A New Jersey native, Jim played Carolina basketball under Dean Smith and was a member of Tau Epsilon Phi Fraternity. He earned his law degree from UNC before beginning his career as a college athletics administrator. As the former commissioner of the Big Ten Conference from 1989-2020, he is regarded among college athletics as being influential in creating and sustaining the Bowl Championship Series. Jim previously served as chair of the GAA’s Board of Directors. He received the university’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and was selected as a 2020 recipient of the GAA’s Distinguished Service Medal.