Seminar To Focus On Sports In Our Society

St. John's Forum Discussesamerican Attitudes

January 14, 1992|By John Harris III | John Harris III,Staff writer

Does America put too much emphasis on sports in society? Do we give too much honor and glory to athletic achievement? Do we sometimes replace ethics and morals with athletic performance?

These questions,along with many others, will be debated on Jan. 25 at St. John's College in Annapolis in a forum entitled: "Ethics and Athletics, The Place of Sports in American Life."

The sixth in a series of lectures and discussions on ethical issues in society, the program, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will feature a keynote address from tennis champion Arthur Ashe and alecture from award-winning journalist Creed Carter Black.

Ashe, who became the first black male to win the Wimbledon singles title in 1975, also captured the United States Open in 1968 after a brilliant collegiate career at the University of California at Los Angeles. He also captained the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team from 1981 to 1985, winning the international team-tourney in 1981 and 1982.

President of the Knight Foundation -- which studies the role and function of sports in higher education -- Black has held top editorial and administrative positions for newspapers across the country.

A 15-minute question-and-answer period and a 1 1/2-hour

seminar led by St. John's tutors and other panelists will be sandwiched between the two speakersof the day. Those who register for the event will be asked to read four short selections in order to prepare themselves for the discussions.

A private, non-sectarian, liberal arts college of fewer than 400 students in the city's historic district, St. John's could be considered both a likely and unlikely candidate to sponsor such an event.While the school offers a broad intramural sports program, the "Johnnies" have no varsity athletic program.

However, the school's mainemphasis is on the intellectual studies of various readings in Western Civilization, which they discuss in seminars with their "tutors." Seminars are the "heart of the college's curriculum," said Nancy Osius of St. John's public information department.

St. John's claim toathletic fame has been its annual "Annapolis Cup" croquet match against cross-town rival Navy. The match has attracted attention from Sports Illustrated (April 1987) and CBS.

The seminar is open to the public, and registration is limited to the first 400 participants. Thecost is $20 per person, which includes copies of the readings, refreshments and parking. Anyone interested in attending should register by tomorrow.

Information: Kathy Dulisse, 263-2371, Ext. 230.

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