Rice sports ethicist available to comment on pending MLB suspensions


David Ruth

HOUSTON – (Aug. 1, 2013) – As Major League Baseball (MLB) prepares to hand down historic suspensions in an attempt to clean the game of performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), Rice University sports ethicist Clark Haptonstall is available to comment on the league taking the lead and being aggressive with its investigation and forthcoming suspensions. Haptonstall can also discuss the ethics of why MLB players take PEDs, and as a marketing professor he can talk about MLB trying to protect its brand.

In a report today from USA Today, MLB said Commissioner Bud Selig “is prepared to levy a lifetime suspension on New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, while suspending about eight others before the weekend.”

Haptonstall, who is a professor in the practice of sport management and chair of the Department of Sport Management at Rice, is available for news media interviews prior to the suspensions being handed down and after MLB makes its official announcement.

Currently in his 10th year at Rice, Haptonstall has taught sport marketing, sport public relations and sport ethics. Before becoming a professor, Haptonstall worked in professional and college sports throughout the 1990s. In 1993, Haptonstall co-created the Frontier League, an unaffiliated professional baseball league now in its 20th season. He also worked for the Huntington Cubs minor league baseball team and Furman University.

Rice University has a VideoLink ReadyCam TV interview studio. ReadyCam is capable of transmitting broadcast-quality standard-definition and high-definition video directly to all news media organizations around the world 24/7. For more information, contact David Ruth, director of national media relations at Rice, at david@rice.edu or 713-348-6327.

After MLB releases its official announcement, this news release will be updated and reissued with quotes from Haptonstall.


Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Marist Poll:
The suspension news could bemuse some fans, according to a poll released by Marist July 23. In the survey, 61 percent of baseball fans said they feel “it is not right for the MLB to suspend players who did not test positive for performance-enhancing drugs but are connected to the Biogenesis clinic,” while 28 percent thought suspensions were in order and 11 percent were unsure.

Haptonstall biography: http://kinesiology.rice.edu/Content.aspx?id=75.

Photo courtesy: Rice University/Photos.com.

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About David Ruth

David Ruth is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.