Around the Institute

Listen Longer 4/4: Sports

April 6, 2015  • Institute Contributor

This past week, in honor of the NCAA Basketball Championships, we looked at the role of sports in our society, the transformative power of sports, and the evolution of college and youth athletics.

Aspen Institute Radio, our two-hour radio show, airs every Saturday and Sunday on SiriusXM Insight (channel 121). Each episode dives into the topics that inform the world around you. Here in our weekly Listen Longer posts, we recap each episode and show you where you can read, watch, and listen to more. Don’t have SiriusXM? Try it free for a month here.

College Sports: Entertainment or Education?

College sports 

The NCAA is beset with scandals, antitrust lawsuits, calls for reform, and manic conference hopping — all signs that college sports has an identity crisis that begs to be resolved. This discussion takes a look at college sports at a crossroads, featuring Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist at The New York Times; Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize-winning author; Craig Robinson, men’s basketball head coach at Oregon State University; Wallace Renfro, NCAA’s vice president and chief policy advisor; and Tom Farrey, ESPN correspondent and executive director of the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program.

Looking for more opinions on the big issues of payment and college athletics? Watch these interviews about unionizing players:

Sports in Society

 Christine Brennan

Organized sports were introduced to American life more than a century ago as not just a venue for entertainment but a tool of nation-building. Now that we’re a nation of sports fans — where even President Barack Obama’s March Madness picks are televised on ESPN — what does social leadership through sports look like?

Athletes & Leadership

Mark Messier, six-time Stanley Cup champion, National Hockey League Hall of Fame member, and special assistant to the president of the New York Rangers, spoke about “Athletes, Leadership, and the Transformative Power of Sports.”

Coaches are great leaders, too. Watch our conversation with Tom Coughlin, football coach of the New York Giants. His 2-0 Super Bowl record makes him the 13th head coach to win multiple Super Bowls and one of 18 coaches with a perfect Super Bowl record.

Five Ideas to Reimagine Youth Sports

Project Play

A discussion with leaders from the realms of technology, business innovation, philanthropy, and academia develops five emerging ideas that could change the game for kids and youth sports.

What are more ideas for youth sports in America? The Sports and Society Program’s “Sport for All Play for Life Playbook” detailed eight ways to get all kids active.