SBD/October 7, 2013/Colleges

Source: Condi Rice, Archie Manning The Latest Members Of The CFB Playoff Committee

ESPN's Paul Finebaum believes Rice would bring "integrity" to the committee
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former NFLer Archie Manning are "two of nine people expected to be part" of the College Football Playoff selection committee, according to a source cited by George Schroeder of USA TODAY. The source "confirmed" that the committee also will include Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez, USC AD Pat Haden, Arkansas AD Jeff Long, West Virginia AD Oliver Luck and Clemson AD Dan Radakovich in addition to Rice, Manning, former NCAA Exec VP Tom Jernstedt and former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese "as at-large selections." The source added that there only will be "one sitting athletics director from each of the five power conferences, so those places are set." Another source said that the committee also "will include Lt. Col. Michael Gould, former Superintendent of the Air Force Academy and a former player for the school." The first source said that Rice's "diverse background made her appealing." Schroeder noted the makeup of the committee is "expected to be set by the end of this season, and possibly by the next meeting of its managing directors in November" in DC. The CFP begins in '14 (USATODAY.com, 10/4). The AP's Ralph Russo wrote while Rice has "never worked in college athletics," she has "made no secret of being a sports fan -- college and pro." She "frequently attends Stanford athletic events and meets with many of the athletes" (AP, 10/4).

MIXED REACTION TO RICE'S INCLUSION: ESPN's Paul Finebaum noted Rice is a "big Alabama fan" and she has "even listened to our radio show a couple of times." Finebaum: "She is very knowledgeable. Everyone knows about her wanting to be the NFL Commissioner. I like her, not so much that she knows more about college football than Archie Manning, but she’s a consensus-builder. She has integrity and this committee needs integrity. Who better to send out to talk to clowns like me after they make a bad decision?" (“College Football Live,” ESPN, 10/4). In San Jose, Jon Wilner wrote Rice's selection is "a surprise, but not a stunner." Wilner: "Whether she was one of the best of the unconventional options, I don’t know." But she is a "better pick than a half-dozen former Pac-12 coaches and athletic directors I could name who might have been part of the most powerful committee in college sports" (MERCURYNEWS.com, 10/4). But in Birmingham, Kevin Scarbinsky wrote under the header, "Condoleezza Rice Has No Business On The College Football Playoff Committee." Rice is "qualified to do a lot more things than most people, perhaps up to and including running the country, but she has no business helping to decide the four teams that'll have a shot at the national title." It is "not personal," but it is "just that college football is not her business." The sport has "never been how she's made her living." She has "never spent day after day, week after week, year after year, with college football foremost on her mind" (AL.com, 10/5).

CLARIFYING HIS STANCE: ESPN’s David Pollack took to Twitter Saturday to clarify comments he made on "College GameDay" that implied women should not be appointed to the playoff selection committee. He wrote, "I want people on the committee that eat, sleep & breathe college football during the season. It has nothing to do with male or female" (TWITTER.com, 10/5). Pollack on the show said of Rice, "I want people on this committee that have played football, that are around football, that can tell you different teams on tape, not on paper." ESPN's Chris Fowler asked, "So no woman belongs on the committee?" Pollack responded, “You said that, so yeah. ... If you can’t tell me what happened in a game, I don’t want you on the poll, committee, whatever" (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 10/5).

WHO ELSE SHOULD BE ADDED? The "GameDay" crew Saturday discussed the make-up of the selection committee and who else should be added to it. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit added, “Mike Tranghese should be team captain. He is as buttoned up as anybody I saw on that list.” ESPN’s Lee Corso noted, “If I had anybody to put on that list it would be Vince Dooley. He’s got unquestioned integrity and knowledge.” ESPN’s Desmond Howard added, “I would put Coach Corso on that list” (“College GameDay,” ESPN, 10/5).
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