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Courtesy: Duke Athletics
Duke's Bernard Named to Knight Commission
Courtesy: Duke Sports Information
Release: 10/29/2018
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DURHAM, N.C. – Duke’s Pamela J. Bernard has been appointed to the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, announced on Monday by the organization.

In her role as Duke’s Vice President and General Counsel, Bernard oversees a host of areas including student and employment issues, health law, research, tax-exempt organizations, athletics, corporate, and litigation coordination. She was a member of the NCAA Committee on Amateurism, and currently serves on the NCAA’s General Counsel Advisory Board. Bernard is past president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, a national professional association of higher education lawyers, and was awarded the group’s 2004 Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to higher education law practice.

A frequent speaker on legal issues, Bernard has authored papers and other publications relating to higher education law and, prior to her appointment at Duke, served as vice president and general counsel at the University of Florida. Bernard received both her Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Florida.

Bernard is joined by Eric Barron, Michael M. Crow, Jacques McClendon and Jill Pilgrim as new appointments to the Commission.

“This diverse group of new members brings a range of life experiences and exceptional expertise in their respective fields,” said Dr. Carol Cartwright, president emeritus, Kent State University and Bowling Green State University and a co-chair of the Commission with Arne Duncan. “We look forward to tapping their perspectives as we build on the Commission’s legacy of influencing policies and practices that strengthen the educational mission of college sports.”

“Our new members have already spent much of their careers thinking about the important issues facing college sports,” said Duncan, the former U.S. Secretary of Education. “Their contributions will prove invaluable as we continue to promote values that are centered on improving student-athletes’ education and health.”

Barron, currently the president of Penn State University, has more than 35 years of leadership experience in academic administration, education, research and public service. Crow is in his 16th year as the president at Arizona State University and is a former NCAA Division I javelin thrower at Iowa State University. McClendon, a former NFL offensive lineman and Academic All-SEC student-athlete at the University of Tennessee, serves as the director of player engagement with the Los Angeles Rams. Pilgrim, who ran track at Princeton, is the principal owner of Pilgrim & Associates law firm and Acting Executive Director & General Counsel of the Track & Field Athletes Association, Inc. (TFAA).

“Knight Foundation has been proud to support the Knight Commission from its inception through the present. And Knight will continue to do so, as long as sports continues to be a magnet for the discussion of American values, and as long as we can count on the participation of extraordinary leaders like the ones just joining the Commission,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation. “In a slick and super commercial world, the Knight Commission’s role in emphasizing ‘student’ in collegiate ‘athletics’ has never been more difficult, or more important.”

About the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
The Knight Commission was formed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in October 1989 to promote reforms that support and strengthen the educational mission of college sports. Over the years, the NCAA has adopted a number of the Commission’s recommendations, including the rule that requires teams to be on track to graduate at least 50 percent of their players to be eligible for postseason competition. The Commission’s Athletic and Academic Spending Database provides financial data for more than 220 public Division I institutions, creating greater financial transparency on athletics spending.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

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