SUNY Oswego event to examine, encourage sportsmanship


February 15, 2017

OSWEGO -- SUNY Oswego's sociology department and sports studies minor present the ninth annual Sportsmanship Day Symposium at 2:20 p.m. Thursday, March 2, in Room 103 of Lanigan Hall. This event is free and open to the public.

The symposium, in observance of National Sportsmanship Day on March 7, promotes multidisciplinary insight on sportsmanship in sociology, history, psychology, philosophy, communication studies and more. Faculty, student-athletes and other students will make presentations and lead discussion on topics involving both good and poor sportsmanship. 

SUNY Oswego sociology chair and professor Tim Delaney, co-founder and coordinator of the Sportsmanship Day Symposium, describes sportsmanship as something that should not be restricted to the world of sports.

"It's about being a good person -- holding a door open for someone, general etiquette -- it's the little things that matter," he said. "Because what’s more important, being a good sport or winning?"

Each year, Delaney selects a photo to generate interest and prompt discussion about sportsmanship. This year, he will focus on a widely published photo of Florida State University football player Travis Rudolph sitting down for lunch with a lone, autistic 11-year-old boy during a visit to an elementary school. The boy's mother wrote a grateful, passionate Facebook post that has attracted more than 15,000 shares. Delaney hopes to use this scenario to paint a picture of the impact good sportsmanship has on others.

Delaney's own passion for sportsmanship provided him with the inspiration to develop the sports studies minor with SUNY Oswego history professor Christopher Mack. The two faculty members helped develop the minor, which launched last year. Delaney said he hopes the multidisciplinary program will provide more awareness of the importance of sportsmanship. 

For more information, contact Tim Delaney at or Beth Messana at

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PHOTO CAPTION: Sportsmanship in action -- SUNY Oswego sociology professor and chair Tim Delaney plans to use this widely published photo to animate discussion at the ninth annual Sportsmanship Day Symposium that Delaney co-founded, March 2 in Room 103 of Lanigan Hall. The scene is an elementary school cafeteria where Florida State University football player Travis Rudolph chose to sit with a lone, autistic 11-year-old. The boy's grateful mother posted her friend's photo to Facebook.