The main focus in a sport is to win, right? But it often seems that cheating has become a regular part of sports.

 “Yea, I cheated before. Everybody does it,” says a 16- year-old basketball player. “But they just won’t admit to it.  I don’t do it all the time, but it’s like normal now.”  

 “People cheat because they want to take the easy way out,” comments an 18-year-old football player. “They want to get the farthest, the fastest. They know its wrong, but they don’t care.”  

According to Kirk O. Hanson, the Executive Director of the Center of Applied Ethics at the University of Santa Clara, cheating is just part of American life.

“This type of behavior comes from the rationalization that the ends for cheating will justify the means,” says David Shields, a professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Shields has recently finished writing a book, called The Bounds of Legality, on the subject of competition in the sports world, including the subject of cheating. His research suggests that this problem may be due to different outlooks about competition and personal thinking.

Shields tells SciJourner that there are two ways to look at competition that encourages athletes to cheat. Most athletes look at competition as a battle, war or brawl. They think that their sole purpose is to defeat the opponent. The sense of failure compels athletes to take extreme measures to obtain victory, or in other words cheat to win.

Alternatively, some think of it as a way to bond with teammates and play together. These athletes look at competition as built around the metaphor of partnership.

Although the players are the main focus, the coaches and fans can also be a factor. In an experiment, Shields surveyed middle school athletes and recorded that 98% of the athletes admitted to being guilty of some form of cheating; 15% said that their coaches told them to do it.


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    • Some of the teens that I interview openly admitted to cheating in various areas such as sports, school and even personal relationships

      • Well really if you already have a girlfriend and your with her and you love her why will you go out here and cheat. What’s the point of it and you have a girlfriend. if you have cheated on your girlfriend add least your telling the truth but if she/he break up with you it’s your fault because you made that suggestion. If you have been cheating on your girlfriend or boyfriend please don’t be mad because you took it upon yourself to make that choice. Please boy’s and girl’s don’t cheat if you don’t want your heart broken.

  1. Very interesting article. The only thing I’m concerned about, well its really a question that probably should’ve been answered in the article, but based on this article is cheating some how psychological (spell check) since so many people have admitted to cheating?

  2. i really not the cheating type but this the way i feel if you put yourself in a releaship whats the point of cheating it doesnt make any sense….

  3. :smile I liked this article actually alot. It made me think on how I sometimes cheat to take the easy way out of something.This person had alot of very good and intersecting details.Great Job!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. wow this is a very interesting topic seeing that i am a faithful person and i dont see a reason for cheating…its jus not right i think if ur going to cheat dont b n a relationship.

  5. This is a great and true article describing sports in america today. as much as i enjoy watching them, baseball players are caught on performance enhancing drugs and the gambling scandals in the NBA are all cheaters trying to get what they want out of sports

  6. This was a very interesting article. It was well written, I liked the point you made about it being part of the American life, I think it is something that needs to be changed though because cheating should not be a habit like it is now. Good job!

  7. Cheating is cheating….if somebody know they can’t win they will cheat because everybody want the feeling of victory not known to be a loser.

  8. The article is very interesting. There are many different ways to cheat but it never right. People put pressure on atlheltes to cheat not understand what they go through.