As Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury seeks to spread word of the extraordinary post-sports achievements and careers of former Yellow Jackets athletes, he may have a significant accomplishment of his own to share.
There is a good chance that Stansbury will be the ACC’s next representative on the College Football Playoff selection committee. Stansbury confirmed that he was asked a few weeks ago by conference commissioner John Swofford if he would have interest in serving, which he assuredly did.
“I think it’d be an incredible honor,” Stansbury told the AJC.
The ACC needs to supply the 13-person committee with a replacement for Clemson AD Dan Radakovich, the former Tech AD whose four-year term concludes with this year’s selection of the four-team playoff. The championship will be held Jan. 8 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, less than two miles from Tech’s campus.
Were Stansbury appointed to the committee, it would be a considerable career accomplishment and honor. The committee is arguably the most public and scrutinized in college sports and has been made up of heavyweights, notably former Secretary of State Condoleezza, Rice, along with college football greats Archie Manning, Tom Osborne and Lloyd Carr, among others.
While the commitment to the committee would be significant – members travel to Dallas for weekly meetings to update rankings during the second half of the season and watch several recorded games during the week – Stansbury would be quite happy to make it.
“As far as intercollegiate athletics goes, that’s one of those that, if provided the opportunity, you’d probably want to jump on it,” he said.
There are five categories of members on the selection committee – former players, former coaches, former administrators, former journalists and sitting athletic directors representing each of the five power conferences.
It’s conceivable that Swofford asked several ACC athletic directors about their interest, but more likely that he either asked a handful of qualified candidates or Stansbury alone. There are already some who would be unable or unlikely to participate, starting with Radakovich himself, embattled Louisville AD Tom Jurich (or interim Vince Tyra) and retiring Virginia AD Craig Littlepage. Others, such as Duke’s Kevin White, a member of the NCAA basketball tournament selection committee, have other significant commitments.
That said, Stansbury’s credentials stand on their own. He is perceived as intelligent, diligent and a team player, all attributes that would lend themselves to the committee. He has been an AD at four different schools across the country (East Tennessee State, Central Florida, Oregon State and Tech), giving him a broader feel for various conferences.
He was on the NCAA Division I football oversight committee while at UCF and Oregon State, a group that is tasked with developing the sport and making recommendations regarding the structure of the game, such as the length of the season and limits on full-contact practices. Not least, he played college football (at Tech), an attribute shared by a majority of the sitting AD’s and former administrators who have served on the committee.
An official decision may be months in coming. Last year’s additions, including former Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer, were announced in mid-January.
The nominees have to be approved by the College Football Playoff management committee, which includes commissioners of the 10 FBS conferences and Notre Dame AD Jack Swarbrick. The nomination would seem the greater hurdle. In an interview Tuesday, CFP executive director Bill Hancock could not recall a nominee not getting approved by the management committee.
It would be a three-year team. Tech fans might want to know that Stansbury would be recused from evaluations of the Yellow Jackets with the committee.
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