Knight Commission Announces New Membership Appointments of Christine Copper, Shanteona Keys, and Peter Roby

Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics Co-Chairs Carol Cartwright and Arne Duncan have announced the appointment of three new members to the Commission:  Dr. Christine Copper, Shanteona Keys and Peter Roby.

“Christine Copper, Shanteona Keys and Peter Roby bring a unique combination of experiences that will help the Knight Commission continue its important efforts to improve college sports,” said Dr. Cartwright, president emeritus, Kent State University and Bowling Green State University.

“Our newest members have demonstrated leadership qualities dating back to their playing days on the college basketball and tennis courts,” said Duncan, the former U.S. Secretary of Education. “Their perspectives will help us as we continue to push college sports to focus on student-athletes’ education and their health, safety and well-being.”

Dr. Christine Copper is a Professor of Chemistry and the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) at the United States Naval Academy (USNA). Shanteona Keys was the Georgia College class valedictorian in 2015 where she also finished her basketball career as the school’s all-time leading scorer. She works as an athletic leadership specialist for Growing Leaders. Peter Roby has served as the director of athletics and recreation at Northeastern University for the past decade, culminating a career in sports that included serving as Harvard’s men’s basketball head coach.

More information about each new member is below. Complete biographies and photos are available here.

Dr. Christine Copper

Dr. Christine Copper is a Professor of Chemistry and the NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative (FAR) at the United States Naval Academy (USNA). A national leader, Copper is the FAR representative on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and the Division I National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She co-chaired the NCAA working group on Values-Based Revenue Distribution that brought historic change to the NCAA’s financial distribution model by including academic incentives for the first time ever.

Dr. Copper chairs the Patriot League Policy Committee and is an active participant in the governance of the American Athletic Conference. In her nine years as the FAR at Navy, she has been instrumental in making improvements to the areas of institutional control of athletics and student-athlete well-being on both her campus and at the conference and national levels.

Dr. Copper was a three-time All-American collegiate tennis player and a member of two national championship teams at the University of Mary Washington, where she earned a B.S. degree in chemistry.  She also has 13 years of college club tennis coaching experience at USNA.  She earned a Ph.D. degree in analytical chemistry from the University of Tennessee in 1995. She has been on the faculty of the Naval Academy since 1995 and remains active in undergraduate teaching and research, recently winning the USNA Class of 1951 Civilian Faculty Teaching Excellence Award.

Shanetona Keys

Shanteona Keys was a national leader on and off the basketball court when she attended Georgia College. The class valedictorian in 2015 also finished her basketball career as the school’s all-time leading scorer. She was the 2015 Peach Belt Scholar Athlete of the Year and a two-time Capital One Academic All-American. A team captain all four years, Keys earned All-Conference honors each year and was a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-America Honorable Mention her senior year. She served as the Peach Belt Conference representative on the NCAA’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for four years.

Keys works as an athletic leadership specialist for Growing Leaders, a non-profit leadership training and development company, which equips the next generation and its parents, teachers, coaches and mentors through relevant and innovative events and resources.

Peter Roby

Peter Roby has been a leader in college sports for more than four decades – as a basketball player, coach, sports marketing executive, scholar, and athletics director.

For the past decade, Roby has served as director of athletics and recreation at Northeastern University, where he directs the university’s 18-sport, NCAA Division I athletic department, which competes in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA), Hockey East Association, and Eastern Association of Rowing Colleges. In that role, Roby also oversees Northeastern Campus Recreation, which offers more than 40 club and 30 intramural sports teams, as well as a wealth of physical education opportunities for Northeastern students.

Under Roby’s leadership, Northeastern has reached new levels of success on the field of competition, winning seven regular season conference championships, 17 postseason conference championships, two Women’s Beanpots, and eight New England Championships in track and field. He recently completed a five-year term as a member of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, which is responsible for selecting and seeding the NCAA tournament field.

Prior to being appointed athletics director in 2007, Roby served as the director of the university’s Center for the Study of Sport in Society, where he was a national leader championing the role sports can play in bringing about positive social change through research, education, and advocacy. Before that, he was vice president of U.S. marketing at Reebok.

Earlier in his career, he served six seasons as men’s basketball head coach at Harvard University and three years as an assistant coach. Before joining Harvard, Roby was an assistant coach at Stanford University, Dartmouth College, and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Roby is a 1979 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he was co-captain of the basketball team and earned a bachelor’s degree in government. In 2008, he received his master’s degree in leadership from Northeastern.

About the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics

The Knight Commission was formed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in October 1989 to promote reforms that support and strengthen the educational mission of college sports. Over the years, the NCAA has adopted a number of the Commission’s recommendations, including the rule that requires teams to be on track to graduate at least 50 percent of their players to be eligible for postseason competition. The Commission’s Athletic and Academic Spending Database  provides financial data for more than 220 public Division I institutions, creating greater financial transparency on athletics spending.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit