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Jim Phillips named chair of Division I Council

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The new post comes at an interesting time for the NCAA.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips has a new role in the changed NCAA landscape, serving as the chair for the Division I Council within the NCAA governance structure.

In some ways, Phillips should help the NCAA suck less in its ability to change. Northwestern is already very progressive in what it does for its athletes, and Phillips joins new NCAA executive Oliver Luck as a progressive within the NCAA's walls. Phillips isn't, at least on record, quite as progressive as Luck — Luck thinks athletes should be entitled to money for their likeness, while Phillips has never provided a stance on the subject.

Phillips' views will be interesting to follow. As the NCAA gets hammered by more and more legal threats, Phillips will be required to give his opinion on reform that the NCAA has not yet touched, such as paying athletes for their likeness and opening up the market.