Jordan Houdeshell

Jordan Houdeshell is a senior studying Elementary Education and Spanish at the University from Maine. She is from Ledyard, Conn. and has been working for the Maine Campus since fall 2014. She is the current Editor in Chief.

Cheating in sports has been around for years, but recently there have been many incidents that show this unsportsmanlike conduct, in both teams and individual players. One of the more recent scandals involved Apple Watches.

This season, it has been brought to the attention of the media and Major League Baseball that the Boston Red Sox have been using Apple Watches to steal the New York Yankees’ signs and use these signs to their advantage. Stealing signs has always been a part of baseball, but this added twist has brought a significant amount of attention from fans of both teams, as the aid of technology is banned.

The league did a thorough investigation after the Yankees submitted a complaint on Sept. 5. They found that the Red Sox had been using these watches to aid them against teams other than just the Yankees, but had not used them since the Yankees filed their complaint. On Sept. 15 the MLB announced that the Red Sox will be fined for violating the technology rules with stealing signs, but the money they are fined will go to the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

This is just one example of cheating in sports and how it was dealt with by the league. Baseball is not the only sport where this happens. All sports fans will remember the 2015 “Deflategate” scandal when the New England Patriots were accused of deflating the footballs at the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts. The team was found guilty of this by the league and were fined $1 million as well as losing their 2016 first-round pick and their fourth-round pick in 2017. Quarterback Tom Brady also received a four-game suspension, which outraged many Patriots fans who thought he was innocent.

In both these incidents, the respective leagues handled the instances of cheating how they found appropriate after reviewing the evidence against the team or person accused of these acts. These are both very well-publicized events that teams engaged in, but what is seen more commonly is the use of steroids in sports, which is still a form of cheating.

Since 1967 when the Olympics created a Medical Commission to handle the use of performance-enhancing drugs, steroids have been an issue in sports. Athletes, at both the professional and college level, are now drug tested and positive tests are handled accordingly.

Despite these measures there have still been many athletes found guilty of using drugs. In 2012, cyclist Lance Armstrong was found to have been using performance-enhancing drugs. He was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles along with his good reputation. Founder of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, Armstrong went from beloved, respected athlete to a disgrace in a matter of a couple of weeks. This is just one person who has been found to use these steroids to outperform their competition and lost everything because of it.

Clearly cheating has a place in sports and will continue to be an issue for years to come. Cheating is not something that goes without attention, both from the league and the public, but the problem remains that it still exists. When children start to play sports the concept of being a good sport and playing fair are emphasized, but this is being lost by the time that these children grow up and become professional athletes.

In an environment where the best way to make money and gain fame is to outcompete their opponent, many athletes and teams have made the decision that cheating is the only solution, but in reality this just shows that they are weak. They don’t have the guts to admit that they aren’t as good as the competition and put in the work to be better. They would rather take the easy way out and and risk their reputation as well as their job to cheat their way to the top.

As a society, we need to stop accepting this as a norm. Admit that your idol has done something wrong and hope that they do better next time, but stop making excuses for their acts. Cheating in sports is just as wrong as cheating in any aspect. You wouldn’t defend someone who cheated on an exam to get an A they didn’t deserve, so why are you defending these athletes who are cheating?