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NCAA head Myles Brand to open URI Honors Colloquium with focus on sports, society

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- August 15, 2005 -- Myles Brand, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, will kick-off the University of Rhode Island’s Fall 2005 Honors Colloquium, “Contemporary Sport: Obsession or Healthy Pursuit” on Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.

Brand, the former president of Indiana University, became the president of the NCAA in 2003. His topic will be the “State of Intercollegiate Sport.” As the association’s fourth chief executive officer, Brand heads a voluntary organization through which colleges and universities govern their athletic programs. More than 1,250 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals are represented in the NCAA.

The semester-long public lecture series will also present Bob Cousy, Celtics Hall of Famer; Jim Calhoun, University of Connecticut men’s basketball coach; Anita DeFrantz, member of the International Olympic Committee; Len Elmore, former NBA star, current CBS and ESPN commentator; and sports author Frank Deford who writes for Sports Illustrated.

All programs of the colloquium, which run from Sept. 13 through Nov. 29, are free and open to the public. The lectures are held on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the Barry Marks Auditorium (Room 271), Chafee Social Science Center, URI Kingston Campus.

Dan Doyle, founder and executive director of the Institute for International Sport at URI said the lecture series comes at a critical time for sport.

“This colloquium will explore many of the vital issues around the role of sports in contemporary society, including collegiate athletics and academics, childhood sports and parenting, performance enhancing drugs, violence and race issues, Title IX, exercise and physical fitness, and ethics in sport,” Doyle said.

“From the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. to the commercialized spectator sports and competitive amateur and collegiate games of today, sports are part of our cultural identity,” added Doyle, who co-chairs the colloquium with Professor Yngve Ramstad, chair of URI’s Department of Economics.

Ramstad said several of the 60 Honors Program students enrolled in the colloquium are either members of URI’s many NCAA and club teams, play on intramural teams or are otherwise involved in recreational sports, or participate as fans at sporting events.

“Through the weekly classes that supplement the public lectures, students will be challenged to scrutinize conventional thinking about a number of important issues relating to modern day sport,” Ramstad said. “At the semester's end, I believe students, whatever their personal niche in the world of sports, will find the class challenged some of their preconceptions.”

The colloquium also includes an art exhibit that will feature portraits of 25 of the most influential individuals in American sports history. The exhibit will be created by two student-athletes, Adolphe Coulibaly from Amherst College, and Marty Burch, a Terry Leadership Scholar at Davidson College.

On Nov. 18, Providence actor Barry Press will play the role of baseball legend Yogi Berra in the one-man show Nobody Don’t Like Yogi.

Major sponsors of the colloquium are The Providence Journal, Theta Chi Fraternity, URI Honors Program, URI President’s Office, Institute for International Sport, URI Office of the Provost, URI College of Arts and Sciences, URI College of Business Administration and the URI Division of University Advancement.

Co-sponsors are the URI Department of Athletics, Multicultural Center, College of Nursing, College of Human Science and Services, College of Pharmacy, Office of Student Affairs and Women’s Studies Program.

For more information, visit or contact the URI Honors Center at 401-874-2381 or Please see complete schedule for information on dates, times and locations.

University of Rhode Island
Fall 2005 Honors Colloquium
‘Contemporary Sport: Obsession or Healthy Pursuit’

The following is the complete schedule for the Fall 2005 URI Honors Colloquium, “Contemporary Sport: Obsession or Healthy Pursuit.” Unless otherwise noted, lectures are held on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in the Barry Marks Auditorium, (Room 271) Chafee Social Science Center.

September 13 “The State of Intercollegiate Sport,” with Myles Brand, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Brand, the former president of Indiana University became the president of the NCAA in 2003. He heads a voluntary organization through which the nation’s colleges and universities govern their athletic programs. The NCAA is comprised of more than 1,250 institutions, conferences, organizations and individuals.

September 20 “Race and Sport,” with Len Elmore, a former All-American basketball player at the University of Maryland and an NBA star. He earned his law degree at the Harvard School of Law. Now an attorney in New York City and college basketball commentator for CBS and ESPN, he is known as one of the most thoughtful commentators on this issue of sport and race.

September 27 “Performance Enhancing Drugs,” principal speaker Richard Pound, a member of the International Olympic Committee, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency and chancellor at McGill University. He was recently named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

October 4 “Sport, Literature and Contemporary Society,” with Frank Deford, one of the top journalists/sports authors in the country. He writes for Sports Illustrated, is a contributor to National Public Radio and HBO and has published a number of acclaimed novels and short stories.

October 11 “Coaching Greatness,” with Jim Calhoun, head coach of the men’s basketball team at the University of Connecticut where his teams have won two national championships. Calhoun will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. in September.

October 18 Cousy, “The Making of a Great Book,” with Celtics legend Bob Cousy and Providence Journal sports writer Bill Reynolds, who recently collaborated on the book, Cousy. The book has won praise from The New York Times, USA Today, The Boston Globe and many other publications.

October 25 “Sports Parenting Panel Discussion,” with Rick Wolff, chairman of the Institute’s Center for Sports Parenting, will lead a panel discussion that includes several well-known Rhode Islanders, as well as former NBA star Manute Bol, now the parent of a 5-year-old who is starting out in youth sports.

November 1 “A View of Contemporary Sport,” with Anita DeFrantz, a member of the International Olympic Committee, member of the Institute’s board of directors and a former commencement speaker at URI. Judged by many to be the world’s most powerful woman in sport, she will address a variety of topics including issues related to women and sport.

November 8 “The Importance of Fitness,” with featured speakers Melissa Johnson, executive director of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports and Robert Butler, Pulitzer Prize winning author, who has written extensively on the impact of exercise on aging. Rhode Island Gov. Donald Carcieri, who recently launched the “Get Fit Rhode Island” wellness program, will also participate.

November 15 “Sports Protest,” Martha Burk, who led the protest against the Masters Golf Tournament and Richard Lapchick, human rights activist, sports expert and scholar, who used sport as a means to protest Apartheid in South Africa, will be the featured speakers.

November 29 “Title IX and Intercollegiate Sport,” with U.S. Sen. Birch Bayh, who introduced the Title IX legislation that requires educational institutions to maintain policies, practices and programs that do not discriminate against anyone based on sex. He will be joined by other panelists who will address Title IX and contemporary intercollegiate sport.


Divertissement I Friday, October 28, 8 p.m., Exhibit and Artist Appearance with Neil Leifer, considered by many to be one of the top sports photographers in the world. Leifer will display his works and answer questions at the Institute’s International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame on Route 138.

Divertissement II Friday, November 18, 8 p.m., Theatre Production “Nobody Don’t Like Yogi.” Barry Press, a highly respected actor from Providence will play the role of Yankees great Yogi Berra in this one-man play. Memorial Union Ballroom.

Divertissement III Ongoing Art Exhibit, International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame. Drawings of the 25 most influential individuals in American sports history created by student-athlete Adolphe Coulibaly from Amherst College. Student-athlete Marty Burch, a Terry Scholar at Davidson College, did the research for the project. Both are graduates of the World-Scholar Athlete Games, which is run by the Institute for International Sport.

Other Features

“100 Most Influential Sports Educators in the World,” the Institute will name the Top 100 in the autumn, and several will travel to Kingston to appear in Economics Professor Yngve Ramstad’s class. Ramstad is co-coordinator of the colloquium.

Tom Whalen, author of the book, Russell, on the life of Celtics great Bill Russell, specifically as it relates to sport and race, has agreed to appear during Diversity Week September 26 through September 30 and address the Honors Colloquium.

The Center for the Study of Sport and Society based at Northeastern University has agreed to send a team of individuals to the URI campus during Diversity Week to work with Melvin Wade, director of URI’s Multicultural Center and to appear at the Honors Colloquium class.