TIME Innovation

Five Best Ideas of the Day: November 17

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

1. America needs a national service year: “Citizenship is like a muscle that can atrophy from too little use; if we want to strengthen it, we need to exercise it.”

By Stan McChrystal in the Washington Post

2. It’s time to pay college athletes.

By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Jacobin

3. So-called ‘conversion therapy’ to change someone’s sexual orientation is discredited, dangerous and should be classified as torture.

By Samantha Ames in The Advocate

4. Wikipedia searches are the next frontier on monitoring and predicting disease outbreaks.

By Nicholas Generous, Geoffrey Fairchild, Alina Deshpande, Sara Y. Del Valle and Reid Priedhorsky at PLOS Computational Biology

5. Many kids lack an adult connection to spur success in school and life. A program linking them to retired adults with much to offer can solve that problem.

By Michael Eisner and Marc Freedman in the Huffington Post

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.

TIME Ideas hosts the world's leading voices, providing commentary and expertise on the most compelling events in news, society, and culture. We welcome outside contributions. To submit a piece, email ideas@time.com.

TIME Athletes

Watch Lionel Messi Tie Champions League Goals Record

Ajax vs BarcelonaFC Barcelona Lionel Messi celebrates his 2-0 during the UEFA Champions League group F soccer match between Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona in Amsterdam on Nov. 5, 2014.
FC Barcelona Lionel Messi celebrates his 2-0 during the UEFA Champions League group F soccer match between Ajax Amsterdam and FC Barcelona in Amsterdam on Nov. 5, 2014. Olaf Krakk—EPA

The goal is Messi's 71st in 90 total Champions League appearances over the course of his career

The UEFA Champions League now has two goal kings. For the time being.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi moved into a tie with Real Madrid legend Raul for the crown of all-time leading scorer on Wednesday, with the second of two goals against Ajax at the Amsterdam ArenA. Appropriately enough, the play is archetypical Messi, as the Argentinian started the play at the top of the box before servicing Pedro on the left wing, who in turn fed Messi’s continued run for a simple finish.

The goal is Messi’s 71st in 90 total Champions League appearances over the course of his career, an astounding feat considering that Raul took over 50 more appearances (142) with which to set his own record.

Even more astounding is that the record may add a third holder before long, as Ronaldo lurks just behind Messi and Raul with 70 goals in 107 Champions League appearances. Given that and both players’ youth (Ronaldo is 29, Messi is 27), it is likely that the La Liga rivals will trade the all-time mark between them over the remainder of their careers.

Ronaldo has had the better season of the two thus far, though, having gone on an absolute tear with 23 goals (and seven assists) in 16 games across all competitions.

Ronaldo will have his chance to equal (or perhaps surpass) Messi and Raul’s record on November 26, when Real Madrid takes on FC Basel. But even then, the mountain may be higher — Messi and Barcelona play APOEL Nicosia the day before.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Sports

Watch Newly Released Footage of Kobe Bryant Playing Basketball in High School

Spoiler alert: He was good.

New footage has surfaced of Kobe Bryant playing in a high school district playoff game in 1996, not long before he got drafted to the NBA. Footage from the same period first surfaced in August. Though that footage included a post-game interview with the star, this new video covers a full-length game.

The video reveals one of Lower Merion High School’s key tactics: get the ball to Bryant. To his credit, though, unlike many a high school star, Bryant does pass the ball from time to time. In addition to receiving several awards for his playing, Bryant became the sixth player to go straight from high school into the NBA. He also took Brandy to his senior prom.

Bryant sports jersey number 33. You can also pick him out because he’s the one scoring all the points.

TIME NFL

Vikings’ Adrian Peterson Pleads No Contest to Misdemeanor

Adrian Peterson, Ashley Brown Peterson, Brian Wice
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, center, arrives at the courthouse with his wife Ashley Brown Peterson, right, and attorney Brian Wice, Nov. 4, 2014, in Conroe, Texas. Pat Sullivan—AP

It's unknown if Peterson will face further discipline from the Vikings or the NFL now that his case has been resolved

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson pled no contest to one count of misdemeanor reckless assault on Tuesday, thus resolving his alleged child abuse case.

Per terms of the agreement between Peterson and the prosecution, the plea makes no reference to family violence or violence against a minor. Peterson must pay a $4,000 fine, will be placed on probation and will be ordered to perform 80 hours of community service.

Peterson does not have to serve jail time.

ProFootballTalk.com initially reported Tuesday morning that Peterson would agree to the deal the same day. It was reported Sunday that Peterson and his representatives were having discussions about a potential plea agreement and that one could be completed as soon as Tuesday.

Peterson was indicted by a grand jury in Texas in September on felony charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after authorities said he hit his 4-year-old son with a switch. He faced up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted of the charges. A tentative trial date of Dec. 1 had been set, but the plea deal ends the legal process before any trial.

In the period following Peterson’s indictment, a newspaper report referenced alleged improprieties with his charity and other claims of illicit behavior, and prosecutors attempted to have Peterson arrested again after he admitted to smoking marijuana. Late last month, prosecutors attempted to have Judge Kelly Case recused from the case after alleging he was biased against them, though the request was denied.

While expressing remorse for his actions, Peterson maintained that he was merely disciplining his child and committed no crime. After his indictment, the Vikings deactivated Peterson for their Week 2 game against the New England Patriots before reinstating him the following week.

Pressure from the public, media and team and league sponsors, including Nike and Anheuser-Busch, led to Peterson being placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list until his legal case was resolved, effectively placing him on paid leave.

Only NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has the authority to remove Peterson from the list. It’s unknown if Peterson will face further discipline from the Vikings or the NFL now that his case has been resolved. It was reported last month that Peterson could be suspended by the league even if found not guilty of the charges against him.

News of Peterson’s alleged child abuse came in the midst of controversy surrounding the NFL and the issue of domestic violence, initiated by the Ray Rice case. Earlier in the week in which Peterson was indicted, video showing Rice striking his then-fiancée was released, leading to Rice’s release from the Baltimore Ravens and his indefinite suspension from the NFL.

The incident led to renewed attention on the domestic violence case of Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, who was also then placed on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, and on the NFL’s domestic violence policy in general.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Baseball

The Best World Series Celebrations of All Time

Winning the Fall Classic sparks a special kind of euphoria.

TIME NFL

Vikings’ Adrian Peterson Disputes Claims About His Charity

Adrian Peterson Makes First Court Appearance On Child Abuse Charges
From left: NFL player Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings enters the courtroom with his wife Ashley Brown and his attorney Rusty Hardin on October 8, 2014 in Conroe, Texas. Petersen is facing charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child. Pool—Getty Images

The running back went on Twitter to defend himself

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson went on Twitter late Tuesday night to defend himself after an article was published in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Sunday detailing some improprieties with his charity and claims of a wild sex party that was paid for with the charity’s credit card.

Peterson says his charity, the All Day Foundation, sent donations to two different charities, despite what the newspaper reported and that the foundation fired an accounting firm that listed recipients on the charity’s 2009 tax returns.

As for the sex party claims, Peterson says his foundation never owner a credit card. Prosecutors looked into an alleged sexual assault from that night but did not pursue charges against anyone.

Peterson also mentioned a story from ESPN.com in August, saying he had changed his way after being promiscuous in the past. The Star-Tribune said Peterson, who got married earlier this year, has fathered at least six children out of wedlock.

“Do not repost the ESPN story from August when I admit I was promiscuous, made mistakes and had to change my ways,” Peterson said in the Twitter post. “Instead repost the story about fathering children out of wedlock…create more buzz and retweets.”

Peterson is expected to plead not guilty on Wednesday to charges of reckless or negligent injury to a child after authorities said he hit his 4-year-old son with a switch. He faces up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine if convicted on the charges.

Peterson is currently on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list until his court case is resolved. He will continue to collect his $11.75 million salary this season while he is inactive.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Athletes

USA Swimming Suspends Michael Phelps

Team USA Pan Pacs Squad Training Session
Michael Phelps looks on during a Team USA Pan Pacs training session at the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre on Aug. 19, 2014 in Gold Coast, Australia. Phelps was banned for six months and dropped from the 2015 world championships roster by USA Swimming following a DUI arrest. Chris Hyde—Getty Images

This is Phelps' second DUI arrest in ten years

Michael Phelps will be suspended from USA Swimming-sanctioned events for six months, will withdraw from next year’s FINA World Championships and forfeit funding for six months, USA Swimming announced on Monday.

Phelps was cited for a violation of the organization’s Code of Conduct, specifically for conduct “detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC or the sport of swimming.”

Phelps was arrested on Sept. 30 in Maryland for driving under the influence. He was reportedly driving 84 mph in a 45 mph zone.

In addition to DUI, he has been charged with excessive speed and crossing double lane lines.

Michael Phelps arrested for DUI in Maryland

This is Phelps’ second DUI arrest in ten years. The previous incident, during which Phelps was 19-years-old, resulted in 18 months of probation.

In 2009, Phelps was suspended for three months after photos that appeared to show him smoking marijuana emerged.

Michael Phelps going to rehab after DUI arrest

A second conviction for DUI could mean up to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine and a six-month suspension of his driver’s license.

Phelps said on Oct. 5 that he would enter a six-week treatment program.

The 29-year-old, who recently began training for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio, hold 22 Olympic medals, including 18 golds.

This article originally appeared on SI.com

TIME Athletes

Dull Derek Jeter’s New Site Could Actually Be Cool

New York Yankees v Boston Red Sox
Derek Jeter speaks to the media following his last career game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on September 28, 2014 in Boston. Jim Rogash—Getty Images

That didn't take long. Three days into retirement, the Yankee great launches a media business. Here's hoping it's more interesting than he's been.

Oh, so that was it. For 20 years, Derek Jeter was one of the most boring athlete interviews in history. We now know why: he was apparently saving the good stuff for retirement — and he’d like to make a little money off it to boot.

Just three days into his post-baseball life, Jeter has stolen some attention from this year’s postseason with the announcement that he’s now the “founding publisher” of a new website, The Players’ Tribune. The conceit: a site where athletes can connect directly with fans, unfiltered, presumably at more than the 140 characters than Twitter currently offers.

“The Players’ Tribune aims to provide unique insight into the daily sports conversation and to publish first-person stories directly from athletes,” says a brief mission statement on the site. “From video to podcasts to player polls and written pieces, The Tribune will strive to be “The Voice of the Game.”

“I’m not a robot,” Jeter writes in an introductory note. So why did he often come across as one? “I realize I’ve been guarded. I learned early on in New York, the toughest media environment in sports, that just because a reporter asks you a question doesn’t mean you have to answer. I attribute much of my success in New York to my ability to understand and avoid unnecessary distractions. I do think fans deserve more than “no comments” or “I don’t knows.” Those simple answers have always stemmed from a genuine concern that any statement, any opinion or detail, might be distorted. I have a unique perspective. Many of you saw me after that final home game, when the enormity of the moment hit me . . . We all have emotions. We just need to be sure our thoughts will come across the way we intend.”

The irony of Derek Jeter, distruster of media, starting a media business is outright comical. (My colleague Jack Dickey nails it here on Twitter). Jeter’s pitch is that the site has “no filter.” But don’t expect real honesty here. Twitter already works too well for that. The reason athletes tend to spout their true feelings — which they often wind up regretting — on Twitter is that Twitter doesn’t give people time to think. The whole operation — the 140-character limits, the endless chatter on your timeline — thrives on quick outbursts. Athletes aren’t going to thoughtfully air grievances with teammates on Derek Jeter’s website, which will apparently be staffed with editors. The editorial process will slow things down, and discourage spontaneity. It gives publicists time to get involved. Readers don’t want glorified press releases.

A certain type of story, however, does offer a win-win proposition to both athletes and fans. Athletes like talking about their craft. And sports geeks like reading about it. If Derek Jeter offers deep insight into how he pulled off all those jump throws, for example, that’s safe stuff for him — nothing remotely controversial about it. And readers benefit. Baseball lovers would eat it up. Parents can share Jeter’s tips with their kids.

(Quick: what are the two most-viewed video clips on TIME’s YouTube channel? Number one — by over a million views — Kobe Bryant offering hoops tips. Number two: Novak Djokovic explaining his serve and giving other insights on his game.)

So I, for one, look forward to seeing what Jeter cooks up. And if it takes a boring athlete to make an athlete-bylined website compelling, so be it. And who isn’t ready for more Jeter right now anyway?

TIME psychology

Ray Rice—An Epic Narcissist

Run away now, Ray: The former raven is paying a price for his self-regard
Run away now, Ray: The former Raven is paying a price for his self-regard Baltimore Sun; MCT via Getty Images

Criminality in professional sports has become an epidemic—and there's one psychological condition more to blame than any other

No one will ever get inside Ray Rice’s head except for Rice himself—and from the looks of things, it’s not a place you’d want to spend any time anyway. It’s up to the former Baltimore Raven himself to figure out how he arrived at the moral point that he was able—and, more troubling, willing—to cold-cock his then-fiancée across the face, causing her head to strike an elevator hand rail and knocking her utterly unconscious. Dragging her to the floor outside the elevator and using his feet to move her limp legs out of the way was a second level of inexplicable ugly.

But there are answers to be found in Rice’s profession—professional sports in general and the National Football League in particular, as I explore in my new book, The Narcissist Next Door. Pro athletes have increasingly earned a reputation as serial lawbreakers, and it’s a rep they come by rightly. The morning’s rap sheet has become a near staple in the sports pages, with regular reports of which athletes got picked up on which charges the night before—charges that range from DWI to weapons possession to drug possession to brawling to domestic violence to, in the most extreme cases, multiple murder.

It’s gotten so bad that the San Diego Union-Tribune has taken to posting a regularly updated NFL Arrests Database, with 719 entries so far, dating back to Denver wide receiver Rod Smith’s Jan. 24, 2000, bust for third-degree assault. For convenience, you can refine your search by date, team, position, name, incident and resolution. This should be parody; it’s not. And it’s all a part of the suite of narcissist behaviors too many athletes exhibit.

There is the look-at-me showboating of the athlete, the body-centric preening of the athlete, the entitlement of the athlete, the unaccountability of the athlete, the regal third-person self-reference of the athlete.

“I wanted to do what was best for, you know, LeBron James, and what LeBron James was gonna do to make him happy,” said, well, LeBron James, about his 2010 decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers for the Miami Heat—or, as he put it, “to take my talents to South Beach.”

“If they don’t sign me, sorry, but I must go. That’s what Carlos Zambrano thinks,” said, yes, pitcher Carlos Zambrano when he was in contract negotiations with the Chicago Cubs.

Narcissists come by their self-regard in a lot of ways. There’s heritability—with studies showing that genetics play a role in the trait in up to 77% of all cases. There is, too, the so-called mask model of narcissism, with overweening self-regard in fact a masquerade to conceal its exact opposite—a deep well of self-loathing or at least low self-esteem.

And then there is narcissism that is exactly what it appears to be—a toxic mashup of grandiosity, lack of empathy, and indifference to the rules. This is thought to be what’s behind the behavior of most reprobate athletes because the fact is, they are outside the rules. Spend your life being regularly feted by coaches and classmates, getting waved through college classes you may never even have attended, inking an eight-figure signing bonus just for agreeing to terms with a team for which you’ve yet to do a single day’s work, and why should you think you’re part of the same accountable community as everyone else?

Even when athletes misbehave and the hammer does come down, it’s often wrapped in velvet. Rice’s initial punishment was the NFL equivalent of a traffic ticket—a two-game suspension that would have stood had the latest video not seen the light. The Yankees’ Alex Rodriguez was suspended for the entire 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs, but what of it? He’s nearing the end of his career anyway, he’s fabulously wealthy, and he’s free to come back next season, never mind the fact that most fans—to say nothing of the Yanks themselves—would probably love to see the back of him. Even the athletes who do wind up booked and charged often get off easy—which is what millions of dollars to spend on a legal team will get you (see e.g. Simpson, O.J., double murder).

The answer, if there is one, begins with removing the velvet from the hammer. Quarterback Michael Vick served 21 months behind bars for running a dogfighting ring and killing the animals that didn’t please him, and while you may or may not think he ever deserved the chance he’s gotten to play again in the NFL, his sentence sent a powerful message—making it far likelier that the NFL has seen its last dogfighting ring. Rice may come back one day too—though surely not with the Ravens—or he may be finished for good. But in this case the unaccountable player was eventually—if too late—held to serious account.

Narcissistic players have only themselves to blame for their misdeeds. But the first important step in making sure they quit thinking they’re outside the rules is for people in authority to start applying them—and in ways that hurt.

TIME Basketball

Shaquille O’Neal Applies to Join Reserve Police Force in Florida

Shaquille O'Neal
Television personality and former professional basketball player Shaquille O'Neal leaves the Sirius XM Studios in New York City on Aug. 11, 2014. Ray Tamarra—GC Images/Getty Images

Would-be criminals, prepare for the Shaq Attack

Retired NBA star and very tall man-about-town Shaquille O’Neal has applied to be a reserve police officer in Doral, Fla.

O’Neal, who is 7 ft. 1 in., will now have to clear a background check, as well as pass Florida’s officer-certification exam, before joining the department in Doral, about 13 miles west of Miami. The test will assess the three-time All-Star Game MVP’s physical and psychological fitness, city spokeswoman Christina Baguer told the Miami Herald.

The doorframe-filling O’Neal will “have to do everything else to be certified by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, just like any of our other officers, reserve or not reserve,” said Baguer.

The tests are unlikely to pose a problem, even though “Manny Shaq-iaou” once told the New York Times that “I don’t need to work out.”

In fact, the 42-year-old — who has played for the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers, among others — has passed the exam before, doing a stint as a reserve police officer in Miami Beach.

O’Neal wrote on his previous August 2004 application that his special skills included “laptop computer, binnochulars, master of surveillance.” He also denied having any “savings or checking accounts, any investments, or an automobile,” according to a 2011 feature in the Miami New Times.

In 2011, O’Neal also told the New York Times that he was considering a formal police career and “running for undersheriff in Lake County, Fla.” That is until local journalists pointed out that the job is appointed, not elected.

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser