Ashland Center for Nonviolence to Hold Sports and Violence Conference

Ashland Center for Nonviolence to Hold Sports and Violence Conference

1/6/16 ASHLAND, Ohio – Registration is now open for the one-day Sports and Violence Conference that will be held on March 19, 2016, in the Troop Center on the Ashland University campus.

The Saturday conference, sponsored by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence at Ashland University, will feature Joe Ehrmann as the keynote speaker, as well as national and international experts speaking on a variety of topics.

The cost for the conference, which includes lunch, is $90 for those registering prior to Jan. 31 or $110 after this date, while there is a $75 student rate for those registering by Jan. 31 or $85 after that date. Those wanting to register can call 419.289.5313 or go to

“By investigating the complex relationship between sports and violence at multiple levels including athlete, fan and society and from a variety of different angles such as sociological, historical, practical and medical, the 2016 Ashland Center for Nonviolence Sports and Violence conference seeks to advance important and timely conversations in an interdisciplinary fashion that will appeal to a broad range of groups,” said Dr. Craig Hovey, executive director of the Ashland Center for Nonviolence.

“Americans love sports. An estimated 35 to 50 million American youth play organized sports, the Super Bowl regularly attracts over 160 million viewers, and sports figures are among America’s most recognized celebrities,” Hovey said. “Yet on the heels of recent media attention to concussions in football and domestic violence in the NFL, there is currently great interest among coaches and athletes at all levels, as well as many others, to come to practical terms with violence associated with competitive contact sports.”

Hovey said there are, moreover, questions about the relationship between sports violence and other habits and behaviors among athletes and spectators, the formation of virtue in sports, moral education in sports, and the intersection of sports, gender and violence.

“In some cases, sports function to promote virtue and channel aggression as an alternative to conflict. This analogy, following some theorists, holds true within spectators as well, who through their support of the aggression on the field cathartically direct their passion into their support of the game,” Hovey said.

Hovey said these positive effects stand alongside other descriptions of sports in which injured and especially concussed players are sometimes encouraged to “play through it,” often leading to long-term effects for the players.

Ehrmann, the conference keynote speaker, is a former National Football League defensive lineman who is now an educator, author, activist, minister and motivational speaker. Ehrmann was an All-American football player at Syracuse University, was selected to the Syracuse All-Century Football Team and went on to play professional football for 13 years. He was named the Baltimore Colts “Man of the Year” and was the NFL’s first Ed Block Courage Award winner. Parade Magazine featured him on its cover, naming him “The Most Important Coach in America” because of his work to transform the culture of sports. In addition, he was selected as one of the “Most Influential Sport Educators in America” by the Institute for International Sport and was awarded the Frederick Douglas National Man of the Year for empowering youth to prevent rape and other forms of male violence.

Ehrmann's appearance is thanks to the generosity of the Ashland County Community Foundation Women's Fund and the AU Gridiron Club.

Ashland University will offer 0.6 CEUs for this event. CEU eligibility is at the discretion of the attendee’s employer.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2016, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University ( values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.