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Welcome

It is the goal of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics to ensure that intercollegiate athletics programs operate within the educational mission of their colleges and universities.

  • Photos available - Audio available - Video available

    October 24, 2016 - Knight Commission Urges NCAA to Pass Proposal to Reward Schools for Meeting Academic Expectations

    Washington, D.C. – On the eve of a critical vote by the NCAA, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics today urged passage of a new policy that would, for the first time, provide financial awards to schools that meet academic expectations for sports teams and athletes. During its fall meeting at the Newseum, the Commission also encouraged the NCAA to adopt policies under consideration that would reduce athletic time demands on college athletes.

    Knight Commission Chair Brit Kirwan

    “With more money flowing into college sports, it is even more critical to ensure educational values are supported by meaningful financial rewards—and not just by words alone,” said Brit Kirwan, chairman of the Knight Commission.

    Under the NCAA's current revenue distribution formula, nearly 40 percent of the annual $550 million payout for March Madness is awarded based on the success of men’s basketball teams in the tournament. But under the proposal the NCAA will vote on in three days (Thursday), more than $10 million and eventually more than $100 million of the media revenues from the March Madness tournament would be awarded to schools whose athletic teams meet academic-based criteria. The Commission also urged leaders of the College Football Playoff (CFP) to adopt the same NCAA academic-based criteria for a portion of the CFP distributions.

    At today’s meeting, several panelists stressed that the NCAA must build on progress that has been made with recent rule changes to improve the student experience and treat athletes fairly. Shane Battier, a former star basketball player at Duke, argued that reducing time demands on college athletes was important to free up time for them to focus on earning their degrees and enjoy the college student experience.

    Battier said there’s been a “troubling trend in college basketball” of players being overscheduled, adding that its becoming a 24/7 job. He contrasted that with his time at Duke, when he had the free time to play Wiffle ball and engage in other leisure activities. Schools need “to do a better job of letting students be students,” Battier said.

    Battier, Jones, and panelist Trey Burke, who plays for the Washington Wizards, and Atlantic-10 Conference Commissioner Bernadette McGlade agreed that leaders should continue to consider whether college athletes in high-revenue generating sports are treated fairly, including with the use of their names, images and likenesses and the maximizing of career development opportunities.

    Knight Commission Co-Vice Chair Carol Cartwright

    During the meeting, the Knight Commission also heard presentations from athletic directors and other leaders on financial issues, including the need to address unsustainable athletics spending and focus their expenditures on the college athletes’ student experience. The Commission presented financial information that showed the five highest-resourced conferences increased their revenues by more than 250 percent over the past decade.

    Despite the revenue increase at their conferences and institutions, Karen Weaver, associate clinical professor, sport management, at Drexel University, warned that with increasing cord-cutting among those under the age of 25, schools may not be able to bank on the assumption that traditional media rights deals will continue to rise for their conference or league.

    University of Idaho President Chuck Staben discussed the financial pressures that contributed to his university’s decision to change its football affiliation from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Staben said the change is “not a financial cure-all but it does insulate us from a financial arms race.”

    The Commission continues to encourage the NCAA, conferences and schools to prioritize athletes’ education and provide more protections and benefits for their health and safety in the allocation of its financial resources.

    The Commission also encourages university leaders, trustees, media and the public to use its public database on athletic and academic spending for Division I public schools as a resource to understanding spending trends and investments in Division I athletics.

    The Commission updated a graphic showing where the money comes from and where it goes in NCAA Division I college sports, and how conference revenues have changed.

    Today’s meeting was the final one for Knight Commission Chair Kirwan. Starting next year, the Commission will be co-chaired by Carol Cartwright, president emeritus, Kent State University, and Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education.

    AUDIO IS AVAILABLE - LINK HERE

    VIDEO IS AVAILABLE - SESSION 1 (Finances of College Sports) - SESSION 2 (State and Future of NCAA Division I College Basketball)

  • While the intercollegiate athletics environment today differs greatly from that which existed in 1989 when the Knight Commission was formed, it is unquestionable that many of the positive changes in college sports since then would not have occurred were it not for the Commission’s clear voice and consistent pressure to emphasize the “college” in college sports.

    At the NCAA’s January 2005 convention, NCAA President Myles Brand awarded William Friday the Gerald R. Ford Award, noting that under the leadership of Bill Friday and the first Ford award recipient, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, “…the Commission made an extraordinary contribution to the future of intercollegiate athletics with its landmark 1991 report and call for greater presidential involvement.” He continued, “Bill and the Commission had it exactly right. The reforms of the last dozen years to ensure the academic success of student-athletes and align intercollegiate athletics with the mission of higher education can be traced to the enhanced role college and university presidents have played in the governance of college sports.”

    While the Knight Commission has no formal authority, many of its recommendations have been acted upon at the national, conference or institutional level.

    CLICK HERE for an overview of the Knight Commission’s impact, recommendations and actions. 

     


    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics Knight Commission CEO Amy Perko tells @insidehighered the Commission has made progress in reforming college sports… https://t.co/mWNnKtznXR
    KnightAthletics Our Carol Cartwright says @KnightAthletics has to "lead through persuasion and we have to be as creative as can be"… https://t.co/06WEWIh0lg
    KnightAthletics .@insidehighered piece notes that #NCAA minimum graduation rates requirement followed Commission recommendation: https://t.co/VtEd3AWKy2

  • The Knight Commission’s athletic and academic spending database allows users to compare athletic and academic spending trends for NCAA Division I public institutions, athletic conferences, and divisions.

    CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE DATABASE. CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWS RELEASE




    The graphs below note "Where the Money Goes..." and "Where the Money Comes From..." based on data reported by pubic institutions to the NCAA in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  CLICK ON EACH OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO ENLARGE.

  • Updated Financial Resources - October 24, 2016

    LINK HERE 

    Knight Commission Statements on NCAA Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group Recommendations

    The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics has issued the following statements in response to the NCAA Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group recommendations, which have been the subject of a recent media report

    Knight Commission Chair William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chancellor emeritus, University System of Maryland

    The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics enthusiastically supports recent recommendation from an NCAA working group to change the criteria used to distribute more than $550 million annually to Division I schools, which would incorporate for the first time a financial academic achievement reward for schools.

    The proposal made by the NCAA Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group is consistent with a recommendation made 15 years ago by the Knight Commission in its 2001 report, A Call to Action: Reconnecting College Sports and Higher Education. In consistently promoting this change, the Commission is guided by the principle that the incentives in college sports must be aligned with the association’s enduring educational values. We are pleased to see that the majority of schools also support this type of change and urge the NCAA Board to adopt the proposal. ... more»

    Knight Commission Continues to Provide Resources Monitoring NCAA Division I Finances

    The graphs below note "Where the Money Goes..." and "Where the Money Comes From..." based on data reported by pubic institutions to the NCAA in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  CLICK ON EACH OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO ENLARGE.

     

    Collaborative Efforts to Strengthen Educational Opportunities through College Sports

    The Knight Commission shared key principles and ideas that it continues to promote with NCAA President Mark Emmert and members of the new NCAA Division I Board of Directors and Division I Council in a March 16, 2015 memorandum. This communication occurs at a time when the NCAA Division I is implementing a new governance structure while also addressing unprecedented legal challenges to the current model of intercollegiate athletics. Read the memo HERE.

    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics Knight Commission CEO Amy Perko tells @insidehighered the Commission has made progress in reforming college sports… https://t.co/mWNnKtznXR
    KnightAthletics Our Carol Cartwright says @KnightAthletics has to "lead through persuasion and we have to be as creative as can be"… https://t.co/06WEWIh0lg
    KnightAthletics .@insidehighered piece notes that #NCAA minimum graduation rates requirement followed Commission recommendation: https://t.co/VtEd3AWKy2

October 2016 Meeting

Photos available - Audio available - Video available

October 24, 2016 - Knight Commission Urges NCAA to Pass Proposal to Reward Schools for Meeting Academic Expectations

Washington, D.C. – On the eve of a critical vote by the NCAA, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics today urged passage of a new policy that would, for the first time, provide financial awards to schools that meet academic expectations for sports teams and athletes. During its fall meeting at the Newseum, the Commission also encouraged the NCAA to adopt policies under consideration that would reduce athletic time demands on college athletes.

Knight Commission Chair Brit Kirwan

“With more money flowing into college sports, it is even more critical to ensure educational values are supported by meaningful financial rewards—and not just by words alone,” said Brit Kirwan, chairman of the Knight Commission.

Under the NCAA's current revenue distribution formula, nearly 40 percent of the annual $550 million payout for March Madness is awarded based on the success of men’s basketball teams in the tournament. But under the proposal the NCAA will vote on in three days (Thursday), more than $10 million and eventually more than $100 million of the media revenues from the March Madness tournament would be awarded to schools whose athletic teams meet academic-based criteria. The Commission also urged leaders of the College Football Playoff (CFP) to adopt the same NCAA academic-based criteria for a portion of the CFP distributions.

At today’s meeting, several panelists stressed that the NCAA must build on progress that has been made with recent rule changes to improve the student experience and treat athletes fairly. Shane Battier, a former star basketball player at Duke, argued that reducing time demands on college athletes was important to free up time for them to focus on earning their degrees and enjoy the college student experience.

Battier said there’s been a “troubling trend in college basketball” of players being overscheduled, adding that its becoming a 24/7 job. He contrasted that with his time at Duke, when he had the free time to play Wiffle ball and engage in other leisure activities. Schools need “to do a better job of letting students be students,” Battier said.

Battier, Jones, and panelist Trey Burke, who plays for the Washington Wizards, and Atlantic-10 Conference Commissioner Bernadette McGlade agreed that leaders should continue to consider whether college athletes in high-revenue generating sports are treated fairly, including with the use of their names, images and likenesses and the maximizing of career development opportunities.

Knight Commission Co-Vice Chair Carol Cartwright

During the meeting, the Knight Commission also heard presentations from athletic directors and other leaders on financial issues, including the need to address unsustainable athletics spending and focus their expenditures on the college athletes’ student experience. The Commission presented financial information that showed the five highest-resourced conferences increased their revenues by more than 250 percent over the past decade.

Despite the revenue increase at their conferences and institutions, Karen Weaver, associate clinical professor, sport management, at Drexel University, warned that with increasing cord-cutting among those under the age of 25, schools may not be able to bank on the assumption that traditional media rights deals will continue to rise for their conference or league.

University of Idaho President Chuck Staben discussed the financial pressures that contributed to his university’s decision to change its football affiliation from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) to the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS). Staben said the change is “not a financial cure-all but it does insulate us from a financial arms race.”

The Commission continues to encourage the NCAA, conferences and schools to prioritize athletes’ education and provide more protections and benefits for their health and safety in the allocation of its financial resources.

The Commission also encourages university leaders, trustees, media and the public to use its public database on athletic and academic spending for Division I public schools as a resource to understanding spending trends and investments in Division I athletics.

The Commission updated a graphic showing where the money comes from and where it goes in NCAA Division I college sports, and how conference revenues have changed.

Today’s meeting was the final one for Knight Commission Chair Kirwan. Starting next year, the Commission will be co-chaired by Carol Cartwright, president emeritus, Kent State University, and Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education.

AUDIO IS AVAILABLE - LINK HERE

VIDEO IS AVAILABLE - SESSION 1 (Finances of College Sports) - SESSION 2 (State and Future of NCAA Division I College Basketball)

Impact

While the intercollegiate athletics environment today differs greatly from that which existed in 1989 when the Knight Commission was formed, it is unquestionable that many of the positive changes in college sports since then would not have occurred were it not for the Commission’s clear voice and consistent pressure to emphasize the “college” in college sports.

At the NCAA’s January 2005 convention, NCAA President Myles Brand awarded William Friday the Gerald R. Ford Award, noting that under the leadership of Bill Friday and the first Ford award recipient, Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, “…the Commission made an extraordinary contribution to the future of intercollegiate athletics with its landmark 1991 report and call for greater presidential involvement.” He continued, “Bill and the Commission had it exactly right. The reforms of the last dozen years to ensure the academic success of student-athletes and align intercollegiate athletics with the mission of higher education can be traced to the enhanced role college and university presidents have played in the governance of college sports.”

While the Knight Commission has no formal authority, many of its recommendations have been acted upon at the national, conference or institutional level.

CLICK HERE for an overview of the Knight Commission’s impact, recommendations and actions. 

 


Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics Knight Commission CEO Amy Perko tells @insidehighered the Commission has made progress in reforming college sports… https://t.co/mWNnKtznXR
KnightAthletics Our Carol Cartwright says @KnightAthletics has to "lead through persuasion and we have to be as creative as can be"… https://t.co/06WEWIh0lg
KnightAthletics .@insidehighered piece notes that #NCAA minimum graduation rates requirement followed Commission recommendation: https://t.co/VtEd3AWKy2

Spending Database

The Knight Commission’s athletic and academic spending database allows users to compare athletic and academic spending trends for NCAA Division I public institutions, athletic conferences, and divisions.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE DATABASE. CLICK HERE TO READ THE NEWS RELEASE




The graphs below note "Where the Money Goes..." and "Where the Money Comes From..." based on data reported by pubic institutions to the NCAA in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  CLICK ON EACH OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO ENLARGE.

Current Initiatives

Updated Financial Resources - October 24, 2016

LINK HERE 

Knight Commission Statements on NCAA Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group Recommendations

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics has issued the following statements in response to the NCAA Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group recommendations, which have been the subject of a recent media report

Knight Commission Chair William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chancellor emeritus, University System of Maryland

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics enthusiastically supports recent recommendation from an NCAA working group to change the criteria used to distribute more than $550 million annually to Division I schools, which would incorporate for the first time a financial academic achievement reward for schools.

The proposal made by the NCAA Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group is consistent with a recommendation made 15 years ago by the Knight Commission in its 2001 report, A Call to Action: Reconnecting College Sports and Higher Education. In consistently promoting this change, the Commission is guided by the principle that the incentives in college sports must be aligned with the association’s enduring educational values. We are pleased to see that the majority of schools also support this type of change and urge the NCAA Board to adopt the proposal. ... more»

Knight Commission Continues to Provide Resources Monitoring NCAA Division I Finances

The graphs below note "Where the Money Goes..." and "Where the Money Comes From..." based on data reported by pubic institutions to the NCAA in the 2013-2014 fiscal year.  CLICK ON EACH OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO ENLARGE.

 

Collaborative Efforts to Strengthen Educational Opportunities through College Sports

The Knight Commission shared key principles and ideas that it continues to promote with NCAA President Mark Emmert and members of the new NCAA Division I Board of Directors and Division I Council in a March 16, 2015 memorandum. This communication occurs at a time when the NCAA Division I is implementing a new governance structure while also addressing unprecedented legal challenges to the current model of intercollegiate athletics. Read the memo HERE.

Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics Knight Commission CEO Amy Perko tells @insidehighered the Commission has made progress in reforming college sports… https://t.co/mWNnKtznXR
KnightAthletics Our Carol Cartwright says @KnightAthletics has to "lead through persuasion and we have to be as creative as can be"… https://t.co/06WEWIh0lg
KnightAthletics .@insidehighered piece notes that #NCAA minimum graduation rates requirement followed Commission recommendation: https://t.co/VtEd3AWKy2