Athletics News

Karlgaard and Blair to Serve on NCAA Committees

March 17, 2017

by Chuck Pool ( -

Rice Director of Athletics Joe Karlgaard and Senior Associate AD Bryan Blair have accepted nominations to represent Rice and Conference USA on a pair of key NCAA committees.

Karlgaard is joining the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee while Blair will serve on the NCAA’s Division I Progress Toward Degree Waiver Committee.

Karlgaard will be a part of the 10-person committee that selects the annual 64-school tournament field. He is immediately assuming the remaining three years in the term of former Southern Miss AD Bill McGillis, which runs through Aug. 31, 2020.

“Rice has been a leader in growing college baseball for nearly three decades, so I’m thrilled to join the committee that helps select the 64 teams to compete for a berth in the College World Series,” Karlgaard said. “I’m also excited to collaborate with such a talented group of administrators and am committed to upholding the standards set by the NCAA for this committee.” The NCAA Division I Baseball Committee is responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the entire 64-team tournament field, which currently includes the automatic qualification of 31 conference champions with the remainder of the field selected as at-large choices by the committee.

The NCAA Division I Baseball Championship includes three rounds of play — the regionals, super regionals and Men’s College World Series. The Men’s CWS is held in Omaha, Neb., each year.

Blair will be one of 14 administrators who will evaluate requests to waive progress toward degree requirements based on objective evidence that demonstrates circumstances that warrant the waiver of the normal application of those regulations. NCAA Division I student-athletes are required to complete minimum progress-toward-degree requirements to be eligible for competition. These requirements are designed to guide student-athletes toward graduation.

“I am honored and humbled to represent Rice University and serve all Division I institutions in this capacity,” said Blair. “As a former Division I student-athlete, I am passionate about the role athletics plays in the holistic development of young people. It is my strongly held belief that the educational value of intercollegiate athletics must guide our decision-making in all areas. College athletics has given me a great deal, so it is satisfying to be able to give back in this manner.”

Blair will begin his time on the committee on September 1, 2017, and continue through August 31, 2021.



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