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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.

  • May 1 - Knight Commission Calls for Change in College Football Playoff Revenues to Address National Challenges Facing the Sport

    Group Urges Resources for Student-Athletes’ Safety and Wellbeing, Coaching Diversity

    Figures Produced by the Knight Commission: 

      

     

     

     Photos - Video (session 1) - Video (session 2) 

    CLICK HERE to see the listing of panelists, access briefing documents supplied by panelists, and access videos.

    Media Inquiries: Fred Frommer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; 202.744.9273

    Washington, D.C. – The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics called for the College Football Playoff to invest some of its revenue for the first time in national initiatives supporting the health and safety of football players and in programs to increase diversity among football coaches. In addition, the Commission urged the College Football Playoff to follow the NCAA’s lead in adding current or former student-athletes to its board of managers.


    Knight Commission Co-Chair Arne Duncan

    College Football Playoff revenues are currently distributed back to schools that compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). While some of these funds are used to support athletes’ education, including athletic scholarships and medical care and expenses at the campus level, the Commission believes a meaningful portion of CFP revenues should be used to bolster national initiatives critical to the future health of football.

    "It's time for the CFP to demonstrate national leadership on health and safety issues and to step up to address the shortage of diversity in coaching in FBS college football," said Knight Commission co-chair Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education.

    The Knight Commission recommended a new principle for the College Football Playoff to equalize payouts of academic and football performance bonuses. For starters, the Commission recommended the two pools of bonus money be the same. And during a phase-in period of multiple years, these bonuses should be equalized on a per-school basis. At present, football performance bonuses per school average $4.8 million compared to $300,000 per school for academic performance.

    Knight Commission Co-Chair Carol Cartwright

    Conference commissioners, athletics directors, and other experts discussed these issues in panels before the Commission today.

    The NCAA currently funds national health and safety initiatives, including those of special importance to football, such as national studies of concussions in college sports. The Pac-12 conference is the only FBS conference to set aside a portion of its CFP funds towards research that impacts athlete health and wellbeing.

    Health and safety concerns continue to be a top priority for college football. A recent rule change, effective this fall, will eliminate the preseason football tradition of two contact practices a day. Contact practices will be limited to one a day, with additional restrictions on other activities during the preseason. Also, under a proposed settlement of a class-action concussion lawsuit, the NCAA will spend $70 million to set up a medical monitoring program for current and former college athletes, and $5 million to research the prevention and treatment of concussions.

    In other discussions, the Commission heard from experts about efforts to increase diversity among college sports leaders. Last season, nearly 60 percent of the football players competing in the FBS were persons of color, compared to 15 percent of the head coaches and 33 percent of the assistant coaches. (The FBS is the group of schools that compete for the College Football Playoff National Championship.)


    Panelist Scottie Montgomery

    The Commission released data that highlight the continuing lack of diversity in Division I football and men’s and women’s basketball. While there have been pockets of improvement, diversity among coaches hasn’t increased much since 2007-08, the earliest year with comparable data.

    “As a starter – and as a bare minimum that would grow over time – the Knight Commission would like to see at least one penny of every dollar in CFP revenue allocated for programs to develop a deeper and more diverse talent pool in college football coaching,” said Duncan. “We would encourage presidents and athletics directors to seize the opportunity to boost diversity and make this a real priority.”

    If the Commission's recommendation had been in place last year, the CFP would have devoted $4.3 million to support diversity programs— the same amount that four schools alone paid in bonuses to their football coaches for their teams’ participation in the 2016 CFP games.

    CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE RELEASE AND MORE INFORMATION ON THE PUBLIC MEETING

  • 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 2010-15 median .@MountainWest football spending/player up inflation-adjust 12%, highest-resourced .@NCAA FBS up 41% https://t.co/GcG7A1FL7J
    31mreplyretweetfavorite
    KnightAthletics #BigTen 2005-15 comparison of inflation-adjusted change for public .@B1Gfootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/xE1O0RP4lD
    41mreplyretweetfavorite
    KnightAthletics 2010-15 comparison of .@SunBelt schools’ #collegefootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/gDdMepx84B
    17hreplyretweetfavorite

  • 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 FOR AN OVERVIEW OF DIVISION I FINANCES

    CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE DATABASE




    The graphs below illustrate "Where the Money Goes..." and "Where the Money Comes From..." at Division I public institutions based on data reported by those public institutions to the NCAA.  CLICK ON EACH OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO ENLARGE.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    The graphs below illustrate "Where the Money Goes..." and "Where the Money Comes From..." at Division I private institutions based on data reported by those private institutions to the NCAA.  CLICK ON EACH OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO ENLARGE.

     


    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics 2010-15 median .@MountainWest football spending/player up inflation-adjust 12%, highest-resourced .@NCAA FBS up 41% https://t.co/GcG7A1FL7J
    31mreplyretweetfavorite
    KnightAthletics #BigTen 2005-15 comparison of inflation-adjusted change for public .@B1Gfootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/xE1O0RP4lD
    41mreplyretweetfavorite
    KnightAthletics 2010-15 comparison of .@SunBelt schools’ #collegefootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/gDdMepx84B
    17hreplyretweetfavorite

  • Where the Money Comes From & Where the Money Goes

    In an effort to strengthen financial transparency, the Knight Commission produces information to describe the financial landscape of Division I college sports. Below are figures that describe “Where the money comes from,” “Where the money goes” and “How the money has changed” in Division I college sports.

    For Overview of Finances for DI Publics CLICK HERE

    For Overview of Finances of DI Privates CLICK HERE

    For Overview of how the money has changed CLICK HERE

    October 27, 2016 - Knight Commission applauds new NCAA Policy to Reward Schools for Meeting Academic Expectations

    The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics applauded the NCAA today for passing a groundbreaking new policy that will, for the first time, financially reward colleges and universities that meet academic expectations for sports teams and athletes.

    The policy approved Thursday is consistent with one the Knight Commission made 15 years ago in its report, A Call to Action: Reconnecting College Sports and Higher Education. The Commission has persistently promoted this change ever since, including at its fall meeting at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.

    READ MORE HERE

    March 16, 2015 - Knight Commission memo on priorities influenced  NCAA actions

    On March 16, 2015, the Knight Commission sent a memo to the NCAA President and Board of Directors outlining a number of priorities. Several of those priorities have influenced recent NCAA actions. The Commission continues to promote the other reforms and priorities: CLICK HERE

    About the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics

    The Knight Commission was formed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in October 1989 to promote reforms that support and strengthen the educational mission of college sports. Over the years, the NCAA has adopted a number of the Commission’s recommendations, including the rule that requires teams to be on track to graduate at least 50 percent of their players to be eligible for postseason competition. The Commission’s Athletic and Academic Spending Database provides financial data for more than 220 public Division I institutions, creating greater financial transparency on athletics spending.

    About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
    The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

    ###

    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics 2010-15 median .@MountainWest football spending/player up inflation-adjust 12%, highest-resourced .@NCAA FBS up 41% https://t.co/GcG7A1FL7J
    31mreplyretweetfavorite
    KnightAthletics #BigTen 2005-15 comparison of inflation-adjusted change for public .@B1Gfootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/xE1O0RP4lD
    41mreplyretweetfavorite
    KnightAthletics 2010-15 comparison of .@SunBelt schools’ #collegefootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/gDdMepx84B
    17hreplyretweetfavorite

May 1 Meeting

May 1 - Knight Commission Calls for Change in College Football Playoff Revenues to Address National Challenges Facing the Sport

Group Urges Resources for Student-Athletes’ Safety and Wellbeing, Coaching Diversity

Figures Produced by the Knight Commission: 

  

 

 

 Photos - Video (session 1) - Video (session 2) 

CLICK HERE to see the listing of panelists, access briefing documents supplied by panelists, and access videos.

Media Inquiries: Fred Frommer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; 202.744.9273

Washington, D.C. – The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics called for the College Football Playoff to invest some of its revenue for the first time in national initiatives supporting the health and safety of football players and in programs to increase diversity among football coaches. In addition, the Commission urged the College Football Playoff to follow the NCAA’s lead in adding current or former student-athletes to its board of managers.


Knight Commission Co-Chair Arne Duncan

College Football Playoff revenues are currently distributed back to schools that compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). While some of these funds are used to support athletes’ education, including athletic scholarships and medical care and expenses at the campus level, the Commission believes a meaningful portion of CFP revenues should be used to bolster national initiatives critical to the future health of football.

"It's time for the CFP to demonstrate national leadership on health and safety issues and to step up to address the shortage of diversity in coaching in FBS college football," said Knight Commission co-chair Arne Duncan, former U.S. Secretary of Education.

The Knight Commission recommended a new principle for the College Football Playoff to equalize payouts of academic and football performance bonuses. For starters, the Commission recommended the two pools of bonus money be the same. And during a phase-in period of multiple years, these bonuses should be equalized on a per-school basis. At present, football performance bonuses per school average $4.8 million compared to $300,000 per school for academic performance.

Knight Commission Co-Chair Carol Cartwright

Conference commissioners, athletics directors, and other experts discussed these issues in panels before the Commission today.

The NCAA currently funds national health and safety initiatives, including those of special importance to football, such as national studies of concussions in college sports. The Pac-12 conference is the only FBS conference to set aside a portion of its CFP funds towards research that impacts athlete health and wellbeing.

Health and safety concerns continue to be a top priority for college football. A recent rule change, effective this fall, will eliminate the preseason football tradition of two contact practices a day. Contact practices will be limited to one a day, with additional restrictions on other activities during the preseason. Also, under a proposed settlement of a class-action concussion lawsuit, the NCAA will spend $70 million to set up a medical monitoring program for current and former college athletes, and $5 million to research the prevention and treatment of concussions.

In other discussions, the Commission heard from experts about efforts to increase diversity among college sports leaders. Last season, nearly 60 percent of the football players competing in the FBS were persons of color, compared to 15 percent of the head coaches and 33 percent of the assistant coaches. (The FBS is the group of schools that compete for the College Football Playoff National Championship.)


Panelist Scottie Montgomery

The Commission released data that highlight the continuing lack of diversity in Division I football and men’s and women’s basketball. While there have been pockets of improvement, diversity among coaches hasn’t increased much since 2007-08, the earliest year with comparable data.

“As a starter – and as a bare minimum that would grow over time – the Knight Commission would like to see at least one penny of every dollar in CFP revenue allocated for programs to develop a deeper and more diverse talent pool in college football coaching,” said Duncan. “We would encourage presidents and athletics directors to seize the opportunity to boost diversity and make this a real priority.”

If the Commission's recommendation had been in place last year, the CFP would have devoted $4.3 million to support diversity programs— the same amount that four schools alone paid in bonuses to their football coaches for their teams’ participation in the 2016 CFP games.

CLICK HERE FOR THE COMPLETE RELEASE AND MORE INFORMATION ON THE PUBLIC MEETING

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 2010-15 median .@MountainWest football spending/player up inflation-adjust 12%, highest-resourced .@NCAA FBS up 41% https://t.co/GcG7A1FL7J
31mreplyretweetfavorite
KnightAthletics #BigTen 2005-15 comparison of inflation-adjusted change for public .@B1Gfootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/xE1O0RP4lD
41mreplyretweetfavorite
KnightAthletics 2010-15 comparison of .@SunBelt schools’ #collegefootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/gDdMepx84B
17hreplyretweetfavorite

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 FOR AN OVERVIEW OF DIVISION I FINANCES

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE DATABASE




The graphs below illustrate "Where the Money Goes..." and "Where the Money Comes From..." at Division I public institutions based on data reported by those public institutions to the NCAA.  CLICK ON EACH OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO ENLARGE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The graphs below illustrate "Where the Money Goes..." and "Where the Money Comes From..." at Division I private institutions based on data reported by those private institutions to the NCAA.  CLICK ON EACH OF THE THUMBNAILS BELOW TO ENLARGE.

 


Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics 2010-15 median .@MountainWest football spending/player up inflation-adjust 12%, highest-resourced .@NCAA FBS up 41% https://t.co/GcG7A1FL7J
31mreplyretweetfavorite
KnightAthletics #BigTen 2005-15 comparison of inflation-adjusted change for public .@B1Gfootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/xE1O0RP4lD
41mreplyretweetfavorite
KnightAthletics 2010-15 comparison of .@SunBelt schools’ #collegefootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/gDdMepx84B
17hreplyretweetfavorite

Current Initiatives

Where the Money Comes From & Where the Money Goes

In an effort to strengthen financial transparency, the Knight Commission produces information to describe the financial landscape of Division I college sports. Below are figures that describe “Where the money comes from,” “Where the money goes” and “How the money has changed” in Division I college sports.

For Overview of Finances for DI Publics CLICK HERE

For Overview of Finances of DI Privates CLICK HERE

For Overview of how the money has changed CLICK HERE

October 27, 2016 - Knight Commission applauds new NCAA Policy to Reward Schools for Meeting Academic Expectations

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics applauded the NCAA today for passing a groundbreaking new policy that will, for the first time, financially reward colleges and universities that meet academic expectations for sports teams and athletes.

The policy approved Thursday is consistent with one the Knight Commission made 15 years ago in its report, A Call to Action: Reconnecting College Sports and Higher Education. The Commission has persistently promoted this change ever since, including at its fall meeting at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. earlier this week.

READ MORE HERE

March 16, 2015 - Knight Commission memo on priorities influenced  NCAA actions

On March 16, 2015, the Knight Commission sent a memo to the NCAA President and Board of Directors outlining a number of priorities. Several of those priorities have influenced recent NCAA actions. The Commission continues to promote the other reforms and priorities: CLICK HERE

About the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics

The Knight Commission was formed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in October 1989 to promote reforms that support and strengthen the educational mission of college sports. Over the years, the NCAA has adopted a number of the Commission’s recommendations, including the rule that requires teams to be on track to graduate at least 50 percent of their players to be eligible for postseason competition. The Commission’s Athletic and Academic Spending Database provides financial data for more than 220 public Division I institutions, creating greater financial transparency on athletics spending.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities, and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

###

Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics 2010-15 median .@MountainWest football spending/player up inflation-adjust 12%, highest-resourced .@NCAA FBS up 41% https://t.co/GcG7A1FL7J
31mreplyretweetfavorite
KnightAthletics #BigTen 2005-15 comparison of inflation-adjusted change for public .@B1Gfootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/xE1O0RP4lD
41mreplyretweetfavorite
KnightAthletics 2010-15 comparison of .@SunBelt schools’ #collegefootball coaching salaries per player https://t.co/gDdMepx84B
17hreplyretweetfavorite