Big Ten Celebrates Advisory Commission 40th Anniversary



March 7, 2012

The Big Ten is proud to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the conference’s Advisory Commission on Wednesday, March 7.

Formed in 1972 as a direct result of reports that detailed racial unrest and academic shortcomings surrounding African-American student-athletes at the time, the Advisory Commission is comprised of one former African-American student-athlete from each Big Ten member institution. Its purpose is to examine and identify academic achievement and welfare issues that face African-American student-athletes. It is the only conference-based commission in the NCAA dedicated to addressing diversity and the needs of African-American student-athletes.

“The Big Ten Conference is honored to recognize the Advisory Commission as it approaches its 40th anniversary,” Big Ten Associate Commissioner Andrea Williams said. “The conference is truly grateful for this group’s leadership and insight through the years, and remains committed to the commission’s mission.”

Since its inception, the Advisory Commission has initiated several important conference actions, including the extension of athletic aid to five years and the establishment of campus diversity internships, among many other notable changes.

The Advisory Commission engages with student-athletes via on-campus visits, participation at meetings and events, and web-based questionnaires to identify issues and initiate dialogue. It also serves as a resource to the NCAA’s Diversity and Inclusion Department, the Big Ten Student-Athlete Advisory Commission and other organizations.

The Big Ten and the Advisory Commission are committed to diversity and to providing conference student-athletes with the best academic, athletic and social experiences.

Click the links below to read personal stories from Advisory Commission members.

Eric Rouse, Illinois

Robert Smith, Iowa

Joyce Wilson, Michigan

Quincy Lewis, Minnesota

Hugh Williams, Northwestern

Rashaan Carlton, Penn State

Ralph Taylor, Purdue

Von Mansfield, Wisconsin