Penn State wasn’t the only place where Graham Spanier was in a position of power.
The former Penn State president who was indicted Thursday also served on the Bowl Championship Series Presidential Oversight Committee as well as the NCAA Division-I Board of Directors during his tenure at the university.
The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee is made up of university presidents from every Division-I football conference. Spanier was named the group’s chairman in 2010.
“When Dr. Spanier spoke, people listened,” BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said.
The BCS Presidential Oversight Committee is a group that helps makes decisions about the top level of college football. When it was decided in the summer that the BCS would switch to a four-game playoff, the Presidential Oversight Committee had to approve the idea.
Spanier was one of the founding members of the committee. Hancock noted the chairman has a role of a communicator within the group and also serves as its spokesperson.
“He was an important and valued member of the group,” Hancock said of Spanier. “He always represented his institution well, but he had an ability to see the big picture and do what was best for college football.”
When Spanier resigned from his post as Penn State’s president last November, he in turn lost his spot on the committee.
Hancock declined to comment about Spanier’s current legal matters.
The NCAA Division-I Board of Directors is made up of a group of university presidents and chancellors, and Spanier had say with the NCAA, too. The 64-year-old once chaired the group.
In his time at Penn State, Spanier was always involved in athletics. Spanier frequently played racquetball on campus and attended multiple sporting events.
Spanier’s reputation had taken a big hit even before Thursday.
Former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State, which was released in July, stated Spanier — as well as other former top officials — concealed information in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case to protect their reputation.
Spanier now faces the same charges as former Athletic Director Tim Curley and former Interim Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz.
Sandusky, the former Penn State defensive coordinator, was sentenced in October to 30 to 60 years in prison on 45 counts of child sex abuse.