As a sports columnist with The New York Times from 1982-2011, I had a tangled relationship with the overlapping of ethics, morals, religion, the law, and the reality of sport.

After tracking folks like Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Sepp Blatter and Pete Rose and various slippery coaches and executives, I realized that everybody wanted an edge. However, I resisted the frequent claim that sport had some relationship to good or moral or ethical behavior.

I particularly resented the linking of sports and higher education and “character building” – a hard leap of faith for a journalist trying to find the ethical side of life.