By Ken Reed
The Butler Bulldogs men’s basketball team is the ultimate underdog story. For two seasons in a row, the small mid-major school from something called the Horizon Conference reached the final game of the NCAA basketball tournament. March Madness indeed. At the start of those tournaments, Butler was listed as a 200-1 long shot.
Butler, led by young coaching sensation Brad Stevens, does things the right way. The Bulldogs had the best academic team in those tournaments, when looking at grade point average, graduation rates, and the NCAA’s academic progress rate (APR) score.
On the court, they play as the ultimate team. A giant poster in their locker room says it all: “We, Not Me.”
The Butler Way, is a true team concept. According to Butler’s website, the Butler Way “demands commitment, denies selfishness, accepts reality, yet seeks improvement everyday while putting the team above self.” The team’s core values are humility, passion, unity, servanthood, thankfulness, and accountability.
“The key in any endeavor is adhering to those standards and trying to live up to those standards, not trying to worry about anything else,” says Stevens. “It’s hard to do and easy to talk about. I think it begins with selflessness, and certainly accountability is very important, humility is very important. You kind of go through those founding principles. It’s not rocket science.”
It’s not rocket science, but it’s certainly rare in college athletics today. The Butler Way is a model worth emulating.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #17 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports With Legendary New York Times Sports Columnist Robert Lipsyte – We chat about Lipsyte’s amazing career and some of the athletes he covered and got to know well, like Muhammad Ali, as well as his relationships with fellow sports journalists like Bob Costas and Howard Cosell.
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Episode #16 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Andrew Maraniss: Outstanding Author of Books That Focus On the Intersection of Sports, History and Social Justice.
Episode #15 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Psychology with Dr. Tim Rice. We discuss the growth of sports psychology at all levels, the positive impact that a number of high profile athletes have had by opening up, and the importance of everyone involved in sports caring for the whole athlete, mind and body.
Episode #14 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Making Sense of the Injury Pandemic in Major League Baseball – Gary McCoy is a strength, conditioning and high performance coach who has worked with several Major League Baseball organizations.
Episode #13 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Conversation With Long-Time MLB Exec Dan Evans About What’s Right With Baseball and What Could Be Better – Evans is a former general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers and is currently a consultant for Go the Distance Baseball, which owns the Field of Dreams movie site.
Episode #12 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: A Fun Chat With Dan Gutman, Author of the Baseball Card Adventure Series for Kids
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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