College of Health and Human Performance

Tom Farrey Addresses Youth Sports

2022 D.K. Stanley Lecture

Tom Farrey Addresses Youth Sports

March 25, 2022

by Bridgette Welch

On March 24, HHP hosted the 35th annual D.K. Stanley Lecture featuring Tom Farrey (BSJ '86), an investigative journalist, author and executive director and founder of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program.

Tom Farrey founded the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program in 2011 with the mission to convene leaders, facilitate dialogue and inspire solutions that help sport serve the public interest. Farrey has helped to spread awareness on topics related to the role of sports in society, including education, globalization, technology, race and economics. He is best known for his contributions and involvement with ESPN, with The Nation writing in 2017 that he “has done more than any reporter in the country to educate all of us about the professionalization of youth sports.”

Farrey’s presentation “From Game On to Game Over” revealed what he has learned since writing his book “Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of our Children,” from the perspectives as a thought leader and sports parent involved in building a better sport ecosystem for youth athletes.

In his lecture he addressed the concerns of the lifting of restrictions for the NCAA’s model that used to prohibit the profiting of an athlete’s name, image and likeness (NIL). Lifting restrictions from this program is expected to lead to an increase of the monetization of children.

Following his lecture, Farrey answered questions from the audience on topics related to developing youth sport programs, the impact of youth co-ed sports, the importance of multi-sport athletes, ways to better mental health training for coaches, time and field management between sports, and the ways community leaders can ask for help from local politicians and recreation centers.

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