Sunday, December 02, 2012

NFL opens its own private court

Family court for years have been jumping into petty disputes, and sending the parties off to therapy or anger management class. Now the NFL is getting into the act! The NY Times reports:
Unruly, violent fans at N.F.L. games have been a problem for years. It got so bad at one point that officials in Philadelphia added an improvised courtroom in the bowels of Veterans Stadium during Eagles games to process offenders more efficiently.

The N.F.L. and its teams have recently embraced a new and perhaps more forgiving approach toward misbehaving fans. Fans ejected from games are strongly encouraged to complete a four-hour online course in anger management before they are allowed to return to see a game.

The N.F.L. also directs fans to a particular doctor to tackle their issues: Ari Novick of Laguna Beach, Calif. ...

An examination of Novick’s practice, however, shows that his claims about his professional credentials — membership in the American Psychological Association and the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy — are either false or out of date, according to officials with the organizations.

In addition, part of Novick’s online operation offers a monetary commission to companies and individuals for referring clients to his anger management courses, a practice that may violate the ethics codes and regulations of the psychological association and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, which governs licensed marriage and family therapists in the state.

Considerable portions of Novick’s online fan anger management course that is recommended by the N.F.L. have been lifted from other publications or Web sites without citation.

And a spokeswoman for Pepperdine University, where Novick until recently asserted he was an adjunct professor of psychology, said Novick had not taught at the university since 2007.
The real reason the psychologists are agitated is that they are pushing a 52-week anger management course, as that is what the California courts commonly order. Some shrinks are making a lot of money on those courses, even tho the scientific studies show that 6-week courses work just as well. They will be really upset if it turns out that a 4-hour online class also works just as well.

This is a good experiment, because it is like a private sector family court. The NFL has no interest in feminist propaganda or catering to crooked psychologists or chasing money. It just wants to run a business, and that business is football. And maybe selling beer at games. When disputes arise, the business just wants to resolve it and move on.

Maybe the family court can learn some lessons from the NFL. My family court case dragged on for 9 years so far, and there is no end in sight. I am still operating under a temporary order.

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