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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 10, 2016 - Knight Commission Calls for NCAA to Transform its Guidelines for March Madness Revenues to Better Support College Athletes and Protect Financial Integrity

    Washington, D.C - The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics met today at the National Press Club and called for the NCAA to establish a new guiding principle for the use of NCAA revenues distributed to institutions from the March Madness tournament. The Commission recommended that 100 percent of NCAA revenues received by institutions should be restricted to supporting athletes’ education and providing them with appropriate health and safety benefits and protections. Under current guidelines, just 25 percent of NCAA revenues received by institutions are restricted to support athletes’ education and provide other benefits.


    Knight Commission Chair Brit Kirwan
    In addition to this recommendation, the Commission affirmed its strong support for altering the incentives in the NCAA’s revenue distribution plan to reward academic outcomes and not just athletic outcomes—a longstanding Knight Commission proposal that has gained new momentum from a preliminary report issued last week by a special NCAA Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group. At present, nearly 40 percent of the more than $540 million in NCAA revenues annually distributed to Division I institutions is based on the appearances and success of teams in the men’s basketball tournament.

    Knight Commission Chair William E. “Brit” Kirwan said, “The NCAA’s revenue distribution policies haven’t fundamentally changed in a quarter century, even though the revenues have expanded dramatically. We applaud the NCAA for considering changes that, for the first time, would allocate some NCAA revenues to institutions based on the academic outcomes of college athletes. But the Commission also believes there is a real opportunity now to make more sweeping changes. We recommend that the use of all funds institutions receive from the NCAA be restricted to support athletes’ education and to provide them with appropriate health and safety benefits and protections.”


    Co-Vice Chair Arne Duncan
    New Knight Commission Co-Vice Chair Arne Duncan said, “It is not only important that the NCAA set a clear and high bar as a matter of principle for use of the revenues it distributes but that it act as soon as possible to do so, especially as NCAA revenues from March Madness escalate dramatically over time in the new tournament contract. Those revenues should be used by institutions to directly support the education and medical care of college athletes—not for coaching salaries, recruiting, and building more athletics facilities.”

    The Knight Commission suggested that the NCAA's current financial reporting system could be easily modified to implement the Commission's recommendation, which would enhance transparency and accountability for institutional use of NCAA funds.

    The Commission welcomed last week’s NCAA working group report, which was sent to Division I institutions for feedback. Among other options, the NCAA working group report includes the concept of awarding a portion of the money to schools for academic success, by using increases in the NCAA's March Madness media rights agreement to create a new “academic achievement" fund. Under the model, the fund would phase in slowly but have significant effects on revenue distribution over time. By 2032, the end of the current media rights contract, funding awarded to institutions from the new academic achievement fund would nearly match the amount awarded to institutions based on men’s basketball tournament appearances and wins.


    Co-Vice Chair Carol Cartwright
    Knight Commission Co-Vice Chair Carol Cartwright said, “The Commission strongly supports the NCAA working group’s concept of creating an academic achievement fund and applauds the leadership of task force co-chairs Christine Copper and William Ruud. Financial incentives must change to align with the enduring values of college sports.”

    The Commission urged Division I presidents to express their support for making this shift to rewarding academic outcomes in their feedback to the NCAA working group.

    FOR THE COMPLETE RELEASE, PHOTOS AND VIDEOS, CLICK HERE.

     

     

     

     

  • 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 Since 2005, median #ACCfootball spending w/out schols/player up inflation-adjusted 55%, acad spending/student up 3% https://t.co/ePeFrJMNsd
    KnightAthletics .@ACC median annual athletic debt service up inflation-adjusted 13% since 2005 to $5.6 million. https://t.co/kxqpSsV1Aa
    KnightAthletics Since 2005@ACC, median #ACCfootball coaching salaries per player grew inflation-adjusted 63% https://t.co/NP4r75SznF

  • 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



    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics Since 2005, median #ACCfootball spending w/out schols/player up inflation-adjusted 55%, acad spending/student up 3% https://t.co/ePeFrJMNsd
    KnightAthletics .@ACC median annual athletic debt service up inflation-adjusted 13% since 2005 to $5.6 million. https://t.co/kxqpSsV1Aa
    KnightAthletics Since 2005@ACC, median #ACCfootball coaching salaries per player grew inflation-adjusted 63% https://t.co/NP4r75SznF

     

  • Knight Commission Continues to Provide Resources Monitoring NCAA Division 1 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.

    Knight Commission Studies Interest in Alternative Division I Competition Models

    A Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics study reveals interest among university presidents, athletics administrators, faculty and head coaches in exploring alternative models for Division I competition and administration of different sports that may reduce missed class time and travel costs. The study was conducted to assess interest in whether different structures in various sports might offset the challenging effects of some conferences’ newly enlarged geographic footprints.

    The study, “Exploring a Division I Model Federated by Sport,” was administered by the Center for Research in Intercollegiate Athletics, with assistance from Collegiate Sports Associates, and is intended to serve as a resource to Division I institutions as they discuss many topics emerging within the newly established rules-making structure.

    Read the complete press release HERE. Access the study report HERE.


    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics Since 2005, median #ACCfootball spending w/out schols/player up inflation-adjusted 55%, acad spending/student up 3% https://t.co/ePeFrJMNsd
    KnightAthletics .@ACC median annual athletic debt service up inflation-adjusted 13% since 2005 to $5.6 million. https://t.co/kxqpSsV1Aa
    KnightAthletics Since 2005@ACC, median #ACCfootball coaching salaries per player grew inflation-adjusted 63% https://t.co/NP4r75SznF

May 2016 Meeting

May 10, 2016 - Knight Commission Calls for NCAA to Transform its Guidelines for March Madness Revenues to Better Support College Athletes and Protect Financial Integrity

Washington, D.C - The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics met today at the National Press Club and called for the NCAA to establish a new guiding principle for the use of NCAA revenues distributed to institutions from the March Madness tournament. The Commission recommended that 100 percent of NCAA revenues received by institutions should be restricted to supporting athletes’ education and providing them with appropriate health and safety benefits and protections. Under current guidelines, just 25 percent of NCAA revenues received by institutions are restricted to support athletes’ education and provide other benefits.


Knight Commission Chair Brit Kirwan
In addition to this recommendation, the Commission affirmed its strong support for altering the incentives in the NCAA’s revenue distribution plan to reward academic outcomes and not just athletic outcomes—a longstanding Knight Commission proposal that has gained new momentum from a preliminary report issued last week by a special NCAA Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group. At present, nearly 40 percent of the more than $540 million in NCAA revenues annually distributed to Division I institutions is based on the appearances and success of teams in the men’s basketball tournament.

Knight Commission Chair William E. “Brit” Kirwan said, “The NCAA’s revenue distribution policies haven’t fundamentally changed in a quarter century, even though the revenues have expanded dramatically. We applaud the NCAA for considering changes that, for the first time, would allocate some NCAA revenues to institutions based on the academic outcomes of college athletes. But the Commission also believes there is a real opportunity now to make more sweeping changes. We recommend that the use of all funds institutions receive from the NCAA be restricted to support athletes’ education and to provide them with appropriate health and safety benefits and protections.”


Co-Vice Chair Arne Duncan
New Knight Commission Co-Vice Chair Arne Duncan said, “It is not only important that the NCAA set a clear and high bar as a matter of principle for use of the revenues it distributes but that it act as soon as possible to do so, especially as NCAA revenues from March Madness escalate dramatically over time in the new tournament contract. Those revenues should be used by institutions to directly support the education and medical care of college athletes—not for coaching salaries, recruiting, and building more athletics facilities.”

The Knight Commission suggested that the NCAA's current financial reporting system could be easily modified to implement the Commission's recommendation, which would enhance transparency and accountability for institutional use of NCAA funds.

The Commission welcomed last week’s NCAA working group report, which was sent to Division I institutions for feedback. Among other options, the NCAA working group report includes the concept of awarding a portion of the money to schools for academic success, by using increases in the NCAA's March Madness media rights agreement to create a new “academic achievement" fund. Under the model, the fund would phase in slowly but have significant effects on revenue distribution over time. By 2032, the end of the current media rights contract, funding awarded to institutions from the new academic achievement fund would nearly match the amount awarded to institutions based on men’s basketball tournament appearances and wins.


Co-Vice Chair Carol Cartwright
Knight Commission Co-Vice Chair Carol Cartwright said, “The Commission strongly supports the NCAA working group’s concept of creating an academic achievement fund and applauds the leadership of task force co-chairs Christine Copper and William Ruud. Financial incentives must change to align with the enduring values of college sports.”

The Commission urged Division I presidents to express their support for making this shift to rewarding academic outcomes in their feedback to the NCAA working group.

FOR THE COMPLETE RELEASE, PHOTOS AND VIDEOS, CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

 

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 Since 2005, median #ACCfootball spending w/out schols/player up inflation-adjusted 55%, acad spending/student up 3% https://t.co/ePeFrJMNsd
KnightAthletics .@ACC median annual athletic debt service up inflation-adjusted 13% since 2005 to $5.6 million. https://t.co/kxqpSsV1Aa
KnightAthletics Since 2005@ACC, median #ACCfootball coaching salaries per player grew inflation-adjusted 63% https://t.co/NP4r75SznF

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



Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics Since 2005, median #ACCfootball spending w/out schols/player up inflation-adjusted 55%, acad spending/student up 3% https://t.co/ePeFrJMNsd
KnightAthletics .@ACC median annual athletic debt service up inflation-adjusted 13% since 2005 to $5.6 million. https://t.co/kxqpSsV1Aa
KnightAthletics Since 2005@ACC, median #ACCfootball coaching salaries per player grew inflation-adjusted 63% https://t.co/NP4r75SznF

 

Current Initiatives

Knight Commission Continues to Provide Resources Monitoring NCAA Division 1 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.

Knight Commission Studies Interest in Alternative Division I Competition Models

A Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics study reveals interest among university presidents, athletics administrators, faculty and head coaches in exploring alternative models for Division I competition and administration of different sports that may reduce missed class time and travel costs. The study was conducted to assess interest in whether different structures in various sports might offset the challenging effects of some conferences’ newly enlarged geographic footprints.

The study, “Exploring a Division I Model Federated by Sport,” was administered by the Center for Research in Intercollegiate Athletics, with assistance from Collegiate Sports Associates, and is intended to serve as a resource to Division I institutions as they discuss many topics emerging within the newly established rules-making structure.

Read the complete press release HERE. Access the study report HERE.


Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics Since 2005, median #ACCfootball spending w/out schols/player up inflation-adjusted 55%, acad spending/student up 3% https://t.co/ePeFrJMNsd
KnightAthletics .@ACC median annual athletic debt service up inflation-adjusted 13% since 2005 to $5.6 million. https://t.co/kxqpSsV1Aa
KnightAthletics Since 2005@ACC, median #ACCfootball coaching salaries per player grew inflation-adjusted 63% https://t.co/NP4r75SznF