TUCSON, Ariz. — Since arriving on Arizona’s campus as Arizona’s athletic director three years ago, Greg Byrne has earned a reputation as an up-and-coming athletic administrator.
Earlier this week, NCAA President Mark Emmert announced Byrne is one of 10 athletic directors who will meet on a regular basis with him to discuss everything from recruiting rules to other issues, shifting the emphasis of those discussions from university presidents to athletic directors.
Emmert acknowledged in a Wall Street Journal report that the NCAA governance has strayed from the athletic directors.
“I appreciate Dr. Emmert for putting this group together to hear our voices, ” Byrne said. “They talked about the practitioner’s voice has been muted, and this has given us a chance to be in the discussion on NCAA issues and policies that are taking place.”
When asked if it was a long time coming, Byrne said, “It was a great step, and a needed step. It’s a strong statement to put us together and wanting to hear what we are doing.”
Byrne said none of the athletic directors has specific roles. The formation of the group is still in “its infancy but as we continue discussions we’ll have a better idea what our roles will be,” he said.
Byrne said this is his first major involvement with an official NCAA responsibility. Byrne was nominated by the other Pac-12 Conference athletic directors.
According to the WSJ, the formation of the group is to leave fewer decisions with the college presidents and more with the athletic directors, who actually work with the coaching staffs directly.
The group’s first meeting will be next month.
In addition to Byrne, the athletic directors on the council will include Kevin Anderson, Maryland; Mitch Barnhart, Kentucky; Gene Bleymaier, San Jose State; John Currie, Kansas State; Dave Heeke, Central Michigan; Warde Manuel, Connecticut; Dan Radakovich, Clemson; Gene Smith, Ohio State; Peter Fields, Montana State; and Peg Bradley-Doppes, Denver.