Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Human Performance and Health Education

First Advisor

Dr. Jody A. Brylinsky

Second Advisor

Dr. Marianne Frauenknecht

Third Advisor

Dr. Allison McFarland

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The erosion of ethical values of athletes and the rise of unsportsmanlike behaviors by our nation's athletic programs is at near epidemic levels. This study evaluated the four-year Fair Play Project intervention in its attempt to correct the problem of poor sportsmanship behaviors created by a lack of ethical reasoning. Beginning in the summer of 1996 as an initiative from athletic directors representing an interscholastic athletic conference in Southwest Michigan, the Fair Play Project had four goals: (I) Plan and implement an annual student leadership conference; (2) Create a school-based student Sportsmanship Task Force in order to improve the sportsmanship climate; (3) Attempt to create conference-wide impact by involving diverse subcultures of students; and ( 4) Conduct the leadership conference and schoolbased task force initiatives for a minimum period of 4 years. First and fourth year ethical-value choices were measured using the Hahm-Beller Values Choice Inventory in the Sport Milieu (HBVCI). Results indicated women made significantly more ethical value choices than men. Athletes demonstrated lower levels of ethical reasoning than non-athletes. While the Fair Play Project provided exploratory demonstration of a sportsmanship intervention aligned with the PRECEDE model it did not significantly influence ethical reasoning.