Research, Polls & White Papers

Knight Commission memorandum to NCAA President Mark Emmert and NCAA Board of Directors on NCAA governance and related issues. August 2013.
The Commission officially launched its governance review in 2012 following a decision reached at its October 24, 2011 meeting that such an examination was needed despite recent progress toward achieving important academic reforms.  The Commission believed then—as it does now—that significant issues continue to challenge the operation and integrity of Division I intercollegiate athletics. Many of these issues are outside of the NCAA’s control and/or beyond the scope of the NCAA’s reform agenda launched in late 2011. The objective of the Commission’s review was to assess whether different approaches in the Division I model and governance might improve accountability and better serve both institutions and college athletes. The fragmented oversight for the highest level of college football, and for the billions of dollars in revenue it produces, was a key element in this examination.
The review focused on in-depth interviews with nearly 50 higher education and college sports leaders. The interviews were conducted in spring 2013 by Art & Science Group, the education research firm that conducted the Commission’s 2009 survey of presidents at Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institutions. Several current and past members of the NCAA Executive Committee and Division I Board of Directors participated in this new study. 

Presidential Survey on the Cost and Financing of Intercollegiate Athletics. July 2009.
The survey reports the views of presidents for the Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) universities on the costs and financing of intercollegiate athletics. The findings are based on 95 quantitative telephone interviews and 22 qualitative follow-up telephone interviews with presidents. The quantitative component achieved an 80 percent completion rate. The study was conducted by Art & Science Group of Baltimore, MD, from March to July 2009. For Report Appendices, link here.

Executive Summary of Faculty Perceptions of Intercollegiate Athletics Survey. October 2007.
In a national survey of more than 2,000 faculty members at universities with the country’s most visible athletic programs, a striking number of professors say they don’t know about and are disconnected from issues facing college sports. More than a third say they don’t know about many athletics program policies and practices, including the financial underpinnings of their campuses’ athletics programs. Furthermore, more than a third have no opinion about concerns raised by national faculty athletics reform groups. ...

Faculty Perceptions of Intercollegiate Athletics. October 2007.
The main goal of the Faculty Perceptions of Intercollegiate Athletics Survey is to examine professors’ beliefs about and satisfaction with intercollegiate athletics. The investigation also identifies faculty members’ primary concerns about intercollegiate athletics and gathers preliminary data on whether they would join campus-based initiatives aimed at ameliorating these concerns. Further, the survey assesses whether professors think such activities would lead to meaningful change on their campus...

Public Opinion Poll, January 2006.
The Census-balanced and representative telephone poll of 502 adults among adults 18 years of age and older was conducted in December 2005 for the commission by Widmeyer Research and Polling of Washington, D.C. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 4.4%. Poll findings suggest the following:
Americans believe college sports are like professional sports. ...

Public Opinion Poll, December 2005.
A recent Census-balanced and representative telephone poll among 502 American adults completed in late December 2005 for the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics by Widmeyer Research and Polling of Washington, DC found that: Americans say the NCAA should “stay the course but remain diligent.” ...