SBD/October 9, 2013/Colleges

On-Air Sports Pundits Denounce Talk That Rice Is Not Suited For CFB Playoff Committee

Rice growing up had visions of becoming the NFL's commissioner
Condoleezza Rice's reported spot on the College Football Playoff selection committee has generated some disparaging comments from people associated with the sport, including ESPN's David Pollack and former Auburn coach Pat Dye, because she did not play football. Dye said he wants people on the committee who have had their "hand in the dirt." ESPN's Michael Wilbon said, "Not only do I have no problem with Condoleezza Rice being on this committee, I want to point out how myopic this position is." According to Dye, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue "couldn't serve on this committee." Wilbon: "He doesn't want a woman on the committee. Let me say what he doesn't want." ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said to Wilbon, "You never played college football. I never played college football. You never played college basketball. I never played college basketball. But we wrote about it 40 years. You can learn it. ... Sportswriters elect people to the Hall of Fame in baseball and football. They didn't play" ("PTI," ESPN, 10/8). ESPN's Max Kellerman said, "I'm not dismissing that point of view, you certainly enrich your knowledge with experience. But does that mean it's impossible to make decisions unless you played the game?" ("SportsNation," ESPN2, 10/8). Yahoo Sports' Rand Getlin said, "It’s Pat Dye trying to remain relevant. ... You don’t need to know what it feels like to get hit with a helmet on to understand the game in a very basic sense" ("Rome," CBSSN, 10/8).

SMART PEOPLE WANTED: L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, "What the college football system needs is smart people. What the BCS has done for years has been dumb. This is smart. She is smart. ... I bet she'll be the most educated person in that room and that's what college football needs." Denver Post columnist Woody Paige noted Rice is the daughter of a high school football coach and said, "Her aspiration in life was to become commissioner of the NFL. She's paid attention to it." Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw: "Let me see if I have this straight -- she was qualified to be Secretary of State, she's not qualified to look at stats or tapes and tell if an Oklahoma or an Ohio State is the fourth-best team in the country?" ("Around The Horn," ESPN, 10/8). SI's Lee Jenkins said he wonders why Rice is "choosing this for her next act." Jenkins: "I know she’s a professor at Stanford. It seems like she could be doing something more important than deciding whether Georgia gets the three or the four seed. But if this is really the way she wants to head with the next phase of her career or her life, I think the committee should be happy to have her given the diverse background she represents” ("Rome," CBSSN, 10/8).
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