Penalties: Understand, Evaluate and Improve

In “Rules, responsibility, and rewards” the USAT discussed a penalized athlete who threatened the national governing body with litigation because of a 2 minute penalty !
The individual, who happens to be General Counsel of a publicly traded corporation, condemned the Officials, condemned the race rules, condemned USAT and provided a list of demands that must be met within a given timeframe or he would file a massive lawsuit against USAT. The USAT President noted that this was akin to a pitcher filing a lawsuit against Major League Baseball because an umpire called a balk which forced in the winning run.
This incident is simply symptomatic of a growing trend in sports. An increasing number of athletes are refusing to take responsibility for their actions and insistent that their mistakes are the fault of others. The rules are meant to promote safety and fair competition. USAT’s position is that:

“In the several disciplines of multisport, the common thread is that they all are tests of individual endurance and as much as the athletes are competing against others, ultimately they are competing against themselves. And if we all were to take that ethic to heart in our individual training for races and then at the actual competitions, the multisport lifestyle will continue to be one of the safest, fairest and most rewarding tests of individual athletic competence.”

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