Jim Phillips elected chair of NCAA Division I Council

Kevin Casey, Sports Editor

Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips was announced as the chair of the NCAA Division I Council on Monday, putting him in a position of leadership in the new world of college sports governance.

Phillips, the head of NU’s athletics program since 2008, will also be the representative athletic director on the NCAA Division I Board of Directors.

As the elected Council chair, which carries a two-year term, Phillips will be in charge of building the group’s substructure along with duties regarding budgeting and student-athlete issues.

The Council itself is a new feature in a redesigned governance structure at the Division I level, with the Phillips-led group in charge of conducting day-to-day business of the 345 colleges and universities that make up the division.

“I’m humbled to serve the Division I Council, the NCAA and, most importantly, student-athletes across the nation in this role,” Phillips said in a news release. “The landscape of college athletics has dramatically been reshaped, and will continue to adapt with the care and development of our young men and women as the paramount priority.”

Phillips recently explained some of these changes to college athletics to the Chicago Tribune. He estimated that NU will pay $1 million to its athletes yearly in cost-of-attendance scholarships starting in the fall.

Phillips closely experienced one of the most vocal showings of student-athlete rights when former Wildcats quarterback Kain Colter spearheaded a union effort on behalf of the NU football team last January.

The Council will hold its first full meeting Tuesday and Wednesday in Indianapolis, Indiana, where the group will elect a vice-chair.

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