Diverse Panel of Experts Debate Lure of Sports Glory, Impact on Health and Wellness of Young Athletes

Pediatric and sports medicine experts from NYU Langone Medical Center joined colleagues from the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies’ Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism and Sports Management to explore the potential risks to young athletes in the pursuit of athletic glory, sports scholarship and professional fortune. The panel discussion was held last month at the NYU Kimmel Center for University Life in Manhattan, and was attended by several hundred medical, law and sports management students, local coaches and parents.

In addition to tens of thousands of professional and amateur athletes, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates there are more than 38 million boys and girls participating in organized youth sports in the U.S. During the recent discussion, panelists agreed that parents, teachers and administrators must understand that sports are big business – and the lure of scholarships and professional fame and fortune can negatively influence a child’s development.

The event featured top athletes, sports media professionals, as well as sports medicine and management experts who identified key points of the issue, including:

  • Sports can provide excellent opportunities to build friendships, healthy lifestyles and teach important life lessons about teamwork
  • The health and well being of young athletes pressured to achieve athletic success can be at risk
  • Medical professionals, educators, parents, coaches, and business and community leaders must collaborate to protect the future of young athletes

Moderated by Arthur Miller, University Professor and Director of Public Dialogues at NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies (NYU-SCPS), the 2nd Annual Sports in America Series: The Arthur Miller Dialogues was entitled “Young Athletes: The Costs, Sacrifices, and Consequences.” The panelists included:

  • Jessica Abramovich, executive director, American Youth Football
  • Arthur L. Caplan, PhD, bioethicist and director, Division of Medical Ethics, Department of Population Health, NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Dennis A. Cardone, DO, associate professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center; medical director, New York City Public School Athletic League
  • Mary Carillo, correspondent, HBO Real Sports and NBC Sports; former French Open Mixed Doubles champion, and Wimbledon and U.S. Open Doubles finalist; former world-ranked professional tennis player
  • Harry Carson, former Captain and linebacker, New York Football Giants; member, Professional Football Hall of Fame; author and broadcaster
  • Brian W. Hainline, MD, chief medical officer, United States Tennis Association; chief medical officer, National Collegiate Athletics Association (as of January, 2013); co-author, Positioning Youth Tennis for Success; and clinical associate professor, Department of Neurology, NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Lee Igel, PhD, organizational psychologist; associate professor of sports management, NYU-SCPS Preston Robert Tisch Center
  • Claudette Lajam, MD, assistant professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center
  • Patricia Poitevien, MD, clinical assistant professor, Departments of Pediatrics and Orthopaedic Surgery
  • Jonathan Vaughters, former pro-racing cyclist; manager, Garmin-Sharp Professional Cycling Team
  • Rick Wolff, author; sports psychology and sports parenting expert; host, WFAN Sports Radio, The Sports Edge
  • Warren K. Young, MD, assistant professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, NYU Langone Medical Center

Hosted by the NYU Sports & Society Program, the discussion was followed by questions from the audience. A replay of the discussion is available at NYU-SCPS.