Saturday, June 15, 2013

Evaluate the System for Not Just Absolute Failures But Also Consistently Bad Ethics

Thoughts sparked by: The NCAA and Auditing of Processes vs. Enforcement of Rules
I agree that the current process is not working.  I am not totally sure the answer is to make things more binary however.  One of the problems with legalistic thinking is it attempts to make everything black or white.  There is a great deal of grey.

The basic problem it seems to me is the schools basically want to get away with all the bad behavior they can that can be argued doesn't quite rise to the level of clearly provable violation. If they can do something clearly wrong, but hide it that seems fine with them. It isn't being ethical or being fair that those taking the most cash from the schools (the executive leadership, including boards, and college coaches, including assistants) care about. That is the core of the problem. The system is also setup to encourage unethical behavior. And that feeds on itself, driving away those that are not suited to work in a system where ethics hamper your ability to succeed.

I think we may benefit from accepting that bad behavior is grey and when we see lots of dark grey you get punished a lot.

When we see lots of white and this tiny bit of black where two silly violations are found we treat that as what it is - a system that is largely working but a couple special causes need to be fixed up.

A problem with this is many people want to get away with doing bad stuff that technically can maybe be seen as possibly not absolutely prohibited.  Then they want to be able to have ignored that they are largely running a dark grey to black system when they can be shown to have clearly violated specific rules.

This attitude is a horrible example that our educational institutions are giving students.  Talking about how students should be ethical when they act while the schools are being unethical and trying to get away with ever single thing they can without tripping over into provable violations.

Related: Shining light on the actions of those in power - Peter F. Drucker on a Functioning Society - The Moral Consequences of Your Decisions

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