Next Meeting: September 8, 2014
The Knight Commission continues its public examination of important policy issues involving college sports, including new health and safety initiatives. Knight Commission members and panelists will also discuss ideas, concepts and principles that could help guide future changes in college sports and the treatment of athletes.
March 17, 2014 - Knight Commission, panelists call for stronger focus on educational mission in college sports
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics heard passionate dialogue during a meeting here on a range of issues facing college sports, particularly issues of academics and well-being for college athletes. The Commission also announces latest update to its athletic and academic spending database
October 9, 2012
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics met in Washington, D.C. to hear research reports from higher education experts and scholars that reaffirmed the need for different policy approaches and stronger board oversight in college sports.
Research findings highlighted the widening divide in college sports between the “haves” and “have-nots,” and its potential impact on institutional finances, student tuition and fees. The divide also reveals itself in votes on NCAA rules that impact athlete well-being, academic standards and “the collegiate model.”
Amid a growing sense of crisis in college sports, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics heard evidence that the challenges colleges face are beyond the scope of current reform efforts. The Commission applauded the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s recent progress, and urged the speedy enactment of many of its proposed reforms. At the same time, the Commission said these steps alone would not ensure the integrity of sports in higher education, and emphasized the underlying drivers of conference realignment and other accelerating trends. Specifically, the Commission noted the influx in coming years of almost $14 billion in renegotiated television contracts, primarily for regular-season football, to the five richest conferences. The Commission will pursue transparency and accountability measures to ensure that these funds are used to further institutions’ educational missions and not simply to increase athletic expenditures. The Commission also will assess the complicated relationships among the NCAA, the Bowl Championship Series, Division I conferences, and their member institutions. In particular, the Commission will examine the impact of changing conferences primarily to increase revenue for football, and the impact such changes have on other sports. The Commission also announced six grants totaling $100,000 to independent scholars to study policy issues in intercollegiate athletics, with results of their studies to be released in October 2012.
October 26, 2009
The Knight Commission released the results of a presidential survey on the costs and benefits of intercollegiate athletics. An interactive, Web-based report, College Sports 101, that provides an overview of the business and economic landscape of college sports was also released. Potential solutions as well as an assessment of whether the current structure is equipped to address the mounting challenges were discussed with experts.
May 12, 2009
The financial crisis in college sports isn't attributable only to the ongoing recession, but also to declining athletics revenues unable to keep up with a runaway train of spending. That's what members of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics heard from scholars and experts on higher education and intercollegiate sports.
October 27, 2008
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics met on October 27 to discuss the emerging conflict between new forms of media and long-standing NCAA rules designed to protect athletes from commercial exploitation. The Commission also announced it would pursue a year-long series of meetings and research on the economics of college sports, with a particular focus on why expenses are rising faster than revenues at virtually all Division I athletics programs.
June 15, 2008
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics held discussions on academic reform, potential changes in the basketball playing season, and changes to penalties for violating National Collegiate Athletic Association rules. The Commission called on the NCAA to shorten the season to reduce the number of missed classes and stress on players. It also commended the association’s academic performance program, but noted that a complex waiver process is threatening to weaken standards designed to hold programs responsible for the academic progress of their players.
October 15, 2007 - Faculty Summit on Intercollegiate Athletics
The summit included a presentation of findings from the Faculty Perceptions of Intercollegiate Athletics Survey. The survey presentation served as the context for panelists and interactive sessions relating to the role of faculty engagement in athletics issues, faculty governance, academic integrity, case studies of athletics crises, and strategies for faculty to consider.
May 14, 2007
On the heels of the NCAA’s announcement that 112 Division I teams will be penalized for failing to meet minimum academic performance standards, and are aware that tougher times are ahead, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics strongly urged college presidents to resist pressure to weaken the reforms. The Commission heard and discussed an NCAA report on Division I academic performance standards and also heard Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg discuss sweeping rules changes addressing academic underperformance by baseball players. Also at the meeting, NCAA officials released financial data showing that only 7 percent (22 of 313) of Division I athletics departments generated more money than they spent when institutional subsidies such as student fees are excluded—contrary to the public perception that athletics departments generate profits for their institutions.
January 21, 2007
The session reviewed the state of gender equity in intercollegiate athletics, 35 years after the passage of Title IX; the recruiting environment and process and whether its current state is healthy for prospects, coaches, and institutions; and, academic values in the recruiting process.
January 2006: Summit on the Collegiate Athlete Experience
The focus of the summit was academic reform through the eyes of students and athletes. What standards should a college adopt to determine when commercialism in funding research or athletics is too much? Is it only dollars that matters in the search for knowledge? Intercollegiate athletics as a subset of academe also has values. The summit also investigated behavioral issues relating to students and athletes.
June 26, 2001
The Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics today recommended that teams with graduation rates of less than 50 percent be barred from conference championships or postseason play. The sweeping recommendations, which include prohibiting corporate logos on athlete uniforms, also call for the establishment of a Coalition of Presidents representing academic as well as athletic associations to pursue needed reforms.