MUNCIE, Ind.(NewsLink) -- Ball State University President Geoffrey Mearns was elected the Chair of the Council of Presidents for the Mid-American Conference.
Mearns said he is excited to take on a new role as the leader of the MAC institutions presidents and hopes to continue what he considers to be “a strong partnership” amongst the MAC’s 12 member institutions and various affiliate members.
“This is a time of dynamic change in college athletics," said Mearns.
Mearns noted examples such as the possible expansion of the FBS College Football Playoff and potential new rules on the marketing of athlete name, image, and likeness as a few of the challenges that he will potentially be tasked with handling in his new post.
As the Council Chair, Mearns also earned the appointment as the MAC representative to the NCAA Board of Directors, acting as the voice of the conference on the board.
“I want to not only be a voice for our conference at the Division 1 level but also within the Mid-American Conference, to ensure that we continue to maintain that collaborative partnership that exists within the MAC.”
Mearns said he hopes to draw on his own experiences as a student-athlete to help tackle tough issues the council will face. An accomplished cross-country runner in his days at Yale, Mearns claimed that he sees the many positive effects athletics can have on the student body.
“I think it teaches things like teamwork, discipline, the ability to overcome disappointments and to persevere. [Athletics] is really important to who [our student-athletes] are and why they have come to our institutions, and so we need to do the hard work, and not make the easy choices to try to give them those opportunities.”
He also noted his background in cross-country, “not one of those marquee sports,” gave him the drive to be the voice for sports that he feels are under-represented in the decision-making process.
“Athletics is just one more extension of our educational mission,” said Mearns, a mission he will now be tasked with leading.