Breaking Gender Barriers in College Football

By Storm Blitz

In 2014 college football will move to a playoff. This format will involve a playoff selection committee, one that is argued to be the most prestigious committee in sports. While names are constantly being released for who will sit on this committee, most of the names consist of men who are dominant in the college athletics world. There is one name that stands out among them all, a female, Condoleezza Rice.

Condoleezza Rice’s appointment to the playoff committee may comes as a surprise among most football fans. Most think of her as a politician, specifically as Secretary of State during the Bush administration. Breaking gender barriers is not something unusual for Rice. She was the first female to be provost of Stanford University. In 2012, Rice was named one of the first women to ever hold a membership with the Augusta National Golf Club. Her name was even in the mix at one point to become Athletic Director of Stanford University, where she is currently a professor.

Football is historically known as male territory. If a female ever works for a football team, it is traditionally on the business operations side. Meaning, they work in departments like ticket sales, marketing, and sponsorships. Rarely do they make football related decisions. If a female works on the football operations side, it is as an administrative assistant.

As a woman who is beginning a career in a male dominant society, college athletics, I am constantly looking for females to look up to. Condoleezza Rice has proven herself many times as willing to accept the challenge of being a lone female, and it is going to be so exciting to see her in this role.

Including a female in the playoff selection committee is a huge move in the right direction for college athletics. Women representation in higher roles is very limited. Having a female on this committee is a huge step in breaking gender barriers for females.

Personally, I would have preferred a female who works more directly with college athletics (ex: senior woman administrator, university president), but I can’t be too picky now can I?


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