Condolezza Rice criticized for inclusion on NCAA football committee
The prospect of former Secretary of State Condolezza Rice being on a high-powered sports cabinet has led to vocal criticism from both media members and members of the college football community, Sports Illustrated reported on Monday.
Though Rice has not been confirmed as a member of the College Football Playoff selection committee, which will take effect in 2014, former Auburn University head coach Pat Dye dismissed her as a legitimate selection, saying in a radio interview that, “All she knows about football is what somebody told her, or what she read in a book or what she saw on television. To understand football, you’ve got to play with your hand in the dirt.”
Dye’s comments followed ESPN contributor David Pollack’s remarks on Oct. 5 that, “I want people on this committee that can watch tape, that have played football, that are around football, that can tell you different teams on tape, not on paper.” When College Gameday host Chris Fowler asked Pollack, “So no women belong on the committee, then?” Pollack responded, “You said that — I’ll say it. Yeah, yeah.”
Both Fowler and Pollack were quickly criticized online following the exchange, with their colleague Sam Ponder writing on Saturday that she was “verbally destroying [Pollack] on the bus for his comments about Condi. Next, he makes me a sandwich.”
According to USA Today, Rice and other prospective members of the 12-to-18 member committee — which will replace the Bowl Championship Series formula and select the schools competing for the national championship in the Football Bowl Subdivision — cannot comment on their chances of being selected. But Rice is expected to be part of the process, along commissioners from the division’s five “power” conferences as well as former players, coaches and administrators.
Rice, a professor of political science at Stanford University, also served as the school’s provost from 1993 to 1999. In a March 2013 story published in the campus newspaper, the Stanford Daily, current head coach David Shaw describes her as being active not only as a fan of the school’s athletic programs, but knowledgable enough about the game to help him design plays.
“She loves that dynamic that we use to make big plays and also be big targets in the ‘red zone,'” Shaw told the Daily. “She hates prevent defenses. She loves defenses that are aggressive at the end of the game.”
[Image via Fox News]