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Max Kravet: Negative Impact of Sports Culture on Youth

Spotlighting Avon High School senior mastery projects.

Name: Max Kravet, Class of 2011 graduate

Senior Mastery Project: Sure, there are plenty of good role models in sports today, but are their efforts being derailed by athletes like Michael Vick or Adam "Pac-Man" Jones, who received little punishment by the NFL despite having commited serious crimes? Through his research, Kravet found that the lack of accountability in today's sports culture is having a significantly negative impact on our youth.

"Sports today is a lot more corrupt than many kids want to think or believe and it’s probably not in their best interest to look to these athletes as role models because they’re going to learn all these bad habits that will lead to harmful effects in the future," Kravet told Patch.

Little to No Consequences: Michael Vick spent 21 months in prison for his involvement in an illegal dog fighting ring. Although he was released from the Falcons, he was reinstated with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2009. Adam "Pac-Man" Jones was charged with assaulting a woman and threatening a man's life while at a Vegas strip club. That same evening, an alleged member of his entourage shot three people, paralyzing one person from the waist down. A year later, Jones was accused of hitting another woman in a strip club in Georgia. As a result of these crimes, the NFL suspended him for one year. He currently plays for the Cincinatti Bengals.

"Sports leagues should do a better job of punishing athletes for their transgressions to deter them from doing the things that we don’t want kids to replicate," Kravet said.

The Evolution of Sports Media: "[Sports media] is playing a larger role in our lives and as a result we’re seeing more of the transgressions of athletes. For example, I talked about the Tiger Woods situation... In the past, that wouldn’t have gotten as much press as it did, but since we live in the 21st century...people have to know everything about everyone," Kravet told Patch.

The Impact of Sports Culture on Children: "I found a study that basically said teenagers and students who participate in sports actually have a decline in their moral skills from ninth grade all the way to the university age," Kravet said.

About Max: While attending Avon High School, he played soccer for three years and was on the track team for four years. He started a volunteer organization three years ago that brings volunteers to local organizations like the and during the summer. These organizations need more help during the summer because many of the school and church groups are on break.

College Bound: This fall, he's heading to the University of Maryland.

Editor's Note: Hey, Avon Class of 2011 graduating seniors! Do you want your senior master project featured on Avon Patch? E-mail the information to Jessie.Sawyer@patch.com, along with a photo of you and your project. Parents, you can submit on behalf of your children as well. We will be spotlighting one senior mastery project a day, Mondays through Fridays, throughout the entire summer.

Chris Jenkins August 19, 2011 at 11:28 AM
Why didn't this article roll into positive professional athletes, why did this artivle leave out high school and college athletes that made mistakes. Why didn't this article give an uplifting piece on making decisions as a student and an athlete. Basically this article wanted to reprint what's already known and harping on the same players who servered their / time ban from sports / lost sponsors. It should've focused on athletes WHO DID NOT GET reprimanded for their actions.... COME ON NOW....
Jessie Sawyer August 19, 2011 at 12:04 PM
Hi Chris, Thank you for the comments! You raise some fair points. To clarify, Mastering Avon High is a feature we run highlighting Avon High School students' senior mastery projects. The topic of this article was actually the theme of this student's senior mastery project and is based on his research, interpretations and findings. Colleen Finnegan, the author of this article, is capturing what the student told her about his project and the main points, not drawing these conclusions herself. Jessie Sawyer Editor, Avon Patch

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