Tom Goldman

Tom Goldman is NPR's sports correspondent. His reports can be heard throughout NPR's news programming, including Morning Edition and All Things Considered, and NPR.org.

With a beat covering the entire world of professional sports, both in and outside of the United States, Goldman reporting covers the broad spectrum of athletics from the people to the business of athletics.

During his more than 20 years with NPR, Goldman has covered every major athletic competition including the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, golf and tennis championships, and the Olympic Games.

His pieces are diverse and include both perspective and context. Goldman often explores people's motivations for doing what they do, whether it's solo sailing around the world or pursuing a gold medal. In his reporting, Goldman searches for the stories about the inspirational and relatable amateur and professional athletes.

Goldman contributed to NPR's 2009 Edward R. Murrow award for his coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and to a 2010 Murrow award for contribution to a series on high school football, "Friday Night Lives." Earlier in his career, Goldman's piece about Native American basketball players earned a 2004 Dick Schaap Excellence in Sports Journalism Award from the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University and a 2004 Unity Award from the Radio-Television News Directors Association.

In January 1990, Goldman came to NPR to work as an associate producer for sports with Morning Edition. For the next seven years he reported, edited and produced stories and programs. In June 1997, he became NPR's first full time sports correspondent.

For five years before NPR, Goldman worked as a news reporter and then news director in local public radio. In 1984, he spent a year living on an Israeli kibbutz. Two years prior he took his first professional job in radio in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Alaska Public Radio Network.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

The NBA has scheduled a big announcement for this afternoon. They'll address the allegations against Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. He's accused of going on a racist rant, all caught on an audio tape made public Friday. The situation has infuriated people in the NBA and also elsewhere. It's certainly become a major distraction for the Clippers, who are trying to focus on basketball.

Controversy is swirling around racist comments allegedly made by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The NBA is exploring its potential responses as it investigates the allegations.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

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And I'm Melissa Block.

Today, the NCAA announced what could be major changes in the way it operates. Among those potential changes, more autonomy for the five wealthiest Division 1 conferences and more benefits for student athletes. The board of directors endorsed the moves today at their headquarters in Indianapolis. Final approval could come in August, when the board meets next.

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It is time for sports now. March Madness is over. The Masters Golf Tournament is over. But there's absolutely no time at all for sports fans to catch their collective breath, not with the National Hockey League playoffs starting tonight and the NBA playoffs starting this weekend.

NPR's Tom Goldman is here to set the proverbial table for us. Tom, good morning.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, David.

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OK, it's championship week in Division 1 college basketball. Kentucky plays Connecticut tonight for the men's title. And tomorrow, two undefeated teams play for the women's championship. They are Connecticut and Notre Dame.

NPR's Tom Goldman is in Dallas, he's on the line. Hi, Tom.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Hiya, Steve.

INSKEEP: OK, so Kentucky got to the championship game by winning by a single point over Wisconsin, which is how they've won a lot of games. Can we expect another close one tonight?

The matchup is set for Monday's men's NCAA basketball championship. The Connecticut Huskies will take on the Kentucky Wildcats.

Last week, a National Labor Relations Board ruling gave football players at Northwestern University the right to unionize. Northwestern is challenging the decision. The NCAA supports the appeal.

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It is the last day of March, but there's still another weekend of March Madness to come. Four teams gather in Dallas this weekend for the Final Four. If you go strictly by seeding, the University of Kentucky is the longest shot to win the men's college basketball title. In fact, though, the eighth-seeded Wildcats suddenly are a very hot favorite after yesterday's thrilling win over Michigan in the Elite Eight.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden. This was supposed to be a special year for the Mount Ashland ski area in Southern Oregon as it celebrated its 50th anniversary. But after a long drought this summer, Mount Ashland had to call it a season early. Yesterday, it declared slope season was over due to a lack of snow. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

Jason Collins signed with the NBA's Brooklyn Nets on Sunday. With the deal, he becomes, not only the NBA's first gay player, but the first openly gay athlete active in U.S. major professional sports.

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There have actually been some sports going on in the world that don't require a triple axel or a backside air 1080 - although sometimes it seems like Lebron James nails both on the basketball court. James and his NBA brethren have been hard at work during the Winter Olympics, but now they're taking their annual break for the All-Star game.

Jack Everett sat on his living room couch wearing a back brace, eyes glued to a massive TV set playing his favorite video game, NHL 2013.

"I'm the Boston Bruins," the 10-year-old said as he deftly worked the video controls. "The guy that just shot was Milan Lucic. He's a really good guy on our team."

Whether at home or during recess at his elementary school in suburban Los Angeles, Jack's young life now is about sitting still.

"Well, I can eat lunch with friends, and I play cards," Jack says. But his classmates are out running and jumping outside.

Throughout the West, bone dry conditions are exacting a toll on places that rely on water to thrive. In southern Oregon, recreation plays an important role in the region's economy. The ongoing drought is drying up streams where fishing once was plentiful and it's left ski resorts wanting for snow.

The U.S. Olympic team is taking shape in the run-up to next month's Winter Games in Russia. This week, the Olympic cross-country ski team names the athletes who'll be going to Sochi, and veteran Kris Freeman is vying for another spot.

The 33-year-old Freeman already has been to three Olympic Games, and he's considered the country's best long distance racer over the past decade.

All that despite the fact that he has diabetes.

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The Florida State Seminoles completed their undefeated run a college football championship last night. In Pasadena, here in southern California, the Seminoles won the title game of the Bowl Championship Series, the BCS, with a 34 to 31 win over the Auburn Tigers. This is the last season that will follow the controversial BCS format and NPR's Tom Goldman reports the Seminoles provided a classic finale.

On Monday night, Florida State and Auburn battle for the national college football title. It will be the last championship under the much maligned Bowl Championship Series, or BCS. A new playoff system kicks off next season, but will it be better?

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We have an update now on a hoop dream. In October, NPR's listeners heard from Kiwi Gardner, a 20-year-old, five-foot-seven inch basketball wiz from Oakland, California. Like so many talented young ballplayers, Gardner's ultimate goal was the NBA. To get there, he chose the minor league route.

KIWI GARDNER: I want to be able to make a D-League team this year, you know. I feel I'm at that level or I play at that level right now.

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A third of the NBA season is complete and the Portland Trailblazers are on a surprising run. Last night they beat the L. A. Clippers 116 - 112 in overtime. Portland has the league's best record - 24 wins, five losses. Now the tepid pre-season forecasts are turning into talk of how far the Blazers can go in the post-season. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

On Saturday night, there's a very good chance Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston will win the Heisman Trophy, awarded each year to the best college football player in the country.

For Winston, family, friends, teammates and Seminole fans, undoubtedly it'll be a shining moment, but a discordant note continues to run through this tale of football glory.

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Tomorrow night, star quarterback Jameis Winston will lead the Florida State Seminoles against Duke in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game. It's a big deal, mainly because Winston's participation was in doubt. Until yesterday. That's when a Florida prosecutor announced he would not charge Jameis Winston with a felony. A young woman had accused the player of rape after a sexual encounter a year ago. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Never has so much been said about something that didn't happen.

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A Florida prosecutor says he will not charge Florida State University football star Jameis Winston with sexual assault. The 19-year-old quarterback was being investigated after a young woman alleged Winston raped her a year ago. But Winston's attorney said the sex was consensual. Joining me now is NPR's Tom Goldman. And, Tom, tell us more about what the prosecutor said this afternoon.

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The NBA begins a new regular season today with three games. Among the match-ups, the two-time defending champion Miami Heat play the Chicago Bulls. That game features the regular season return of Bulls' all-star point guard Derrick Rose. He hurt his knee badly a year and a half ago. As NPR's Tom Goldman reports, knee injuries are just one of the storylines of the new season.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Chicago's preseason began 24 days ago with a game in Indianapolis, and with Bulls fans holding their collective breath.

The NFL season is in high gear — a fact that pleases the roughly 64 percent of Americans who watch football. The season rolls on despite the now constant news about concussions in the sport.

The recent TV documentary League of Denial and the book by the same name claim that for years the NFL had denied and covered up evidence linking football and brain damage. Is the concussion conversation challenging this country's deep love for the game?

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All right. In this country, women's pro basketball playoffs begin tonight. The contenders seeking a win of intergalactic proportions, as you said a moment ago, Renee, include the Chicago Sky. They've never made the WNBA playoffs before.

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Well, a big reason for their success is six foot five inch rookie Elena Della Donne. She's been famous for a while. She was once known as the player who walked away from the best team in women's college basketball.

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A dark cloud hanging over the National Football League is a bit lighter today. There is a proposed settlement in a huge concussion lawsuit, brought by over 4,000 former players. The agreement was reached and announced yesterday, a week before the start of the new NFL season. If approved, the league will pay out $765 million to as many as 18,000 former players. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

There's concern the sport of swimming still may be dealing with a sexual abuse problem in the United States.

It's been three years since revelations emerged in the media. A number of in-depth reports in 2010 likened the situation in swimming to the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal: Coaches molesting under-age female swimmers; some of the abuse continuing for years without punishment.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

The sport of swimming is back in the news, with new questions being raised about whether swimming has effectively confronted a sexual abuse problem, a problem that's been revealed in recent years. USA Swimming - the sport's governing body in this country - announced an independent review of Safe Sport, their organization's program to protect athletes from sexual abuse. NPR's Tom Goldman reports.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: In the spring of 2010, swimming's secrets emerged in a flurry of media reports.

At the beginning of 2013 — with only a year before soccer's crown jewel event, the World Cup in Brazil — all was not rosy with the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team. There was that 0-0 tie with Canada, and then a 2-1 loss to Honduras in a World Cup qualifier.

But now, the cry is, "Break up the Americans!"

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