The Ethics of Coaching Sports

Moral, Social and Legal Issues


Edited by Robert L. Simon

First Edition • February 5, 2013 • 352 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813346083 • $39.00 USD$50.50 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813346090 • $25.99 USD$25.99 CAN

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The Ethics of Coaching Sports features invited contributions written by prominent scholars examining a broad range of normative or evaluative issues that arise from the role of the coach in competitive sports. The collection is accessible and comprehensive, including discussion of concrete issues in coaching, such as the distribution of playing time, bullying, the implications of recent events surrounding the Pennsylvania State scandal, and Title IX and gender equity. The contributing authors also explore the larger ethical considerations of the role of the coach as educator, leader, and moral role model; special considerations when coaching children; and an examination of the failures of coaches to meet appropriate standards when they do not respect their players and their programs. Each contributor presents the main arguments and positions relevant to their chosen topic and, with the ground set, the authors then seek to advance the reader’s theoretical and philosophical understanding of coaching. Robert L. Simon’s introductions to each of the book’s four parts help to summarize the main theses of the contributors’ chapters and examine differences between how each author approaches their chosen subject.Study questions are also provided for each chapter, making The Ethics of Coaching Sports the perfect companion for classes on sports ethics and coaching.


Robert L. Simon is McEwen Professor of Philosophy at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY. He is the author (with Norman E. Bowie) of The Individual and the Political Order, Neutrality and the Academic Ethics, and Fair Play: The Ethics of Sport, Third Edition. He also is editor of The Blackwell Guide to Social and Political Philosophy, and is the author of numerous articles in political philosophy and on ethical issues in sport. Simon has held fellowships at both Stanford’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences and the National Humanities Center in North Carolina. Simon has served as President of the International Association of the Philosophy of Sport and received its Distinguished Scholar Award in 2004. He has served as Associate Editor of Ethics and presently serves of the editorial board of The Journal of the Philosophy of Sport and the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport. He has been appointed to the Advisory and Editorial Board for the NCAA Scholarly Colloquium on College Sports by former NCAA President Myles Brand and was Vice-President of the Board from 2009-2011. Simon also was men’s golf coach at Hamilton from 1987-2001 and several of his teams were nationally ranked in Division III of the NCAA during that period.

Introduction: Ethical Dilemmas Robert L. Simon
In Coaching

I.The Coach’s Role: Conceptions of Coaching
Victory vs. Virtue: Coaches as Educators, Heather Reid
The Coach as Moral Exemplar, Jan Boxill

The Ethical Coach: An Interpretive Account, Robert L. Simon

Interpretivism. Conventionalism, and the Ethical Coach, Bill Morgan

II.Coaching and the Ethics of Competition
Coaches and Competitive Injustice, John Russell

Coaching, Gamesmanship, And Intimidation, Mark Hamilton

Bench Players: Why the Coach Needs a Philosophy, Scott Kretchmar and Doug Hotchstetler

The Neuro-Ethics of Coaching, Jeff Fry

III. Coaching Youth Sports
Coaching Children, Gabriela Tymowski

Competition, Ethics, and Coaching Youth, Cesar Torres and Peter Hager

IV. Coaching, Compliance and the Law
Recruiting and Compliance: Ethical and Legal Issues, Tim Davis

Coaching, Title IX, and Gender Equity, Nancy Hogshead-Maker

Coach and the Safety of Athletes: Ethical and Legal Issues, Matt Mitten

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