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Playoff committee members defend addition of Condoleeza Rice to the group

Members of the College Football Playoff Selection committee defended former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice’s position on the committee, saying it’s not necessary to populate the entire committee with former coaches and players. Rice had faced some backlash earlier this fall from people questioning the depth of her football knowledge. During a panel discussion at the 2013 IMG Intercollegiate Athletics Forum, former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne said Rice has a place on the committee, which he described as “a pretty good blend of people who have coached and are active in the game, people who are decision makers, people who obviously can understand the process. “She is the daughter of a coach,” he said. “She has been a provost in charge of athletics at Stanford. Obviously, she¹s a big football fan, and she certainly has been in heated battle. We certainly respect her intelligence.”

LOOKING FOR BALANCE: Addressing the criticism that Rice doesn’t know some of the intricacies of college football, Osborne said that while “it will be important to have some people who know a little bit about the difference between a cover-2 and man-to-man defense,” that type of information can be readily explained, if necessary. Big East senior adviser Tom Jernstedt agreed, saying that such in-depth knowledge is not necessary to being on the committee. “Having a balance of individuals involved in a variety of areas makes the group stronger,” Jernstedt said.
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