In recognition of the commitment Auburn University has shown to Olympic sports, Director of Athletics Jay Jacobs has been asked to serve on the United States Olympic Committee's first Collegiate Advisory Council (CAC). The council serves to align, advocate and advance the Olympic and collegiate shared mission to support student-athletes in achieving competitive excellence.
"I am honored to be part of such a worthy cause", said Jacobs. "My commitment has been and always will be, to use the power of athletics to create an expanded culture of winning where the concept of team refers not only to sport, but also to working together for the greater good of all humankind. Giving back is essential to winning. It is in keeping with our mission of preparing young men and women for successful lives."
Auburn's first Olympic medalist, Percy Beard, won the silver medal in the 100m hurdles in the 1932. Since then, 99 student-athletes from Auburn University, accounting for 186 appearances, have competed in the Olympics.
With nearly 80 percent of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team rising from the collegiate ranks, and more than 70 percent of U.S. collegiate medalists coming from autonomous five conferences, a core goal of the council is to formalize a pathway to engage with stakeholders that support, sponsor, govern and finance Olympic sport programming. A future marriage of the collegiate landscape and Olympic Movement is needed to further strengthen, bond and solidify sport opportunities for student-athletes, and successful collaboration begins with a commitment from both sides to work together.
Chaired by Kevin White, the 10-member CAC will be comprised of collegiate leaders who provide broad-based Olympic sport offerings, have historically contributed to Team USA's high performance outcomes and have personally advocated for Olympic sport programming at the national level. Proposed members include: Sandy Barbour, Penn State University (Big 10), Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 (former USOC board member), Jay Jacobs, Auburn University (SEC), Bernard Muir, Stanford University (Pac-12), Rob Mullens, University of Oregon (Pac 12), Chris Plonsky, University of Texas (Big 12), Gene Smith, Ohio State University (Big Ten), Scott Stricklin, University of Florida (SEC), Greg Byrne, University of Alabama (SEC), Kevin White, Duke University (ACC, current USOC board member) and Stan Wilcox, Florida State University (ACC).
The CAC will convene twice annually, with the first council meeting taking place in October in Colorado Springs.