TPSM supports campus-based events on issues of sports, media and society through self-directed programming, collaboration with the academic units in the College of Communication and in association with faculty across the university.
The McGarr Symposium on Sports and Society
The McGarr Symposium is TPSM’s capstone event, held in April every year, created to bring to life a robust and interactive conversation about the role of sports and media and their collective impacts on American culture. The conference brings academics and working professionals to the UT-Austin campus to discuss sports-related public policy issues, cultural challenges and societal imperatives of sport consumption behavior.
First held in 2006, the McGarr Symposium addressed the use of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball. The conference featured Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada (authors of Game of Shadows and at the time reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle), Howard Bryant (author of Juicing the Game and at the time a reporter at the Washington Post), T.J. Quinn (at the time an investigative reporter at the New York Daily News), Richard Justice (a columnist at the Houston Chronicle) and Gary Jacobson (an investigative reporter at the Dallas Morning News).
The McGarr Symposium was reinitiated in 2010 with a speech by Frank Deford. Deford began writing for Sports Illustrated in 1962, and has been a correspondent for HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" since 1995 and a weekly commentator for National Public Radio since 1980. He is the author of 15 books, including the novel "Everybody's All-American," which was named one of Sports Illustrated's Top 25 Sports Books of All Time and was later made into a movie. He has been voted "U.S. Sportswriter of the Year" by his peers six times.
In 2011, the McGarr Symposium was extended over two dates and subjects. On April 7, the symposium addressed the multi-dimensional issue of race from an African American perspective. The African American Athlete conference, organized by education professor Dr, Louis Harrison, presented a scholarly panel dissecting issues of identity and self-schemata among black athletes. The panels were followed by a speech from Dr. Harry Edwards, the noted sociologist whose research, publications and public advocacy has placed him in the vanguard on issues of African American participation in sports in this country.
The 2011 McGarr Symposium was extend to April 20, with the inaugural presentation of the Frank Deford Lecture in Sports Journalism. Created to honor one of the most influential sportswriters of his generation, the Deford Lecture offers a platform for America’s most informed and insightful sports commentators to discuss the overarching societal and cultural issues associated with the influential industry they cover. Washington Post Columnist Sally Jenkins delivered the first lecture. Jenkins has worked as a columnist and feature writer in two stints at the Washington Post. She was written for Sports Illustrated and is the author of five books, including the bestseller It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life with cyclist Lance Armstrong. In 2002, the Associated Press named her Columnist of the Year.
The 2012 McGarr Symposium was held on April 25 and 26 with a pair of events. The LBJ Presidential Museum and Library hosted "A Conversation with Frank Deford" with Sports Illustrated Executive Editor Terry McMillan on the occassion of the publication of Deford's memoir "Over Time." On April 26, David Maraniss, the Pulitzer Prize-winning associate editor of the Washington Post and author of many books, delivered the Deford Lecture in Sports Journalism.
The 2013 McGarr Symposium was held on April 22 with a panel discussion titled, "The Real Price of Winning at All Costs: A Discussion about Elite Cycling." The event featured three-time Tour d'France winner Greg LeMond, his wife Kathy LeMond, Bill Bock, general counsel to the US Anti-Doping Agency, Reed Albergotti, a reporter at the Wall Street Journal, and Betsy Andrey, the wife of professional cyclist Frankie Andreu. On April 25, the McGarr Symposium sponsored the Frank Deford Lecture in Sports Journalism, which featured ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap as the speaker.
Sport and Society programming
In addition to TPSM, a number of academic units and centers across the UT-Austin campus sponsor programming that reflects the breadth and depth scholarship and investigation related to issues of sports and society. For a complete listing of previous events on campus, please see the following links:
View the Spring 2013 schedule
View the Fall 2012 schedule