Sporting Principles Put on Paper; Sweden's Fondness for Shootouts

By Atkin, Ross | The Christian Science Monitor, July 12, 1994 | Go to article overview

Sporting Principles Put on Paper; Sweden's Fondness for Shootouts


Atkin, Ross, The Christian Science Monitor


BEFORE the World Cup soccer tournament began, the sport's international governing body had all players sign a "Fair Play Declaration." This doesn't ensure sporting behavior - yellow warning cards are being issued at a record pace - but it does put the players on notice about what the standards are and implies that they are important.

In like manner, the Ohio Valley Conference has created a league sportsmanship statement that has met with the approval of member college presidents, athletic administrators, and coaches. "The statement may not be perfect, but it is a start," says Steve Hamilton, director of athletics at Morehead (Ky.) State University. Game officials will notify coaches and team captains before play begins that principles of good sportsmanship will be enforced without warning. Football family may be thrown for a loss

EIGHT-year-old Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami may eventually assume a new corporate identity under Wayne Huizenga, the video mogul and sports-empire builder (he owns baseball's Florida Marlins, hockey's Florida Panthers, and now football's Miami Dolphins). Huizenga recently completed the purchase of the Dolphins and the stadium they play in from the heirs of the late Joe Robbie.

Family members would like to forestall a stadium name change as long as possible, and for good reason. The stadium honors Robbie, who was the guiding force behind the Dolphins since the team was founded in 1966 until his passing in 1990. Robbie built the stadium without public funds.

The trend, at least in indoor arenas, is to sell naming rights to major corporations. To wit, three arenas owe their names to airlines: USAir Arena in Landover, Md.; America West Arena in Phoenix; and the soon-to-be-opened United Center in Chicago.

Huizenga has said he would not rename Joe Robbie Stadium after himself, but some observers speculate that he may sell the naming rights, perhaps to Blockbuster Entertainment, the company Huizenga heads. Since the stadium will host next January's Super Bowl, a strong incentive exists to rename the facility before then, since any corporation would benefit from the exposure the Super Bowl affords.

The Robbie family needed to sell some of its holdings in order to pay off a $47 million estate-tax debt in Joe Robbie's name. Touching other bases

* Sweden must like the concept of shootouts to break ties. At the Winter Olympics in Norway, the Swedes won the ice hockey gold medal in a sudden-death penalty-shot shootout with Canada that followed the regulation game, a 10-minute overtime period, and even a five-shots-per-side shootout. …

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