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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11:22am

Sun April 6, 2014
Sports

UConn To Face Kentucky In NCAA Final

Originally published on Sun April 6, 2014 1:49 pm

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

4:37pm

Mon March 31, 2014
Sports

Freshmen Wildcats Step Easily Into Storied Tradition

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 6:52 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

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.

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5:59am

Mon March 24, 2014
Sports

Kentucky Ends Wichita State's Unbeaten Season

Originally published on Mon March 24, 2014 12:25 pm

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

OK. Time for an update on March Madness and first condolences are in order for the state of Kansas. Two of its highly regarded men's college basketball teams are out of the tournament. And in addition to condolences to Kansas, I can hear a lot of brackets shredding all over the country. The University of Kansas, a number two seed, lost yesterday to Stanford 70-to-67.

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7:45am

Sat March 15, 2014
Around the Nation

Drought Closes Oregon Resort Before The Season Even Opens

Originally published on Mon March 17, 2014 2:03 pm

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

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.

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3:26am

Mon February 3, 2014
Shots - Health News

Young Athletes Risk Back Injury By Playing Too Much

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 9:27 am

A West Coast team player kicks the ball during a match at the Adidas Challenges America's Youth Soccer Stars tournament in Venice, Calif.
Getty Images

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.

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3:32am

Mon January 20, 2014
Sports

U.S. Olympic Skier Finds Team Spirit, Minus The Team

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 8:57 pm

Kris Freeman, skiiing here for the U.S. team in 2011, during the Winter Games NZ, was cut from the U.S. Ski team before the upcoming Sochi Olympic Games. Freeman has had to train without their support and still hopes to qualify to compete in Russia.
Hannah Johnston Getty Images

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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5:29am

Fri December 27, 2013
Sports

NBA Trailblazers Continue Their Surprising Season

Originally published on Fri December 27, 2013 8:06 am

Transcript

DON GONYEA, HOST:

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.

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9:55am

Sat December 14, 2013
The Two-Way

Rape Accusation Still Shadows Heisman Finalist

Originally published on Sat December 14, 2013 3:22 pm

Florida State University quarterback Jameis Winston faced an accusation of rape, but the state of Florida decided not to press charges following an investigation.
Julio Cortez AP

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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5:31am

Fri December 6, 2013
Sports

FSU Quarterback Jameis Winston Won't Be Charged With Rape

Originally published on Fri December 6, 2013 10:49 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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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5:01pm

Tue October 29, 2013
Sports

NBA Preview: On Valuable Knees And Building Legacies

Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 7:57 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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.

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4:46am

Fri August 30, 2013
Sports

Concussion Suits: NFL, Retirees Reach $765 Million Deal

Originally published on Fri August 30, 2013 9:51 am

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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.

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6:38pm

Tue August 27, 2013
The Two-Way

USA Swimming Faces Lingering Doubts Over Sexual Abuse

Attorney Robert Allard, seen here with former swimmer Jancy Thompson in 2010, says USA Swimming still needs to improve its handling of sexual abuse claims. The organization is also facing congressional scrutiny.
Ben Margot AP

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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5:02am

Tue August 27, 2013
Sports

USA Swimming To Review Sexual Misconduct Prevention Program

Originally published on Tue August 27, 2013 5:13 am

Transcript

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.

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5:16am

Sun August 4, 2013
The Two-Way

U.S. Men's Soccer Is On A Roll — All The Way To Rio?

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 2:55 pm

Members of the U.S. men's soccer team take a lap around the field after beating Panama 1-0 to capture the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Sunday in Chicago.
Jonathan Daniel Getty Images

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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4:52pm

Wed July 31, 2013
Sports

For One Seniors Basketball Team, The Game Never Gets Old

Originally published on Wed July 31, 2013 6:05 pm

She-Ca-Go's Leona Cochran attempts to block Jo Cahill's shot during the team's game against the Colorado Combos at the National Senior Games in Cleveland on Monday.
Benjamin Morris for NPR

As athletes age, participation in team sports seems to fall by the wayside in favor of more low-impact activities like swimming and walking. But that's not for everyone. The National Senior Games finishes a two-week run in Cleveland on Thursday. The players for She-Ca-Go, a women's basketball team in the 75-to-79 age division, are still in it for the camaraderie and competition.

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4:32am

Wed July 10, 2013
Sports

L.A. Embraces Dodger Rookie Yasiel Puig

Originally published on Wed July 10, 2013 8:03 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

In baseball, the summer of Yasiel Puig goes on. The breakout star for the Los Angeles Dodgers is a mere five weeks into his major league career. And in that short time he is set hitting records and also helping turn around a struggling Dodgers team. Puig is a 22-year-old Cuban defector. His past remains a bit of a mystery, but that doesn't seem to bother the fans caught up in Puig-mania.

Here's NPR's Tom Goldman.

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5:02pm

Sat April 13, 2013
Sports

Down To The Putt: Golf Analytics Gain Traction

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 6:09 pm

Numbers crunching has become a big deal in sports. Analytics have been slower to take hold in the tradition-bound game of golf, but it is happening. NPR's Tom Goldman reports on the phenomenon from the tournament most steeped in tradition, the Masters.

2:44pm

Tue April 9, 2013
The Two-Way

Giant-Killing Louisville Women Look To Keep Charmed Run Alive

Originally published on Tue April 9, 2013 7:34 pm

Head coach Jeff Walz of the Louisville Cardinals talks to his team during a timeout in the game against the Maryland Terrapins in the second round of the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
G. Flume Getty Images

Tonight, there's a chance for a rare double in NCAA Division I college basketball.

As we reported earlier, if the University of Louisville scores a victory in the women's championship game, it will be only the second school to capture both the men's and women's titles in the same year.

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5:16am

Sun April 7, 2013
Sports

Old Guard And Fresh Faces Square Off At Women's Final Four

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 12:51 pm

Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel (23) and the Louisville bench react to her 3-point shot against Tennessee in the second half of the regional final in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Oklahoma City on Tuesday. Louisville won 86-78.
Sue Ogrocki AP

A women's Final Four without Baylor, Stanford or Tennessee? That's happened only one other time in the last dozen years. We've become so used to it being a power party, that it's downright disorienting.

Or maybe that's just vertigo from trying to track the movements of the Final Four's breakout star, Louisville guard Shoni Schimmel. She's a big reason why two of those teams — Tennessee and Baylor — aren't in New Orleans for a chance at the title.

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12:31pm

Sat March 23, 2013
The Two-Way

Oregon's Arsalan Kazemi: From Iran To NCAA Hoopla

Originally published on Sun March 24, 2013 3:23 pm

Rebounding machine Arsalan Kazemi is the first Iranian-born player in Divison I men's college hoops.
Julie Jacobson AP

San Jose, Calif., is just a piece of a very big March Madness pie. But in the eight teams that gathered there for second- and third-round games this week, you could see the undeniable trend in big-time college basketball globalization.

Rosters from schools as geographically diverse as Syracuse, New Mexico State and California featured athletes from Senegal, France, Canada, South Africa, Croatia, Sudan.

But it's the University of Oregon with a groundbreaker — from Iran.

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7:57am

Tue March 19, 2013
The Two-Way

World Baseball Classic's All-Caribbean Showdown Is A Winner Either Way

Originally published on Tue March 19, 2013 11:35 am

The Dominican Republic celebrates after beating the Netherlands 4-1 in Monday's semifinal game of the World Baseball Classic in San Francisco.
Jeff Chiu AP

NPR's Tom Goldman is covering the World Baseball Classic tournament and sends along this report:

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12:04am

Fri February 8, 2013
Sports

Lawsuit, Investigation Loom Over Lance Armstrong

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 7:41 am

Talk show host Oprah Winfrey interviews Lance Armstrong on Jan. 14. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France, reversing more than a decade of denial.
George Burns/ Harpo Studios AP

There are more troubles for disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong.

A Texas-based promotions company sued the former cycling champion Thursday for more than $12 million, which was paid to Armstrong for several of his record seven Tour de France wins. Armstrong publicly admitted last month that those herculean victories were aided by doping.

The lawsuit is part of a flurry of activity: Armstrong still is in talks with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and there is now word that he is under federal investigation, a year after another federal criminal inquiry ended abruptly.

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7:58am

Thu December 20, 2012
Sports

'Bowie Over Jordan': A New Look At The Pick That Still Haunts Portland NBA Fans

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 11:37 am

Sam Bowie of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots over Kareem Abdul-Jabbar of the Los Angeles Lakers during a game circa 1984-1988 at the Great Western Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Bowie's NBA career is the subject of a new ESPN documentary airing Thursday.
Rick Stewart Getty Images

In 1984, the Portland Trail Blazers chose Sam Bowie, a 7-foot-1 center from the University of Kentucky, with the second pick in the college draft. The Chicago Bulls then took Michael Jordan.

The words "Bowie over Jordan" are part of pro basketball lore, and are still a source of pain for many fans of the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers. Bowie's tenure in Portland was marred by leg injuries; Jordan became a legend. ESPN recounts it all in a documentary about Bowie on Thursday night.

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12:05pm

Wed November 21, 2012
Planet Money

Lance Armstrong And The Business Of Doping

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 5:57 pm

Christophe Ena AP

The story of Lance Armstrong's alleged doping is, in part, the story of an astonishing business enterprise — an enterprise that drove what the U.S. anti-doping agency called "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program" cycling has ever seen.

The story of that enterprise starts in 1998, when the Festina cycling team was caught at the Tour de France with a car full of banned drugs. According to author Daniel Coyle, this marked a huge shift in the culture of doping in cycling.

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8:11am

Mon October 22, 2012
Sports

World Cycling Body Upholds U.S. Ruling On Armstrong

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Lance Armstrong became a bicycle racing legend when he won every Tour de France from 1999 to 2005. But after what happened today, there will be no official record of all those victories. Cycling's international governing body announced it will not appeal sanctions by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

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3:25am

Mon October 15, 2012
Sports

Head Injuries Rattle Even Devout Football Parents

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 8:16 am

The Angleton Wildcats pose for picture day. The team of 7- and 8-year-olds is from the south Texas town of Angleton.
Tom Goldman NPR

It's Monday after another football weekend in America. From the Friday night drama on high school fields to the multibillion-dollar juggernaut NFL, the game seems as popular as ever.

But in fact, amid the cheering, there's concern — a growing anxiety about head injuries in the sport, from the NFL all the way down to the pee-wee leagues. Some say kids shouldn't be playing until their teenage years. High-profile NFL players have gone on record saying they don't want their children playing at all because of the concussion risk.

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4:47am

Thu October 11, 2012
Sports

Doping Agency Outlines Evidence Against Armstrong

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 6:41 am

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Former cycling champion Lance Armstrong conquered mountains to win the Tour de France seven times. Now, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has revealed a mountain of evidence against him. The agency known as USADA documents a sophisticated doping scheme and puts Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service teammates at the center of it, laying out the reason why Armstrong was banned for life from the sport and stripped of his Tour de France titles.

NPR'S Tom Goldman reports.

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5:27pm

Fri August 10, 2012
The Torch

Gaming The Games: The Rules That Got Bent In London

Originally published on Fri August 10, 2012 8:06 pm

Cameron van der Burgh of South Africa celebrates his gold medal in the men's 100m breaststroke. He later admitted that he took extra dolphin kicks during his swim, a violation of the rules.
Adam Pretty Getty Images

The London Summer Olympics are winding down, and by most accounts, the games have been a success. There were plenty of "thrill of victory, agony of defeat" moments; big, enthusiastic crowds — although there were too many blocks of empty seats; and for those who like a helping of scandal served up at their Olympics, there was that, too.

It wasn't the usual scourge of doping. Instead, the London Olympics had incidents of bending the rules and ethics of sport.

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12:49pm

Wed August 8, 2012
The Torch

Allyson Felix Wins Gold In Women's 200 Meters

Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 10:29 am

American sprinter Allyson Felix leads the field on her way to winning the women's 200 meters gold medal in London's Olympic Stadium.
Quinn Rooney Getty Images

Allyson Felix has won the women's 200 meter race in London's Olympic Stadium, running a time of 21.88. Jamaica's Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce took the silver medal at 22.09, as she wasn't able to track Felix down in the closing stretch.

The four center lanes were stacked with speed, with Jamaica's Fraser-Pryce and defending gold medalist Veronica Campbell-Brown in lanes 4 and 5, respectively. Just outside of them were Americans Sanya Richards-Ross and Felix, in lanes 6 and 7. And on the outside, in lane 9, was Carmelita Jeter.

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5:24am

Wed August 8, 2012
Sports

U.S. Gymnast Raisman Wins Gold, Bronze Medals

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 11:52 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning.

The Fierce Five have finished their run at the London Summer Olympics. Fierce Five is the nickname given to America's whiz-kid female gymnasts - average age just a bit over 16. They started the Games by winning the most important gold medal, in the team event. They finished yesterday with their team captain finally getting a break that seemed elusive. From London, here's NPR's Tom Goldman.

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