Local News

Coaches, Athletic Officials Gather To Discuss The Meaning Of Sportsmanship

Posted April 30, 2001 9:06 a.m. EDT

— Do sports build character or reveal it? Current and former college players and coaches tried to answer that question Monday in Chapel Hill.

Coaches and athletes agree the lessons we learn in sports go far beyond the fields and courts where the games are played.

"In the passionate pursuit of victory, one of the most important lessons you can teach is how to lose." says Michael Josephson of the Character Counts Coalition.

Coaches and athletic directors from around the state gathered at UNC to talk about pursuing victory with honor.

"If you display bad behavior and you continue to show it and nobody ever says anything to you, especially as a coach, you'll continue to display it the rest of your life," says Dale Smith, an athletic director from Raleigh.

As a father, actor and former USC athlete Tom Selleck believes the best lessons learned in sports are those that make student athletes better citizens.

"I want her to learn as much about or more about failure and how it's a stepping stone to success than winning or success," he says. "If you win all the time, you really don't learn anything."

In an online survey by theInstitute for International Sport, 68 percent of respondents think parents do not show good sportsmanship while watching their children play.

Find out what sportsmanship means to some of your favorite athletes by clickinghere.