The Big Q: A Good Sport?

Note: The most Mic'd participant from the Big Q OpenMic will receive $100 Amazon gift card courtesy of the Markkula Center for Applied Ethics at Santa Clara University. The prize is only available to undergraduates currently enrolled in 2- or 4-year colleges. To participate, simply join the debate in the comments below. E-mail with any issues.

Nathan has always thought, to be the best, you have to believe you’re the best. Recruited to a top Division I school to play basketball, he is ruthless on the court. If he knocks a player down, the player shouldn’t have been in his way. If he scores a three in his defender’s face, he lets his opponent know how bad his defense was. Most guys dislike playing against Nathan because of his competitive callousness. But confidence, alone, can’t take you to the top, and Nathan knows that. He is the first guy to arrive at practice and the last one to leave. Nathan may be called inconsiderate, rude, and egotistical, but being the best means making other people worse than you.

Off the court, however, Nathan seems like a totally different person. He is polite, soft spoken in class, and is willing to help others if there’s homework they don’t understand. Noticing this shift in disposition, one of Nathan’s teammates—one that Nathan had recently called out in front of the whole team—accused Nathan of being two-faced: although he tries to appear friendly off the court, he’s really just an arrogant jerk.

Weigh in: So, is Nathan a good guy or a bad guy?  What impact have sports had on his character?  In general, do you think participating in college sports has a good or bad influence on the players?

Useful Resources:
- [VIDEO] Do Sports Build Character? (SCU)
Do Sports Build Character? (Chronicle of Higher Education)
A Framework for Ethical Decision Making (SCU)

Photo Credit: Roger Smith.