Ben Margot/Associated Press

Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he doesn't "necessarily agree" that Condoleezza Rice belongs on the College Football Playoff selection committee.

By SI Wire
October 27, 2014

Former Clemson coach Tommy Bowden says he doesn't "necessarily agree" that Condoleezza Rice belongs on the College Football Playoff selection committee.

Rice is the only female member of the committee, which was reduced from 13 to 12 members after former Ole Miss and NFL quarterback Archie Manning elected to step down for health reasons.

Rice served as Stanford's Provost from 1993-99 and as National Security Advisor and Secretary of State under former president George W. Bush.

From the Knoxville News-Sentinel:

"If the selection committee wants to get it right, and find the most knowledgeable people about the sport of football, go get people who played the game and preferably coached the game," Bowden said at Monday's Knoxville Quarterback Club meeting at Calhoun's on the River. "... But just because she likes to watch football doesn't necessarily mean she knows anything about football." [...]

"I'm a big Condoleezza Rice fan," Bowden said. "I'm Christian Conservative. I'd vote for her for President. I don't necessarily agree that she should be on the committee."

The committee will unveil its first set of rankings Tuesday night on ESPN.

This is not the first time someone has questioned whether Rice is qualified to serve on the committee.

In October 2013, ESPN analyst David Pollack said he doesn't think women should be part of the committee because he wants "I want people on this committee, 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--"

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Taking a similar stance, former Auburn coach Pat Dye said that to understand football, one must "play with your hand in the dirt."

In a Q&A with last year, Rice spoke about the benefits of having people on the committee with experience in different areas. When you were approached and offered this position, did you anticipate there would be controversy?

Rice: I'm no stranger to controversy (laughs). Of course, I knew there would be people that said, 'Well, you didn't play football.' That would be true, but not everybody that's been associated with this game played football. With all due respect to my good friend Roger Goodell, and Paul Tagliabue, I think the most influential commissioner in the history of the NFL was Pete Rozelle. He never played football. And so you can be a student of the game, you can love the game and never have experienced playing the game.

You also want people with a diversity of experiences, people that have had to make decisions and assess information from a wide variety of perspectives. That's why the different experiences and backgrounds people will bring on this committee are also important.

Among the other members of the committee are Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez, former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese and former USA Today college football reporter Steve Wieberg.

- Chris Johnson

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