Former MLB Player Dan Naulty Speaks to Sport Ethics Class

Former MLB Player Dan Naulty Speaks to Sport Ethics Class

In late January, former Major League Baseball pitcher Dan Naulty was a featured guest speaker in SMGT 350, Rice University’s Sport Ethics class. Interacting through Skype, he discussed and answered questions about his professional baseball career, which included a World Series title with the Yankees, and the impact that steroids had in his successes and failures.

Dan Naulty

“Naulty has been very open about discussing his steroid use. He wishes he never would have used performance enhancing drugs, even though he acknowledged that he never would have played Major League Baseball without steroids,” said Dr. Clark Haptonstall, professor of the Sport Ethics class and chair of the Sport Management Department. “When I asked if he would share his story with the class, he said he would be happy too. His insight was amazing.”

As one of only a few former MLB players who have admitted to using performance enhancing drugs, Naulty was the focus of a 2012 Sports Illustrated article about doping in professional baseball.

According to Haptonstall, there was one particular section of the Sports Illustrated article that was the most revealing.

“There were a few paragraphs in the article where Naulty discussed how, even though he won the World Series as a member of the New York Yankees, during the celebration with his teammates, he felt a profound emptiness because he knew that he was a cheater,” Haptonstall said. “He even contemplated jumping off of a bridge the very night the Yankees won the championship. It was one of the most dramatic things I’ve ever read.”

Landon Michelson ’14, one of the fourteen students in the class, thoroughly enjoyed the guest speaker and the opportunity to ask him follow-up questions to his Sports Illustrated article.

“Naulty was very honest and open about his drug use, which was very enlightening to us,” Michelson said. “It helped us spark a debate in class about all things related to doping.”

Molly Mohr, a junior from San Antonio, is double majoring in Sport Management and English and minoring in Business.

(Photo credit: Jack Dempsey/AP & found on