By Ken Reed
Earlier this week, I wrote about disgraced track coach Alberto Salazar being banned for four years for using performance-enhancing drugs with his athletes and attempting to tamper with doping controls.
Salazar was caught due in large part to the courage of two-time Olympic athlete Kara Goucher, who blew the whistle on Salazar and his training practices. Goucher revealed tremendous integrity and character in doing so. The world of sport is better today for her ethical efforts.
The same holds true for a 17-year-old Indiana high school golfer.
This past Saturday, it looked like Kiah Parrott had fulfilled her dream of finishing in the top ten — and thus, standing on the podium — at the girls Indiana state high school golf championship. After a 78, followed by a 70, Parrott stood in sixth place on the scoreboard, good enough for a spot on the finals podium.
However, after eating lunch and glancing at the scoreboard, Parrott discovered that the Indiana High School Athletic Association’s scoring system had her at plus-3 for the tournament. She knew she’d really shot a plus-4. She checked her official scorecard and discovered the unthinkable. She had signed an incorrect scorecard.
Now she had a decision to make. She could let the incorrect plus-3 score stand and realize her dream of standing on the podium. Or, she could turn herself in and be disqualified, in effect finishing dead last in the state tournament.
Parrott decided to turn herself in.
“…I knew I was going to turn myself in,” said Parrott.
“I knew I was going to be disqualified. But there was no other option. I don’t like it when other people cheat, and if I didn’t tell anyone, I would have been cheating. It would have made me feel worse. I knew what I really shot and I would just have to live with that. It was my error.”
Parrott did the right thing but it still hurt. She shed a lot of tears on the drive home from the tournament.
After giving her some time to process what had happened, Parrott’s dad approached his daughter and shared with her what he and Kiah’s mom thought about the situation.
“I told her there is no question there is a bigger picture than standing on the podium,” he said.
“Her dream was finishing on the podium. The dream for her mom and I is for her to have integrity and character. She’s fulfilled that. Five years from now, she will be able to sit down in a job interview and explain to someone what she did as a 17-year-old.”
Kiah Parrott was a winner at the Indiana girls state golf finals this past week. The scoreboard showing her in last place simply doesn’t factor in what’s most important in sports — and life: integrity, character and sportsmanship.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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