Sunday, December 20, 2009

Tunney Side of Sports; “Coming up next … Knowing what you stand for!”- #260, December 21, 2009

After Further Review … On My Honor, I Will is a wonderful book just released by my friend and colleague Randy Pennington. The subtitle is “The journey to integrity–driven leadership.” It makes a wonderful present for those involved in leadership, as well as anyone who has a responsibility to and/or for others, e.g. coaches, teachers, parents.

The title reminds me first and foremost of the Boy Scout oath that I said often as a scout (Troop #9, Alhambra, California). At that young age, perhaps we really never knew how significant that oath would mean to us later in life. We faithfully recited it, and, of course, intended to practice it as scouts, but the real value may not have sunk in then.

Unfortunately, former NBA referee Tim Donaghy never was a Boy Scout and never learned this oath; or if he did, it got lost somewhere in his adult life. Donaghy, you will recall, is the NBA referee who bet on NBA games in which he officiated, as well as provided inside information to gamblers so that they could place bets based on his information. Donaghy pleaded guilty and served a 15-month sentence (should have been 15 years!) for felony wire fraud charges. Donaghy, out walking amongst us now, has recently released HIS book (ghost-written?) called Personal Foul – and it is certainly a “personal foul.” His accusations and impeachment of fellow officials is disgraceful. A rat turns on others to save himself. Further, Donaghy incriminates coaches, players and supervisors with accusations that often are not substantiated by fact.

With my 4 decades of officiating, this crime hit me right in the pit of my stomach. Ouch! Not only would I never even think of such debauchery, but never have witnessed it with any of my officiating colleagues.

Donaghy claims “addiction” (to gambling) as a great part of his problem. Hogwash! While some may have “gambling addictions,” a sense of honor, justice and just do the right thing would/should overtake such compulsions. The words “greed,” and “easy money,” are more often the case rather than addiction. Donaghy crossed a line he never should have been near.

In On My Honor, I Will, author Pennington discusses several characteristics that define integrity, and then asks the reader to rate (1-5 scale) him/herself. Here are just a couple: “I know what I stand for” – “I make decisions based on what’s right for all parties.” Wonder how Donaghy would rate himself on those traits?

Will you “On Your Honor” practice good for others?

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