Some of the most important news of 2012 was news that did not get reported. These are developments that could have improved California’s foundation for sports business if they had happened. But they did not happen. Helping Californians to reduce these failures can help get 2013 off to a good start.
First, no public employees were terminated, or even disciplined, for falsifying the birth certificate of former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s son with his former household staffer, Mildred Patricia Baena. Leadership is important for success. If the leader of America’s largest state is comfortable with falsification of public records and identification documents, it infects the entire system with a dangerous tolerance for falsehood. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. So there are probably more false records waiting to be uncovered, especially since the current Governor, Jerry Brown, also did nothing about this during his term as state Attorney General.
Second, no California organization has followed the lead of cycling gear Skins or the Sunday Times of London in seeking damages from Lance Armstrong. The once decorated seven time Tour de France cycling champion was stripped of his titles after America’s federal doping investigators found he had effectively been operating a syndicate for an entire team to get an unfair advantage through doping. The result sends a message that California is not a state where drug-free sports are a priority or the courts can be relied upon to take effective action against drug cheaters.
Third, our local self-improvement expert, Dr. Drew Pinsky, has been at a loss for words about the sexual violence scandal at our mutual alma mater, Amherst College. The Huffington Post ran a series about the issues this fall, when Pinsky was visiting his son Jordan, a sophomore at Amherst. Forty years after Title IX was introduced to usher in a new era of equality for women in sports and other self-improvement programs, women at Amherst issued a series of complaints about violent images of women being tortured and the college administration dismissing them by telling the students they were crazy. Facts are what they are, and resorting to telling the messengers they are crazy rather than addressing the issues effectively is immature. Has Dr. Drew been able to exercise effective leadership as a parent of one of the students close to the situation? Not yet, but there is hope that this may make his list of 2013 New Year’s resolutions.
Sometimes, no news is good news, just like the adage. Former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton’s 2012 book “Collaborate or Perish!: Reaching Across Boundaries in a Networked World” did not win any book awards. For that matter, it is available new on Amazon.com for just $2.46, a fraction of the cost to publish it. The text’s glorification of a Colorado Sheriff of the Year who was later arrested for trafficking in methamphetamines made the content unsuitable for use as a college textbook. It’s still faring better than Bratton’s 1998 vanity publication, “The Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic.” That is selling for just one cent, and still almost no one is buying it.