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 #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
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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