LEXINGTON – University of Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart has been chosen as a member of the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee – the body that annually selects the 68-team NCAA Tournament field – the NCAA announced on Friday.
“This opportunity to serve is a tremendous honor and I am humbled to receive it,” Barnhart said. “The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee is tasked with setting the field for one of the greatest events in all of sports and I am eager to contribute to that process. I respect my new fellow committee members a great deal and look forward to working with them, as well as (NCAA vice president of men’s basketball championships) Dan Gavitt.”
Barnhart joins the 10-member committee with a five-year appointment, the latest example of Kentucky’s athletics director playing an important leadership role in the national landscape of college sports. He is currently a member of the NCAA Division I Council and the chairman of the NCAA Competition Oversight Committee in addition to serving on the SEC Network Content Committee. He also previously served on the NCAA Division I Baseball Committee.
Membership on the committee continues an impressive string of accomplishments in 2015 and 2016 for Barnhart, currently in his 14th year at UK. He was named NCAA Division I Athletics Director of the Year last June at the annual convention of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, making him one of four Division I ADs selected for the honor. A month earlier, Barnhart was one of four finalists for the Athletics Director of the Year award as chosen by the SportsBusiness Journal. That February, Barnhart received the Sports Business Award from the Bluegrass Sports Commission
The NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Committee is responsible for selecting, seeding and bracketing the field for the NCAA Tournament. School and conference administrators are nominated by their conference and represent a cross-section of the Division I membership.
Committee members spend countless hours evaluating teams during the regular season. They are expected to be experts on the teams within their assigned conferences while maintaining a broad-based knowledge of Division I basketball.
The committee will be chaired in 2016-17 by Mark Hollis, the director of athletics at Michigan State University. Other committee members include Janet Cone, the director of athletics at the University of North Carolina Asheville; Tom Holmoe, the director of athletics at Brigham Young University; Bernard Muir, the director of athletics at Stanford University; Bruce Rasmussen, the director of athletics at Creighton University; Peter Roby, the director of athletics at Northeastern University; Jim Schaus, the director of athletics at Ohio University; Kevin White, the director of athletics at Duke University; and Jim Sterk, the director of athletics at San Diego State University.