DURHAM, N.C. – Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Dr. Kevin White has been named chairman of the new Collegiate Advisory Council, an initiative created and announced on Thursday by the United States Olympic Committee. The 11-member council is the first of its kind and represents the latest step taken by the USOC to increase collaboration with NCAA member institutions and conferences to elevate national engagement and support of Olympic sport opportunities.
Led by White, a USOC board member since March of 2015, the CAC is charged with bridging the gap between high-contributing collegiate stakeholders and the Olympic Movement.
“We understand how unique and vitally important our American collegiate athletics system is to both higher education and the Olympic Movement, which is why increased collaboration is needed to sustain and elevate this system together,” said USOC CEO Scott Blackmun. “We are eager to map a course to work directly with collegiate leaders to support elite student-athlete opportunities on campus and within our national teams.”
The CAC is comprised of collegiate administrators who have personally advocated for broad-based Olympic sport programming at the collegiate level and represent institutions that have historically contributed to Team USA's success at the Olympic Games. Council members include: Sandy Barbour (Pennsylvania State University athletic director), Bob Bowlsby (Big 12 Conference commissioner), Greg Byrne (University of Alabama athletic director), Jay Jacobs (Auburn University athletic director), Bernard Muir (Stanford University athletic director), Rob Mullens (University of Oregon athletic director), Chris Plonsky (University of Texas director of women’s athletics), Gene Smith (The Ohio State University senior vice president and athletic director), Scott Stricklin (University of Florida athletic director), White, and Stan Wilcox (Florida State University vice president and athletic director).
Collegiate athletics are critical to Team USA’s success with nearly 80 percent of 2016 U.S. Olympians – and 85 percent of American medalists – having collegiate ties. The council convened last week in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to discuss current opportunities in the collegiate landscape. The group plans to outline key objectives and future course of engagement by the end of the year.