Sports administrators are people too

Sports administrators generally do not receive much praise from players, officials and spectators. In fact, the sporting public and media often ridicule or make fun of administrators criticizing them of sitting in “ivory towers” and not being in touch with the realities of their sport.

Whilst there are numerous excellent sports administrators who are honest, hard-working and there to further the interests of the game and the players or athletes, sadly there are many more who deserve the criticism. A sports administrator who lets his or her ego obscure a clear vision of what is best for a sport is bad enough but in sports where big money is involved the deadly combination of ego and money can result in consequences that can only be damaging for the players, spectators and general sports loving public who expect sport to exhibit admirable qualities and values.

Ego plus money invariably blurs the good judgment, creates a kind of sporting deafness, wherein administrators do not listen to the players, officials and sporting public’s concerns and creates a rhino-like thick skin in which administrators become immune to the realities of their sport and its needs.

Sometimes administrators become involved in a “sporting civil war” amongst themselves often with dire consequences for the players and sporting public. Tragically this is happening in South African Cricket at present but this is not the only sport bedevilled by this sporting illness.

Sadly many sports administrators are neither trained nor equipped to run sports cost-effectively, fairly and without fear or favour. Many forget that there is a time to come and a time to go and preparing for seamless transition or succession is vital to all great organizations.

It takes great men and women to admit their mistakes, put the organization’s and athlete’s interests before self-interest and not overstay your welcome. What should every self-respecting, decent, honest sports administrator do in the morning when they look in the mirror ….. not “mirror mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?” but rather, am I doing this for the right reasons and do the players and sports enthusiasts come first?

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