Northwestern Vice President for Athletics and Recreation Jim Phillips has been named to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, which determines teams that qualify for the NCAA tournament as at-large candidates and helps formulate brackets, as well as other matters.
Starting on September 1, 2017, Phillips, who has earned a five-year term, will be joined by the University of Richmond’s Keith Gill and Southland Conference commissioner Tom Burnett. That group of three will join the following:
- 2017-18 committee chair Bruce Rasmussen, the director of athletics at Creighton
- Mitch Barnhart, the director of athletics at Kentucky
- Janet Cone, the director of athletics at the UNC Asheville
- Paul Krebs, the director of athletics at New Mexico
- Bernard Muir, the director of athletics at Stanford
- Jim Schaus, the director of athletics at Ohio
- Kevin White, the director of athletics at Duke
Here is Phillips’ statement via Northwestern’s press release:
"It is an enormous understatement to say I'm honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve the NCAA, its member institutions and our student-athletes in this role. The NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament is one of the most thrilling events in all of sports, and earning an invitation is what each of our 351 schools competes so fervently for throughout the winter and spring. Basketball is where my career began in college athletics, and the game holds an incredibly special place in my heart. Very candidly, I can't wait to begin serving this fall alongside the already dedicated and talented selection committee that currently is in place."
Phillips, who started at Northwestern in 2008, has a long list of accomplishments that includes much more than Wildcat athletics. He was selected as the inaugural chairman of the NCAA Division I Council, as voted upon by his peers, and he serves as the only athletic director on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and Board of Governors. He is the first-ever sitting athletic director to join that board.