Jack Bowen is an author of a book on sports and ethics, and teaches high school courses on ethics and philosophy. When it came time to fill out a bracket for the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament for a pool at work this year, he did not feel right about it.
Given the scandals that plague college basketball, including several teams and coaches that have advanced to this week’s round of 16 games, not filling out a bracket was one ethicist’s form of quiet protest.
“I chose not to do the men’s bracket, but I am doing the women’s bracket,” Bowen said, and he laughed at the questionable line he drew. “Now, what have I done here?”
What are any of us doing here?
Every March, millions of Americans fill out brackets (more than 40 million people, by one count), cheer the underdogs and tune in on television. Others buy tickets to the games, wear jerseys of their favorite teams and let wins and losses dictate their mood.
Yet fans who follow college basketball closely know about the game’s intractable relationship to corruption. Even many who come just for March Madness must know that the real madness is not always on the court.
A wide-ranging and fear-inducing F.B.I. investigation into college basketball recruiting continues to ensnare big-name colleges and little-known crooks. It is why Louisiana State, for example, is playing without its head coach, Will Wade, and why Auburn recently had an assistant coach suspended and a former assistant plead guilty of conspiracy for accepting bribes.
This week, the lawyer Michael Avenatti was charged with trying to extort up to million from Nike in exchange for concealing information he had about illicit payments to recruits. He has since revealed some allegations on Twitter. Among them: Oregon’s injured center Bol Bol was paid to join the Ducks, he said. Oregon, one of the 16 teams still in the tournament, denied the allegation.
“We go through periods of cleansing, where we all start to think something’s not quite right,” Jim Haney, the executive director of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, said. “College basketball is now going through one of those periods. In the best interests of the game, sometimes you have to go through these because you’re not able to do it on your own.”
For fans, as much as ever, this N.C.A.A. tournament serves as a taste test for our unholy appetites.
It is called “moral dissonance,” Bowen said, “where someone thinks, ‘Gosh, this is unethical, but I love it so much, and my friends and I have such a good time rooting and cheering that I’m going to participate anyway.’”
Steven Mintz, a professor emeritus at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo who writes a blog called Ethics Sage, called it “ethical blindness.”
“Some people say, ‘We can live with this, simply for the love of the game,’” Mintz said.
Such internal debates permeate our culture. Is it O.K. to dance to a Michael Jackson song, to laugh to a Louis C.K. joke, to watch a movie produced by Harvey Weinstein? To cheer for football knowing what it may be doing to players’ brains?
In this case, is it O.K. to fill out brackets, root for winners and perhaps invest financially in programs that run afoul of rules, knowing what we know while, perhaps reasonably, suspecting worse?
“We do have these quandaries that we face, and it’s important for us to think about them,” said Shawn Klein, who teaches philosophy and sports ethics at Arizona State. “Even if our conclusions about how we should act don’t necessarily change how we do act, it’s important that we’re aware of the balance we have here.”
The topic in college basketball is an old one, freshened by the latest news. Louisiana State has the familiar ingredients of a championship contender: a premier point guard, a bevy of tall underclassmen looking to leave for the N.B.A. and a hint of scandal.
Seeded third in the East Region, and led by the interim coach Tony Benford, Louisiana State squeezed past 14th-seeded Yale in the first round, then slipped past sixth-seeded Maryland in the second. Next it faces second-seeded Michigan State. A victory might get Louisiana State a Sunday date with No. 1 Duke for a spot in the Final Four.
Louisiana State’s season began in tragedy, with the shooting death of one of its players, Wayde Sims, on the eve of preseason practices. Now it climaxes in the most N.C.A.A. way possible, with each victory treated as either a feel-good story of redemption or a cautious tale of corruption.
“Whatever has happened to sour this L.S.U. season, it is all forgotten for now,” the Baton Rouge Advocate columnist Scott Rabalais wrote over the weekend.
It might be a mantra for most teams through the annual tournament.
As Sports Illustrated pointed out last week, the teams with the most Final Four appearances in history are North Carolina, U.C.L.A., Kentucky, Duke and Kansas. But next on the list, if it were a university, would be Vacated — the euphemism given to appearances later wiped from the record by scandal.
It is easy to imagine Vacated making a future run in this year’s tournament.
A yearslong F.B.I. investigation burst into public view in late 2017, exposing the type of black-market underbelly long presumed in college sports, especially men’s basketball. At its heart were top-tier men’s basketball programs, shoe manufacturers and prized recruits, along with the sticky web of middlemen that laced so many of them together. Ten men were arrested, including assistant coaches for four top programs.
Waves from the investigation continue to wash detritus to shore as cases flow through the court system. A year ago, Yahoo Sports reported that the F.B.I.’s investigation had implicated at least 25 programs. Among them were six members of this year’s round of 16, including three No. 1 seeds — Duke, North Carolina and Virginia — and second-seeded Kentucky.
So far, none have been publicly outed for transgressions related directly to the F.B.I. case, but at least one entire region will be contested this weekend with teams playing under an ethical cloud.
In addition to North Carolina, which avoided punishment in a massive academic-fraud case only by threading a legal needle, the rest of the four-team Midwest Region includes fifth-seeded Auburn, whose coach, Bruce Pearl, was fired by Tennessee in 2011 after he lied during an N.C.A.A. investigation; third-seeded Houston, coached by Kelvin Sampson, who spent years in exile after being forced out at Oklahoma and Indiana over recruiting violations; and Kentucky, whose coach, John Calipari, led two programs later forced to vacate Final Four appearances.
Not all coaches and programs in the field have been similarly tainted, but their mere presence at the top of the sport clouds them with suspicion. Paying college athletes is a popular idea waved like a magic wand, as if that would forgive the rule-breaking under the current system and not create complex logistical and ethical problems of a different sort.
Little of this conversation ever breaks through the cheers surrounding the N.C.A.A. tournament. It is rarely discussed earnestly on CBS, which is paying the N.C.A.A. nearly billion a year, on average, to televise the tournament through 2032.
The issue for fans, especially this time of year, is a matter of complicity. Does supporting certain teams, or an entire enterprise known to foster unethical behavior — including, some argue, not sharing its financial riches with its labor force — condemn those who watch, cheer or fill in brackets?
Klein, the philosophy lecturer at Arizona State, said we live in a “culture of outrage,” with societal pressures to disengage from everything some find troubling.
“It seems an overburdened obligation that we know the moral status of every aspect of every institution and everything we participate in, and are able to figure out the proper balance to decide whether or not we should interact with it,” Klein said. “That’s just not doable.”
Allegiances to teams are “an identity issue,” he said, “part of how you see yourself,” not unlike a long-term relationship with family and friends. Fans of certain teams, even if those teams are clouded in controversy, tend to defend them, even if their vision is viewed through team-colors-tinted glasses.
“When something happens that you think is wrong, that you’re morally critical of, you don’t necessarily walk away from that relationship,” Klein said.
At some point, of course, maybe you do. But Haney, from the National Association of Basketball Coaches, holds a similar view.
“Just as you can have a friend who’s done something to you, but because you like them, you love them, you stay with them,” Haney said. “You don’t turn your back on them, knowing that change is coming.”
“Fandom is not a rational pursuit from the get-go,” said Bowen, who helped write “Sport, Ethics and Leadership,” a textbook. “The joy is that it’s an emotional experience, a great getaway. We want that. But on the flip side, emotion hijacks reason all the time.”
By the way, while he did not participate in his office pool for the men’s tournament, Bowen said he and his children filled out brackets at home.
It is complicated. Maybe like the bracket itself, no one gets it exactly right.B:
九龙老牌图库官方网站【因】【为】【态】【古】【域】【的】【特】【殊】【性】，【此】【刻】**【之】【中】，【程】【凉】【和】【一】【个】【长】【相】【像】【蠕】【虫】【一】【样】【的】【无】【序】【者】【正】【在】【对】【峙】。 【仿】【佛】【太】【空】【一】【样】，【程】【凉】【的】【视】【角】【里】【这】【只】【蠕】【虫】【是】【肚】【皮】【朝】【上】【的】。 【蠕】【虫】【视】【角】【里】【的】【程】【凉】【是】【头】【朝】【下】【的】。 【危】【险】！ 【无】【序】【者】【基】【本】【是】【智】【慧】【崩】【坏】【掉】【的】【怪】【物】，【不】【遵】【守】【任】【何】【秩】【序】【法】【律】，【看】【到】【联】【盟】【人】【的】【意】【识】【出】【现】【在】**，【它】【们】【会】【对】【联】【盟】【人】【的】【意】【识】【进】
“【小】【九】，【为】【何】【你】【会】【成】【为】【鬼】【神】？”【未】【晞】【问】【道】，【根】【据】【这】【些】【时】【日】【的】【了】【解】，【小】【九】【原】【本】【并】【非】【鬼】【神】，【原】【本】【凶】【残】【的】【鬼】【神】【之】【子】【全】【部】【被】【封】【禁】【在】【禁】【忌】【塔】【中】，【相】【互】【吞】【噬】【最】【终】【成】【为】【鬼】【宗】【强】【大】【的】【利】【器】，【有】【意】【识】【的】【鬼】【神】【之】【子】【才】【能】【以】【留】【在】【鬼】【宗】【内】。 【小】【九】【与】【他】【口】【中】【的】“【主】”【定】【有】【不】【共】【戴】【天】【之】【仇】。 【这】【个】“【主】”，【难】【道】【就】【是】【他】【们】【所】【对】【抗】【的】【主】【世】【界】【吗】？
【三】【年】【后】，【魔】【法】【王】【城】【的】【私】【家】【飞】【机】【场】，【镶】【钻】【的】【华】【丽】【飞】【机】【落】【下】。 【赵】【黑】【岩】【带】【着】【护】【卫】【队】【整】【齐】【划】【一】，【举】【着】“【欢】【迎】【苏】【苏】【王】【妃】【回】【家】”【的】【横】【幅】，【旁】【边】【鼓】【乐】【队】【奏】【响】【那】【支】【叶】【苏】【苏】【最】【爱】【的】【曲】【子】。 【本】【来】【说】【好】【黎】【夜】【亲】【自】【迎】【接】【留】【学】【归】【国】【的】【叶】【苏】【苏】，【可】【是】【黎】【夜】【必】【须】【亲】【自】【去】【世】【界】【联】【合】【集】【团】【参】【加】【会】【议】，【不】【能】【亲】【自】【来】【迎】【接】，【就】【特】【意】【委】【派】【给】【赵】【黑】【岩】。 【飞】【机】九龙老牌图库官方网站“【男】【神】【还】【在】【排】【队】【吗】？”【何】【宝】【儿】【问】【道】。 “【对】【啊】。”【宁】【夏】【答】【道】。 “【那】【么】【多】【人】【吗】？”【何】【宝】【儿】【皱】【着】【眉】，【她】【跟】【宁】【夏】【聊】【了】【都】【有】【一】【会】【儿】，【陆】【景】【熠】【竟】【然】【还】【在】【排】【队】。 “【人】【不】【少】。”【宁】【夏】【道】。 “【你】【在】【男】【神】【旁】【边】【站】【在】【吗】？”【何】【宝】【儿】【问】【道】。 “【没】【有】，【我】【在】【椅】【子】【上】【坐】【着】。” “【你】【让】【男】【神】【一】【个】【人】【排】【队】？”【何】【宝】【儿】【惊】【讶】【道】。
【【各】【位】【电】【视】【机】【前】【的】【观】【众】【朋】【友】，【这】【里】【是】【春】【节】【联】【欢】【晚】【会】【的】【特】【别】【节】【目】《【一】【年】【又】【一】【年】》，【我】【是】【主】【持】【人】【白】【岩】【松】，【下】【面】【又】【到】【了】【阿】【丘】【采】【访】【明】【星】【艺】【人】【的】【时】【间】【了】。 【现】【在】，【大】【家】【请】【跟】【随】【主】【持】【人】【阿】【丘】【的】【镜】【头】，【看】【看】【是】【哪】【位】【明】【星】【艺】【人】【要】【给】【全】【国】【的】【观】【众】【拜】【年】。 【白】【岩】【松】：【阿】【丘】，【你】【好】！ 【阿】【丘】：【岩】【松】，【你】【好】！ 【白】【岩】【松】：【你】【下】【面】【要】【给】【全】【国】【的】
【顾】【迦】【南】【五】【十】【八】【岁】【那】【年】【晋】【级】【九】【级】【机】【甲】【师】，【六】【十】【岁】【成】【功】【当】【上】【了】【中】【央】【精】【英】【守】【卫】【军】【第】【一】【战】【队】【的】【大】【队】【长】。 【当】【然】，【上】【任】【大】【队】【长】【雷】【华】【俊】【也】【没】【退】【伍】【转】【业】，【而】【是】【摇】【身】【一】【变】【成】【了】【副】【舰】【长】。 【白】【子】【月】【为】【自】【家】【男】【人】【高】【兴】，【却】【又】【有】【点】【郁】【闷】，【她】【才】【晋】【级】【七】【级】【机】【甲】【师】【没】【两】【年】，【正】【高】【兴】【拉】【近】【了】【与】【丈】【夫】【之】【间】【的】【实】【力】【差】【距】【呢】，【转】【眼】【间】【又】【被】【拉】【开】【了】。 【在】【孩】
【陆】【其】【峰】【定】【了】【定】【神】，【紧】【了】【紧】【领】【口】，【心】【思】【细】【腻】【警】【觉】【的】【他】【忽】【然】【发】【现】【周】【围】【的】【气】【氛】【明】【显】【不】【对】【劲】【了】。 【看】【着】【所】【有】【人】【的】【目】【光】【都】【投】【向】【陈】【余】【生】【后】，【他】【才】【微】【微】【缓】【了】【缓】【气】。 【在】【他】【的】【手】【接】【触】【到】【口】【袋】【里】【冰】【冷】【的】【手】【枪】【时】，【他】【的】【眼】【神】【划】【过】【一】【丝】【阴】【冷】。 【这】【些】【人】【迟】【早】【都】【会】【被】【他】【干】【掉】。 【别】【说】【一】【个】【程】【敬】【之】，【就】【是】【十】【个】，【也】【不】【是】【他】【的】【对】【手】。 【至】【于】【白】