Organizers of the College Football Playoff, which will begin in 2014, on Wednesday formally announced the 13 members of the selection committee, which will include former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice.
News of Rice’s appointment leaked almost two weeks ago, prompting some football commentators, including ESPN analyst David Pollack, to suggest that Rice is unqualified because she never played football. In a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Rice said that she’s a lifelong student of the game, and the daughter of a football coach.
Rice, who has returned to Stanford as a professor of political economy and public policy (she was the university’s provost in the mid-1990s), argued that the most influential commissioner in NFL history was Pete Rozelle, who never played football. “You can be a student of the game, you can love the game and never have experienced playing the game,” Rice said.