Former NFL quarterback Phil Simms, a Louisville native, will be the first guest for a new University of Louisville sports forum.
The forum, called the UofL Conversations with Champions, will host well-known sports figures for a discussion on issues surrounding the sports industry.
Billy Reed, a former Courier-Journal sports editor and columnist, will moderate the forums. Reed is a UofL adjunct faculty member.
The forum will be integrated into the curriculum for UofL’s sports administration major, according to a University press release.
Gary Bernstein, an instructor with the sports administration department at UofL, told WFPL the idea of the forum is to show students and the community the “right way to behave.”
“You pick up the paper everyday and you read about this athlete beat his wife and that one had a gun and this one was bullying or hazing or there was some race issues or some homophobic issue,” he said.
Bernstein said the forum is a way the university can help advance the integrity, fair play and sportsmanship that is essential for a quality athletic environment.
University officials will look to host one or two events per semester with high profile sports figures, Bernstein said. The forum will also feature Louisville-based sports figures for smaller settings.
Bernstein said he hopes the forum will grow into something that can extend beyond UofL and perhaps be incorporated into other schools within the state or the Atlantic Coast Conference.
“Our students are a top priority for us but we also want to expand that to a larger community,” he said.
Reed, who moderated a similar program at Georgetown College for two years, said in a news release that the discussions are expected to touch on themes such as how athletes handle stress, responsible use of social media and whether athletes and coaches should be held to a higher standard.
All forum events will be free and open to the public. The inaugural event will be on Aug.27 at Comstock Hall on the UofL Belknap campus. Registration is required. Here’s more information.