence of academic dishonesty can without a doubt be considered one form of many forms of corruption that exist in collegiate athletics. Macy and Flache write that in order for certain organizations to accomplish their "missions", all the people involved must be devoted to that mission. They also explain that there is a hierarchical system in place for these organizations and collegiate athletics fits seamlessly in with this idea. The main mission of collegiate athletics is to make money and all people involved- athletes, coaches, presidents, professors, and spectators- conform to this mission. The "seamless cooperation" that is required in order to achieve the final goal- making money- many times leaves academics as an after product. Many times academics are viewed as the factor of college that holds athletes and athletic programs back from being as successful as they can be. This is a damaging mindset to have and it is crucial that American universities take some necessary steps to fix this.


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