Knight Foundation CEO Alberto Ibargüen and Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics Co-Chairs Carol Cartwright and Arne Duncan have announced the appointment of five new members to the Commission: Eric Barron, Pamela J. Bernard, Michael M. Crow, Jacques McClendon, and Jill Pilgrim.
“This diverse group of new members brings a range of life experiences and exceptional expertise in their respective fields,” said Dr. Cartwright, president emeritus, Kent State University and Bowling Green State University. “We look forward to tapping their perspectives as we build on the Commission’s legacy of influencing policies and practices that strengthen the educational mission of college sports.”
“Our new members have already spent much of their careers thinking about the important issues facing college sports,” said Duncan, the former U.S. Secretary of Education. “Their contributions will prove invaluable as we continue to promote values that are centered on improving student-athletes’ education and health.”
Eric J. Barron, president of Penn State University, has more than 35 years of leadership experience in academic administration, education, research and public service. Pamela J. Bernard is vice president and general counsel at Duke University, and serves on the NCAA’s General Counsel Advisory Board. Michael M. Crow is in his 16th year as president of Arizona State University. He is a former Division I javelin thrower at Iowa State. Jacques McClendon, a former NFL offensive lineman and Academic All-SEC player at Tennessee, is director of player engagement for the Los Angeles Rams. Jill Pilgrim is principal owner of Pilgrim & Associates law firm and Acting Executive Director & General Counsel of the Track & Field Athletes Association, Inc. (TFAA). She was a nationally ranked sprinter at Princeton University.
“Knight Foundation has been proud to support the Knight Commission from its inception through the present. And Knight will continue to do so, as long as sports continues to be a magnet for the discussion of American values, and as long as we can count on the participation of extraordinary leaders like the ones just joining the Commission,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president of Knight Foundation. “In a slick and super commercial world, the Knight Commission’s role in emphasizing ‘student’ in collegiate ‘athletics’ has never been more difficult, or more important.”
More information about each new member is below. Complete biographies and photos are available here.
ERIC J. BARRON
Eric J. Barron has been president of Penn State University since 2014. He has more than 35 years of leadership experience in academic administration, education, research and public service. Barron spent the first 20 years of his career at Penn State, serving as dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 to 2006, and as founding director of the Earth System Science Center, one of the first major initiatives focused on the total study of Earth as a system. In 1999, he was named Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Penn State. Barron also served as the director of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin, and as president of Florida State. Barron earned a B.S. in geology at Florida State and his M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography at the University of Miami.
PAMELA J. BERNARD
Pamela J. Bernard is vice president and general counsel at Duke University, where she oversees a host of areas, including student and employment issues, health law, research, tax-exempt organizations, athletics, corporate, and litigation coordination. Bernard was a member of the NCAA Committee on Amateurism, and currently serves on the NCAA’s General Counsel Advisory Board. She is past president of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, a national professional association of higher education lawyers. She was awarded the group’s 2004 Distinguished Service Award for her contributions to higher education law practice. Bernard, a frequent speaker on legal issues, has authored papers and other publications relating to higher education law. Prior to her appointment at Duke, she served as vice president and general counsel at the University of Florida. She received her Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts degrees from the University of Florida.
MICHAEL M. CROW
Michael M. Crow has been president of Arizona State University since 2002. Under his leadership, the university has established more than 20 new transdisciplinary schools and large-scale research initiatives as well as important initiatives in the humanities and social sciences. During his tenure the university has had a fivefold growth in research expenditures and completed an unprecedented infrastructure expansion. Prior to coming to ASU, Crow was executive vice provost of Columbia University, where he was also a professor of science and technology policy in the School of International and Public Affairs. He was founding director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, and in 1998 founded the Consortium for Science, Policy, and Outcomes. Crow has authored several books and articles. He received his Ph.D. in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. Crow was a Division I javelin thrower at Iowa State.
Jacques McClendon is director of player engagement for the Los Angeles Rams, where he is responsible for assisting players with the transition to professional football and developing off-the-field success programs and activities. McClendon spent several seasons as an offensive lineman in the NFL, after being drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins. McClendon earned his bachelor’s degree in economics and master’s degree in sport management at the University of Tennessee, where he was a four-year letterman and three-time Academic All-SEC choice. He also completed a Professional Certificate in Athlete Development at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Executive Education program.
Jill Pilgrim is principal owner of Pilgrim & Associates law firm, and the acting executive director and general counsel of the Track & Field Athletes Association. In addition, Pilgrim is an independent hearing officer for the New York State Gaming Commission and an arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association for commercial and domestic Olympic and sports disputes. Previously, Pilgrim was general counsel and director of business affairs for USA Track & Field, the Olympic governing body for the sport; served as the general counsel of the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA); and served on the Division I NCAA Committee on Infractions. She is also founder and president of the Center for the Protection of Athletes’ Rights, a nonprofit advocacy, education and legal service provider for low-income U.S. athletes. She has also taught several courses, including “International & Comparative Sports Law,” as an adjunct professor at Columbia University. Pilgrim received a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics from Princeton University, where she also was a nationally ranked sprinter, and earned her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.
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 www.knightfoundation.org.