The purpose of our blog is to show how conflict management theory and tools are used for problems that arise in sports. 

Joshua Gordon

Sports Conflict Institute Founder, Joshua Gordon, interviewed on Front Office Sports

Sports Conflict Institute Founder, Joshua Gordon, interviewed on Front Office Sports. Read Interview Read more >


SCI TALK | The Oregonian’s Connor Letourneau on NCAA College Basketball

In this episode of SCI Talk, we explore College Basketball with Connor Letourneau of The Oregonian. He discusses the issues and controversies surrounding college basketball today, and suggests Read more >

Steve Kyler

Conversation with NBA Expert Steve Kyler

In this episode of SCI Talk, we explore the NBA with Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders. He discusses issues and perspectives concerning the NBA, and some of the developing ideas and concepts Read more >

WNBA Jersey

Issues in Advertising on NBA Jerseys

Recently, there has been talk in the NBA sphere of developing a system to place advertisements on jerseys. The issue of jersey advertisement has been lingering for some time, but has garnered Read more >


Event Management: Plan for the Worst

When managing an event, organizers must always be wary of one very crucial detail, Murphy’s Law is in effect.  No matter how well you plan, there is always a chance for a fiasco.  In a February Read more >

Cameroon teammates fighting

Why Sports Mediation Can Improve Team Performance

As a practitioner in appropriate dispute resolution, I often like to look back on my experiences prior to entering the field.  Having around a decade of business management experience, coaching Read more >

disappointed fans

Is Mediation in Sports Best for Fans?

Conflicts in sports – especially those in high-profile sports leagues – differ from many other high-profile conflicts due to the nature of stakeholders in the conflict. Fans of players, teams, Read more >

NCAA Reform

NCAA Reform: Autonomy Issues

With the upcoming NCAA reform, Sport Conflict Institute recently discussed ideas, problems, and possible solutions with tenured University of Nebraska Law Professor, Jo Potuto. The esteemed Read more >

Jo Potuto

Reinventing the NCAA: A Conversation with Faculty Athletics Representative Jo Potuto

In this episode of SCI TV, we explore the theme of Reinventing the NCAA with the University of Nebraska’s Josephine Potuto. She discusses issues and perspectives regarding reinventing the NCAA, Read more >


SCI TV Examines Group Dynamics in Sport with Dr. Mark Eys

Sports Conflict Institute’s Joshua Gordon and Dr. Ken Pendleton discuss group dynamics with guest Dr. Mark Eys, co-author of Group Dynamics in Sport. They cover elements of group cohesion, it’s Read more >

Cornell Big Red

Cornell University’s Jen Baker Discusses Leadership Development on SCI TV

With leadership such an important element of team success, Sports Conflict Institute’s Joshua Gordon and Dr. Ken Pendleton recently spoke with Jen Baker, the Director of the Big Red Leadership Read more >

David Yamada

SCI TV Examines Bullying in Professional and NCAA Sports with Suffolk University Law School Professor David Yamada

According to Suffolk University Law School Professor David Yamada, the commitment to create healthier workplaces for athletes on all levels must come from within the organizations themselves. No Read more >

ncaa small

Sports Conflict Institute Announces NCAA Student-Athlete Experience Assessment

With the complexity of intercollegiate athletics, both administrators and coaches understand that the student-athlete experience across all teams needs to be consistent with university mission, Read more >

Team Huddle

SCI Talk: Exploring Team Dynamics, Trust, and Cooperation in Sports

In this episode of SCI Talk, we explore team dynamics in the world of college and professional sports with Doug Staneart of The Leaders Institute. He discusses the importance of team dynamics and Read more >

ray rice dv

How the NFL Should Respond to the Ray Rice Incident

The National Football League made a clear and undeniable mistake in its initial handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence incident. Even prior to the full video release by TMZ, it is nearly Read more >


How To Develop Life Skills for Athletes

How do athletes learn skills such as leadership or conflict management? What do coaches and administrators need to know in fostering development of these skills? A Fundamental Disconnect Often Read more >


Athlete Hazing Discussion with’s Emily Pualwan

In this episode of SCI TV, we explore the theme of Athlete Hazing with Associate Executive Director of, Emily Pualwan. She discusses the types of issues concerning hazing Read more >

NCAA Football Guarantee Games

Guarantee Games in NCAA Football

For years now, smaller schools around the nation have been traveling to play bigger and better opponents on the road early in the season. These guarantee games have benefits for both schools. The Read more >

Attendance figures

Addressing College Football’s Attendance Decline

After more than 25 years, my oldest childhood friend just decided to give up his season tickets for football at the University of Florida. I asked Jimmy why. I asked him if it was because he was Read more >

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Student-Athletes In Transition: Secrets to Success

With the start of a new academic year, college athletes and coaches prepare for another season and often a whole new environment. They encounter new team members, the pressures of performance and Read more >

Yale Bulldogs

A Conversation with Yale University’s Steve Conn on NCAA Football

In this episode of SCI Talk, we explore the world of NCAA college football with Yale University’s Associate Athletics Director Sports Publicity, and Primary Media Contact for Football, Steve Read more >

locker room

LGBTs in Locker Rooms

In February 2014, a lobbyist tried to introduce a bill to the House that would ban gay players from the NFL. Lobbyist Jack Burkman deemed it a “horrifying prospect” for moms to think about their Read more >

San Francisco 49ers v Carolina Panthers

Prevent Bullying with a Healthy Locker Room Culture

Why do we often allow sports culture to deviate so far from societal norms? Why is bullying often an accepted norm in sports, or, frankly, why is bullying behavior often not recognized as Read more >

Baseball Player Hazing/Bullying.

The Effects of Bullying In Sports

Having participated in more than half a dozen different team sports for more than twenty years, I have witnessed and been the target of bullying in sports often. At times, the behavior of my Read more >


Major League Soccer: How to Increase TV Ratings

Major League Soccer has never had it so good. The league is expanding, the values of franchises are rising, and attendance figures to reach 19,000 per match in the next season or two. The huge Read more >

Athlete Transitions - Running a Pack

Athlete Transitions – A Runner’s Perspective

An important, yet regularly overlooked area of an athlete’s life is that of transitions.  As an athlete seeking to maximize his talent and performance, one does not just put himself through a Read more >


Harvard University Athletic Director Shares Thoughts on Intercollegiate Athletics

In this episode of SCI Talk, we are joined by Bob Scalise – Harvard University’s Director of Athletics – to discuss the role of Athletic Directors and Administrators in intercollegiate Read more >


Reputational Risk in Intercollegiate Athletics

In this episode of SCI Talk, we take on the issue of reputational risk in intercollegiate athletics. Specifically, how should we value reputation as its own currency not unlike dollars for wins? Read more >


Apologizing For Performance Enhancing Drugs

I love watching the Tour de France.  Unfortunately, the event also serves as a reminder to me of the oft-felt disappointment when great athletes get caught using performance enhancing drugs. Read more >


The Culture of Silence Surrounding Performance Enhancing Drugs

Why do clean athletes remain silent alongside their cheating counterparts? It is often perplexing that few competitors outwardly and actively join in the condemnation of “enhanced” Read more >


PEDs: Why Should Sports be Fair?

By way of defending himself, Tommy Fitton, who, perhaps, did more than anyone else to propagate the use of steroids, once rhetorically asked, “Life isn’t fair, so why should sports be Read more >


The Roots of Brazilian Soccer’s Implosion

Brazilians like to distinguish between futebol arte and futebol resultados, soccer of art and soccer of results, but for the last 32 years the people running Brazilian soccer have maintained that Read more >

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Sports Conflict Institute Launches Conflict Management e-Learning in Partnership with Kilmann Diagnostics

The Sports Conflict Institute (SCI) announced a partnership with Kilmann Diagnostics (KD) to offer conflict management e-learning courses to athletes, coaches, administrators, and supporters in Read more >

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Sports Conflict Institute Creates Knowledge Center for Athletes, Coaches, Administrators, and Supporters to Better Understand, Prevent, and Resolve Conflict in Sports

The Sports Conflict Institute (SCI) announced that it has developed and launched a knowledge center for athletes coaches, administrators, and supports to better understand, prevent, and resolve Read more >


Unmanaged Stress and Distractions Threaten Athletic Performance for Top Athletes

What was Usain Bolt’s biggest threat at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games? Was it Tyson Gay, then reigning world champion in the 100m and 200m? Asafa Powell, whose world record Bolt had broken Read more >

suarzez bite

According to Sports Conflict Institute, Luis Suarez Biting Incidents Raises Concerns of Mental Health in Athletes

“For the third time in his career, Luis Suarez appeared to bite an opponent. This raises a number of issues regarding mental health and other preventative measures that could be taken Read more >


Is Athletic Performance Enhanced by Creating an Enemy Image of the Competition?

While watching the USA Track and Field Championships from my home late last week, I was struck by the difference in how two athletes interacted with their fellow competitors following their Read more >

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Changing the Game for Intercollegiate Athletic Programs and the NCAA

There is no shortage of problems on and off the field of play. National headlines highlight concerns about recruiting, sexual abuse, off-field violence, academic fraud, bullying and other issues Read more >

got philanthropy

“I want to start my own foundation”

As we head into draft season for the NFL, NBA, MLB, and others, we will soon be hearing the well-intentioned enthusiasm from many newly drafted professional athletes who have “made Read more >


Philanthropy: The Road to Heaven Is Paved With Good Will

The philosopher Immanuel Kant made a distinction between good intentions and good will, effectively explaining why the road to hell is paved with the former. No one who hosts a party wants a Read more >


Do Coaches Bear Enough of the Risk that Comes with Recruiting High-Risk Student-Athletes?

The University of Oregon recruited Brandon Austin despite the fact that he had been suspended for the season by Providence College last December. It is important to note that basketball coach Read more >

sports brain

Mental Health in Athletes

“The athlete has unique stressors and triggers that are not found in the regular student. They’re away from home, they miss holidays, they miss family events, a lot of them miss their Read more >

IAAF 2014 Junior World Championships

SCI Founder, Joshua Gordon, Discusses University of Oregon Global Ambassador Course in Conjunction with the 2014 IAAF Junior World Championships

A select group of UO students will serve as ambassadors for this summer’s 2014 Junior World Track Championships —the first time the event has been held in the United States or on any university Read more >


SCI Advisory Board Member, Dr. Helen Neville, elected as foreign associate by National Academy of Science

The National Academy of Sciences on Tuesday elected UO brain scientist and Sports Conflict Institute Advisory Board Member Helen J. Neville as one of 21 foreign associates from 15 countries. Read more >


Silver’s Sterling Problem

Donald Sterling bought the San Diego Clippers in 1981. By 1982, the NBA knew it had a serious problem, after Sterling fell behind on paychecks and violated the collective bargaining agreement by Read more >

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SCI Founder, Joshua Gordon, to Speak at PAADS Summit in NYC

SCI Founder, Joshua Gordon, will be presenting along with John Zinsser at the Professional Association of Athlete Development Specialists (PAADS) Summit at Major League Baseball’s Read more >

Coach Player

The Search for Commitment: Why Coaches and Parents Should View Punishment as a Last Resort

In 1959, American sociologists John French and Bertram Raven published a seminal article dividing power into five categories: Legitimate power came with the job description of holding a certain Read more >


Apocalypse, Not Now: Would Unionization Really Entail Radical Change for College Sports?

At the end of the day, after the various courts have had their say, the relationship between the NCAA and football and men’s basketball players at the largest institutions is going to take Read more >


Will SEC Dominance Increase With A Four-Team Playoff?

If the college football recruiting evaluation services are accurate, which over the long-haul they usually are, Tennessee had a heck of a day on Wednesday. The Vols, who have raced through Read more >


The Existential Meaning of the Super Bowl

The Dallas Cowboys’ Duane Thomas did his level best to put the Super Bowl in perspective. Having grown weary of a seemingly endless stream on inane questions, he finally posed one of his own: Read more >


Acting Like You Have Never Been There Before

We have been recycling the same culture war for nearly 50 years, since Cassius Clay filled the once quiet air with bombast—“I must be the greatest!”—after shocking the world by beating Sonny Read more >


The Root of Football’s Violence Problem

With so much emphasis on making football safer, it’s worth looking back at how the game developed and why change won’t come easy. The dye was cast before the 20th century and the best Read more >


Bad Apples?

Great emphasis is placed on the bad things athletes do.  Putting aside for a moment whether or not professional (or collegiate) athletes break the law at a greater rate than the average Read more >


A Good Teacher Is A Good Coach

It has often been said that good coaches are good teachers. Indeed, good coaches teach their players how to practice, manage their time, work with their teammates, handle adversity, etc. But, Read more >

Leadership Road Sign

A Simple Suggestion to Teach Leadership

Why are there coaches on the sidelines during games? If we take seriously the idea that the primary purpose of sports is moral training (I am not sure this should be the primary focus, but that Read more >


The Sanity Code

It is easy to understand why NCAA president Mark Emmert has steadfastly maintained that student-athletes are not employees. After all, the ideal of amateurism is built on the principle that Read more >


When Is Too Young?

When you work in the youth sports field, you are reminded constantly of the fact that there are plenty of parents out there who either over-value their child’s athletic ability; over-rate Read more >


Do American Owners Understand the EPL Landscape?

by Ken Pendleton Jacksonville Jaguars’ owner Shad Khan recently purchased a controlling interest in an English Premier League (EPL) soccer club Fulham in a deal thought to be worth between Read more >


Bearing the Costs of High-Risk Athletes

Posted by Dr. Ken Pendleton Let me see if I can summarize what USA Today recently reported about an incident involving Aaron Hernandez and, believe it or not, Tim Tebow. The two of the them were Read more >


The Key to Ethical Reform

Sport has never really recovered from the bad name the Romans gave it. The Greeks held athletic competition in very high esteem, putting it on the same pedestal as music, theater, and sculpture. Read more >


Being a Sports Fan B.C.–Before Cable

The operation of my ‘51 inch plasma TV requires the use of six remote controls. They operate two DVD players (one for recording and one that plays discs from any region in the world), a Blu-ray Read more >

invisible coach

The Genius of Coaching Less

On a recent podcast of Radiolab, Secrets of Success, Malcolm Gladwell, the author of: The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Read more >


Adult Education and Sports

Most critics and defenders of sports share the assumption that the worth of sports should be measured by the extent to which it has a civilizing effect on the performers and spectators. George Read more >


Dreams of a Better Athlete?

When I was growing up, nothing thrilled me more than long summer days and the promise of getting the neighborhood kids together for wiffle ball; or pick-up basketball; or touch football; Read more >


ASK SCI: Process for Helping Coaches Communicate with Parents?

Q. I am a parent on a small kids swim team. We have a coach who doesn’t communicate well with some parents. Unhappy parents have created a rift of criticism through gossip and a shared Read more >


Why Hasn’t Soccer Arrived?

Soccer has arrived. Soccer is one the verge of arriving. Or soccer will never arrive. That’s the debate that resurfaces every time the sport captures headlines in the US. The subject first Read more >


Promotion and Relegation: The Greed of American Exceptionalism

Today, stories surfaced that foreign owners, including many American ones, are keen to abolish relegation and promotion from the English Premier League. This silly idea has to be taken somewhat Read more >


Whereas Fans Are Fed Up

Whereas the National Hockey League can lock out players and thus jeopardize the whole season for the second time in a decade; Whereas the owner of Manchester United can plunge one of the richest Read more >