Feb. 24, 2010
Former Big Ten Commissioner Wayne Duke is among eight individuals announced today to be enshrined in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame. The 2010 induction ceremonies will be held on Sunday, November 21, 2010, at the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and the historic Midland Theatre in Kansas City, Mo. The CBE, a worldclass entertainment facility that provides a multi-faceted interactive experience for fans, shares a common lobby with Sprint Center and is the home of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Duke will be inducted as a contributor and was the NCAA’s assistant executive director for 11 years before spending eight with the Big Eight and 18 with the Big Ten. He was chair of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee for four years and championed allowing more than one team from a conference into the NCAA tournament.
“Wayne Duke was one of the NCAA’s great leaders in helping develop and administer the men’s basketball championship, especially during its formative years,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “Later as chairman of the Division I Men’s Basketball committee Wayne helped move and direct policy initiatives that facilitated the remarkable growth and popularity of the men’s championship. For a lifetime of contributions to the sport of college basketball, we congratulate our friend and colleague on this well deserved honor.”
After graduating from the University of Iowa, Duke began his career in sports information at Northern Iowa and later at Colorado. He was the first employee hired at the NCAA by Executive Director Walter Byers in 1952 and wrote the first manuals for the NCAA basketball tournament and the College World Series. Duke also began the compilation of the elaborate NCAA record books and was a prominent force in cultivating media interest, especially with television. He became commissioner of the Big Eight Conference in 1963 at the age of 34 and moved on in 1971 to become commissioner of the Big Ten, where he was instrumental in the conference being at the forefront of affirmative action, the integration of women's sports, limiting athletic grants-in-aid and improving academic standards and graduation rates. Duke served on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Committee from 1975-81, when the tournament expanded from 32 to 40 to 48 teams, meaning teams other than conference champions could get into the field. He was also on the Basketball Television Negotiating Committee at a crucial time for the NCAA as TV money started to reach unimagined numbers. Following his retirement from the Big Ten in 1989, he became the tournament chairman of the EA Sports Maui Invitational and is still chairman emeritus.
The 2010 induction class also includes former Northwestern head coach Tex Winter, along with fellow coach Davey Whitney and student-athletes Sidney Wicks and Christian Laettner. NCAA Executive Vice President Tom Jernstedt will also be inducted as a contributor, while Jerry West and David Thompson will be recognized as members of the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame’s founding class.