In general, college sports do not have a healthy relationship with the 21st century.
They really, really hate the idea of players getting money for anything.
According to their graduation rates, they prefer the “sports” part to the “college” part.
And at least in the football world, women should be seen (preferably in short skirts and waving pom-poms) and not heard.
Which brings us to Condoleezza Rice, a member of the college football playoff selection committee officially named Monday.
A firestorm was inevitable, and it came immediately after news leaked of her new role last week. Yet it had nothing to do with her role in the Iraq War as George W. Bush’s secretary of state and national security adviser.
It was because, you know, she’s a girl.
And girls don’t know anything about football.
Or so believes longtime college coach and serial NCAA violator Pat Dye, who said of Rice: “All she knows about football is what somebody told her.”
And ESPN studio host and former player David Pollock, who said on live TV that, no, he doesn’t want women on the committee, but rather “guys that can watch tape. … Yes, that have played football, that are around football, that can tell you different teams, on tape, not on paper.”
Not surprisingly, many followers of the game — as evident by the reaction on Twitter — agreed with them.
Former Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh, who took the 49ers to the Super Bowl last year, might disagree. Back in 2010 Rice, who had returned to Stanford the previous year as a political science professor, was helping the school recruit football players. Previously at Stanford, she was part of the search committee that hired Dennis Green in 1989.
Current Stanford coach David Shaw told The Stanford Daily, she’s having the same impact with the current team:
“She could live in so many places and do so many other things, but she likes to surround herself with the brightest and the best, and she found that here at Stanford. She relates that really well to recruits and their families.”
And former head coach Tyrone Willingham likely owes his hiring at Stanford to Rice, who at the time was the school provost responsible for overseeing the football team. Willingham went on to take Stanford to the Rose Bowl.
Rice’s passion for football is evident in the video at this link.
Of course it’s possible that Dye, who was a head coach for 19 years and an athletic director for 10 years, has no idea how Stanford recruits players or hires head coaches.
And that Pollack, a three-time college all-American, three-year NFL player and a national radio and TV broadcaster for five years, has never been around a woman who understands football.
And that neither of them has cable or knows about Google.
Either that, or college sports dipped a toe into the 21st century for the first time. And both Dye and Pollock decided to stay back on the shore where it was safe.