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Former Big 10 Commissioner Wayne Duke Passed Away Today

A Big Ten legend passed away today.

Former Big Ten commissioner Wayne Duke passed away today. He was 88.

Duke is one of the most-influential people in the history of college sports. He was the Big Ten commissioner from 1971-89. Duke was key in the growth of the NCAA Tournament's Final Four.

In 2010, he was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.

Here's what the Big Ten said about Duke at the time of his induction:

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.

Rest in peace, Wayne.