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2013 Blanton Collier
Award Winners:
Jim, John and Jack Harbaugh
Also pictured Jackie and Alison Harbaugh

Award Celebration
Louisville, KY
June 28, 2013

Character is a Decision

Introducing The Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Group, Inc.

The Blanton Collier Sportsmanship Group, Inc. ("BCSG") was incorporated in October, 2008. The BCSG is a non-profit corporation organized by volunteers who are interested in the health, safety and well being of young athletes.

Our Mission is to provide standards, guidelines and education on the ethics of coaching for coaches of all levels of athletic competition, and for parents and athletes; to honor and hold up as models coaches who emulate the ethical standards for which Blanton Collier was known, and to provide standards and guidelines as well as assistance for those who have questions regarding possible abusive behavior in athletics.

We believe that coaching with ethics will significantly reduce preventable injuries to athletes, physical and psychological athlete abuse and the potential short and long-term damage caused by such abuse. The BCSG’s goal is to work toward the elimination of athlete abuse and the reduction of preventable injuries to child and adult athletes in all sports, from early non-school sporting activities through college.

According to published statistics, there are over 30 million kids in the U.S. participating in sports annually and approximately 4 million injuries. It is estimated that a high percentage of these injuries are preventable. Coaches have a major impact on young athletes. Educating coaches will increase the probability that this relationship will be a positive one.

The idea for the BCSG became a passion for many after a reunion of the 1961-1962 University of Kentucky Freshmen football team in June, 2008. A book “The Thin Thirty” was written about the Freshmen and Varsity teams and published in August, 2007. This book told the story of the extreme physical and psychological abuse suffered by the players under the new coaching staff that was hired in 1962. During contacts to arrange the reunion, it became apparent that many former players suffered a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (“PTSD”). Questionnaires were developed by a PhD in Counseling Psychology. These questionnaires were completed prior to the reunion and the results discussed at the reunion. The results of the study revealed that the majority of the former players had some degree of PTSD from the physical and psychological abuse that they received at the hands of the new coaches. Former teammates at the reunion, and the PhD, decided to get together later to discuss forming a group with the objective of the elimination of abuse of all athletes. The name Blanton Collier was chosen because he was the team’s initial head coach and he exemplified the character that should be an example for all coaches to follow. Coach Collier’s middle daughter is on the BCSG Board. The entire team was awarded the 2008 NFLPA- Kentucky Chapter's 2nd Annual Blanton Collier Award.