University College to host ‘Future of Sports’ panel discussion Nov. 29

Features Bob Costas, Bill James, Joe Posnanski, Gerald Early and Michael MacCambridge

University College, the adult, evening and continuing education division in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, will host “The Future of Sports,” a panel discussion featuring Bob Costas, Bill James and other sports experts and historians, at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, in Graham Chapel on the university’s Danforth Campus.

Bob Costas


The panel discussion is free and open to the public. RSVP is requested at

The culture of spectator sports is deeply woven into the fabric of American culture. From the Super Bowl Sunday civic holiday to the lexicon of soccer moms, sports have become a common language in an increasingly diverse society.

The panelists will discuss topics ranging from performance-enhancing drugs and changes on the horizon in Major League Baseball to the collective-bargaining negotiations in the National Football League and the potential rise of soccer in the United States.

Bill James


The panelists are:

Bob Costas, a 19-time Emmy Award winner and television’s most honored studio host. Costas is the primetime host of NBC’s coverage of the Olympic Games and NBC’s Football Night in America studio show. He also co-hosts NBC’s coverage of other major sports events.

Bill James, baseball writer, historian and senior adviser on baseball operations for the Boston Red Sox. James’ pioneering work in the field of sabermetrics has made a significant impact on major league baseball. In 2006, Time named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Joe Posnanski


Joe Posnanski, senior writer for Sports Illustrated and former sports columnist for The Kansas City Star, twice named the best sports columnist in America by the Associated Press Sports Editors. His book, The Soul of Baseball, was the winner of the CASEY Award as the best baseball book of 2007.

Gerald Early, PhD, the Merle Kling Professor of Modern Letters in Arts & Sciences and director of the Center for the Humanities at Washington University. Early is the author of many works, including The Culture of Bruising: Essays on Prizefighting, Literature, and Modern American Culture, which won the 1994 National Book Critics Circle Award for criticism.

Gerald Early

An American culture critic and baseball fan, Early served as a consultant on Ken Burns’ documentary Baseball for the Public Broadcasting Service.

The moderator will be WUSTL’s Michael MacCambridge, adjunct instructor in communications and journalism. MacCambridge is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on professional and collegiate football. His 2004 book, America’s Game: The Epic Story of How Pro Football Captured a Nation, was named by The Washington Post as one of the most distinguished works of nonfiction in 2004. He is a contributing essayist to A New Literary History of America by Greil Marcus and Werner Sollors.

Michael MacCambridge


At the end of the discussion, there will be time for questions from the audience.

“We’re delighted to have such a group of all-stars coming in for what should be an uncommonly stimulating conversation,” says Robert E. Wiltenburg, PhD, dean of University College.

Graham Chapel is located on the Danforth Campus at Washington University. For a campus map, visit

For more information, contact MacCambridge at or University College at (314) 935-6700.

About University College

Originally founded in 1853 to serve the diverse educational needs of the St. Louis area, Washington University continues to grow and thrive more than 150 years later. The first educational step of the fledgling university, on Oct. 22, 1854, was to establish an evening program. Washington University Extension, addressing the needs of local teachers, was begun in 1908, and, after much expansion and diversification, became University College in 1931. Then and since, people of all ages attend Washington University through University College, earning associate’s, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, or certificates, or taking courses for personal enrichment. For more information about University College, visit or call (314) 935-6700.