Implications for Sport Managers

Every athletic department has its hands full with the daily grind of college athletics but when players get into off the field issues it becomes a dilemma for university AD’s.

WSU is no exception. Leading up to the 2016 football season several football players had run ins with the law. One of those players is linebacker Logan Tago. Logan and some of his friends (unnamed) were accused of robbing and beating a man for his beer near the WSU campus over the summer. “Tago was originally charged with second-degree felony robbery and fourth-degree misdemeanor assault for an incident on June 4, in which Tago took part in assaulting and taking beer from a man on College Hill, leaving the man with a concussion” (Shadler). However, charges have been changed.

On January 30th the Daily Evergreen reported that, “WSU linebacker Logan Tago has accepted a plea bargain for third-degree assault, according to The Seattle Times.” The plea deal states that┬áTago is to serve 30 days in Whitman County Jail, perform 240 hours of community service and pay $800 in fines. While these events are not condoned by WSU or law enforcement they are however not uncommon for college and professional athletes as a whole. But what does this mean for university AD’s?

Within the article published by the Daily Evergreen it is discussed briefly that after serving a suspension Tago was allowed to play the last two games of the 2016 season. This decision was determined by Athletic Director Bill Moos despite a policy prohibiting students charged with felonies from competing in their respective sport. This is what I would really like to focus on. Although there is a policy regarding student athletes charged with felonies are not allowed to compete Bill Moos made the decision to allow Tago to play. This decision made by Bill Moos is like many others that sport managers have to make. The issues and dilemmas that sport managers have to evaluate and ultimately make a decision can have a large impact on their organization.

A lot of thought and consideration goes into evaluating and making decisions like what Bill Moos faced. Sport managers not only evaluate the specific situation but how that situation impacts the entire organization. If sport managers take lightly their decision making process negative implications will soon follow. A example of this would be Penn State and the sexual assault scandal of 2011. The incredible mishandling of the Penn State incident made by the athletic department, coaches, and other sport managers shows how important decisions made by sport managers are.

In regards to Bill Moos’s decision making process for Logan Tago I cannot say, simply because I do not know. But what is important to note is the impact those decisions of sport managers can have on their organization.