PC Business Ethics Case Competition Tackles Issue in MLB

Teams competing in the PC Business Ethics Case Competition considered a timely ethical dilemma on Saturday, March 19 — the problem of foul ball spectator injuries at Major League Baseball games and how to make the stadiums safer.The competition was sponsored by the Ethics in Business Education Program, led by Dr. Patrick Kelly, Ph.D., PC associate professor of accountancy and director of the program. 

For the challenge, the teams assumed that they were hired by MLB to propose an ethical response to foul balls that have injured fans in the stands. As the case explained, the MLB has tackled this issue over the years, and baseball stadiums have tried several different solutions to make spectators safer. There has been much debate over whether or not these solutions are effective enough and how they affect the fan experience, however, which is why the students were asked to take an ethical approach to address the issue. 

Each team was asked to consider at least three ethical issues in their proposal, which included questions about ticket disclaimers about incidents, protective netting, the impact of foul ball related injuries, and more. In their arguments, they considered virtue ethics, deontology, utilitarianism, justice, and Catholic social teaching. 

The competition was open to all PC students, not only business majors. Congratulations to the members of the winning team: Soleil Corvelo ’22, an accountancy major; Matthew Keane ’22, accountancy major; Matthew Michaels ’22, a finance major, and Michael Seelagy ’22, an accountancy major. The winning team received a $1,200 prize, and the second-place team received a prize of $600. 

The teams were judged by Bob Driscoll, vice president and director of athletics at PC, Jacqueline Elcik, Ph.D., senior associate dean of the PCSB, Brad Gordon, senior vice president, chief general counsel, secretary, and chief ethics officer of Gilbane Construction, and Sean Reid, Ph.D., PC provost and senior vice president of academic affairs.

Dr. Kelly mentioned, they all have a great experience to discuss in internship and job interviews now – not to mention a better appreciation for paying attention at baseball games!

The Ethics in Business Education Program will next host the Michael Smith Business Ethics Case Competition, an interscholastic competition, on November 6, 2021.