The intersection between Sports and Bioethics has grown geometrically since I argued on behalf of Eddy Curry that the Chicago Bulls had no right to insist on a DNA test as a condition of his employment. ESPN the Magazine recently devoted almost an entire issue to how genetic research might be changing the future of sports. Now Summer Johnson in Blog.Biothics.net reports on the rather uncomfortable link between March Madness and vasectomies. Apparently, there is a high incidence of men choosing to have this elective surgery during tournament time. What better excuse to sit for twelve hours on the couch than a doctor’s orders to rest with a cold compress between your legs. Indeed, as Summer notes, some doctors at The Oregon Urology Clinic market the procedure with Dick Vitale advising prospective patients to "take care of the equipment and lower your seed for the tourney.” Ouch.
Next year, the NCAA plans to expand the tournament to 68 teams, maybe even to 96, adding perhaps another weekend to the event. We thought originally the motivation was money since that seems to be the driving force behind many of the decisions of the Tsars of amateur athletics. Now we know it’s zero population growth.