IOWA CITY — Iowa gained a voice on the College Football Playoff selection committee on Friday.
Gary Barta, a former college quarterback now in his 12th year as the director of athletics at Iowa, was named to a three-year term on the 13-member committee that not only selects participants for college football’s four-team playoff but also formulates weekly in-season top-25 polls.
Barta replaces Ohio State director of athletics Gene Smith on the committee. Smith stepped away from the committee after serving two years to concentrate on his responsibilities at Ohio State.
While Barta is required to recuse himself whenever the Hawkeye program is being discussed by the committee, he welcomes the chance to be part of the playoff process.
"I look forward to serving alongside the other 12 committee members," Barta said. "I’ve known many of the people involved for years and know they are passionate about college football and have demonstrated character and integrity throughout their careers."
Barta’s appointment to the selection committee was announced by Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff.
"He is a highly respected leader in college football, and we look forward to his being a member of the committee," Hancock said in a statement. "I know Gary will be a person of excellent judgment and he’ll fit right in."
Hancock also thanked Smith for his work, noting the perspective he brought to the group as a former college player, coach and administrator.
He also pointed out that the selection committee’s work is extensive.
"This is a significant time commitment, and we understand Gene’s need to focus on his responsibilities on campus," Hancock said.
In addition to his new role, Barta also serves on the NCAA Division I Council and is currently involved with the NCAA Ad Hoc Committee on Sports Wagering.
On the selection committee, Barta brings the perspective of a former student-athlete and administrator.
He was an option quarterback on North Dakota State football teams that won NCAA Division II national championships in 1983, 1985 and 1986.
Prior to his arrival at Iowa, he worked as the director of athletics at Wyoming after working in administrative and athletic department roles at Washington, Northern Iowa and North Dakota State.