According to a report by the Associated Press, Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State under George W. Bush, is expected to be part of the College Football Selection Committee.
Bold, wonderful move, or a cheap political move?
It could potentially be both. College football has long been the province of old, white men. The administrators and key decision makers often lack the diversity of the sport they govern.
Condoleeza Rice is not part of that group, because she is not involved in working in college athletics. She is a political science professor at Stanford. As far as we can tell, here are her qualifications when it comes to serving on a college football committee, other than her political career.
- Her father was a football coach and basketball coach, so she grew up in a family with sports;
- She once dated Rick Upchurch, former Denver Broncos returner and wide receiver in the 1970′s and 1980′s;
- She is described as an avid sports fan;
- She was one of the first two women to be accepted as a member at Augusta National.
Let’s assume that those that discuss her sports fan-ness are correct. That would put her in a population of several million in this country, of men and women. According to the AP Report, “[t]he committee is expected to be comprised of current athletic directors and former college athletic administrators and coaches.”
Okay, Rice is none of those things. I am fine if they want to build a committee that includes a diversity of backgrounds, and includes “avid sports fans” who have also demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of the sport through their work, even if outside the power structure. If Rice is the one exception, though, well, this feels like the committee is just going for names.