Sports Forum is an ongoing discussion about current sports issues. The host is League of Fans' sports policy director Ken Reed. The goal of the podcast is to find ways we can improve the sports experience for all stakeholders by enhancing the positives and mitigating the negatives in today's sports environment.
In this episode of League of Fans' Sports Forum podcast we talk with Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football. Patrick believes brain trauma is our country's most important contemporary sports issue. We touch on brain injuries and CTE at the NFL and college levels, however, the focus of our discussion is on the millions of kids playing football at the youth and high school levels.
Patrick and I talk about how repetitive sub-concussive impact can be as damaging long-term as multiple concussions and how it's very unlikely that a high-tech helmet will ever be developed that will protect the brain inside the skull. Our discussion moves on to other sports in which brain injuries can occur, like hockey and soccer, and why football presents unique challenges.
We close with Patrick discussing current scientific efforts to develop a way to detect CTE in the living and what that could mean for football's concussion crisis.
In this episode we talk coaching styles with veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley. Jay is a former college basketball player who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame. He then became one of the nation's preeminent sports sociologists. He is the author of the leading sports sociology text, "Sports in Society: Issues and Controversies," now in its 13th edition.
In this episode, we chat with John Gerdy, a former college athlete and NCAA and SEC administrator who became a sports reformer later in his career. We talk about the current situation in college athletics amidst a pandemic; compensation for college athletes; big-time Power Five college sports vs. Division II and Division III athletics; how college athletes might gain a stronger voice on policy matters; the role of high school athletics in public education; and which delivers the better bang for the buck, varsity athletics, quality physical education programs or top-notch music programs. We end with a look forward for college and high school athletics.
Title IX, the landmark law that was created in 1972 to prohibit educational programs that receive federal financial assistance from discriminating on the basis of sex, has been a great success in terms of creating athletics opportunities for girls and young women in high schools and colleges across the country. That said, the gap in athletics opportunities and athletics funding between males and females is still quite significant, and sadly, the gap is increasing in recent years. In this episode, we talk with Title IX pioneer, Dr. Donna Lopiano, the former director of women's athletics at the University of Texas, and the long-time CEO of the Women's Sports Foundation. She has regularly been named one of
"The 100 Most Influential People in Sports" by the Sporting News. We chatted with a passionate Lopiano about her early experiences fighting for equal opportunity in the '60's and 70's, why Title IX enforcement has been lax, the myth that Title IX hurts male sports, the shortage of female athletics administrators, how Title IX benefits society as a whole, and what's needed for us to finally reach true equal opportunity in sports.