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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.

  • 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.

    Brit Kirwan, the Commission chairman, who is retiring at the end of the year, has been in leadership positions with the group for most of those 15 years.

    “It’s especially gratifying, in my final months on the Commission, to see the NCAA take this game-changing step to place a higher value on education in college athletics,” Kirwan said. “It is critical to align the incentives in college sports with educational values.”

    Arne Duncan, incoming co-chair and former U.S. Secretary of Education, said, “More must be done to protect the integrity of college sports and to strike a better balance between athletics and education. This change does just that by financially rewarding academic and not just athletic results on the field or court.”

    Carol Cartwright, incoming co-chair and president emeritus of Kent State University said, “In 2001, the Knight Commission’s concept to reward academic outcomes through the NCAA revenue distribution plan was dismissed by many as idealistic, but today’s action shows that it was a roadmap. We commend the leadership of Christine Copper and Philip DiStefano who co-chaired the NCAA working group that developed the proposal adopted today.”

    The new policy goes into effect in 2019-20. 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 new policy, more than $10 million and eventually more than $100 million of the media revenues from the March Madness tournament will be awarded to conferences to distribute to member schools, based on how their 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 annual CFP distributions.

    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.

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    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics https://t.co/irzF6yUxVv used in Bloomberg's special report on college football teams' debt via https://t.co/x0Z2AawGL1
    KnightAthletics RT @ACEducation: Headlines 12/13: ACE paper on intercollegiate athletics/academic integrity; looking for low-income students; more. https:/…
    KnightAthletics RT @BenjaminEW: .@ACEducation is out today with tips for avoiding cheating scandals. More in @Morning_Edu: https://t.co/TT5CIX7tz9 https://…

  • 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 https://t.co/irzF6yUxVv used in Bloomberg's special report on college football teams' debt via https://t.co/x0Z2AawGL1
    KnightAthletics RT @ACEducation: Headlines 12/13: ACE paper on intercollegiate athletics/academic integrity; looking for low-income students; more. https:/…
    KnightAthletics RT @BenjaminEW: .@ACEducation is out today with tips for avoiding cheating scandals. More in @Morning_Edu: https://t.co/TT5CIX7tz9 https://…

  • 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.

     


    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics https://t.co/irzF6yUxVv used in Bloomberg's special report on college football teams' debt via https://t.co/x0Z2AawGL1
    KnightAthletics RT @ACEducation: Headlines 12/13: ACE paper on intercollegiate athletics/academic integrity; looking for low-income students; more. https:/…
    KnightAthletics RT @BenjaminEW: .@ACEducation is out today with tips for avoiding cheating scandals. More in @Morning_Edu: https://t.co/TT5CIX7tz9 https://…

  • 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 https://t.co/irzF6yUxVv used in Bloomberg's special report on college football teams' debt via https://t.co/x0Z2AawGL1
    KnightAthletics RT @ACEducation: Headlines 12/13: ACE paper on intercollegiate athletics/academic integrity; looking for low-income students; more. https:/…
    KnightAthletics RT @BenjaminEW: .@ACEducation is out today with tips for avoiding cheating scandals. More in @Morning_Edu: https://t.co/TT5CIX7tz9 https://…

Revenue Distribution

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.

Brit Kirwan, the Commission chairman, who is retiring at the end of the year, has been in leadership positions with the group for most of those 15 years.

“It’s especially gratifying, in my final months on the Commission, to see the NCAA take this game-changing step to place a higher value on education in college athletics,” Kirwan said. “It is critical to align the incentives in college sports with educational values.”

Arne Duncan, incoming co-chair and former U.S. Secretary of Education, said, “More must be done to protect the integrity of college sports and to strike a better balance between athletics and education. This change does just that by financially rewarding academic and not just athletic results on the field or court.”

Carol Cartwright, incoming co-chair and president emeritus of Kent State University said, “In 2001, the Knight Commission’s concept to reward academic outcomes through the NCAA revenue distribution plan was dismissed by many as idealistic, but today’s action shows that it was a roadmap. We commend the leadership of Christine Copper and Philip DiStefano who co-chaired the NCAA working group that developed the proposal adopted today.”

The new policy goes into effect in 2019-20. 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 new policy, more than $10 million and eventually more than $100 million of the media revenues from the March Madness tournament will be awarded to conferences to distribute to member schools, based on how their 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 annual CFP distributions.

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 https://t.co/irzF6yUxVv used in Bloomberg's special report on college football teams' debt via https://t.co/x0Z2AawGL1
KnightAthletics RT @ACEducation: Headlines 12/13: ACE paper on intercollegiate athletics/academic integrity; looking for low-income students; more. https:/…
KnightAthletics RT @BenjaminEW: .@ACEducation is out today with tips for avoiding cheating scandals. More in @Morning_Edu: https://t.co/TT5CIX7tz9 https://…

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 https://t.co/irzF6yUxVv used in Bloomberg's special report on college football teams' debt via https://t.co/x0Z2AawGL1
KnightAthletics RT @ACEducation: Headlines 12/13: ACE paper on intercollegiate athletics/academic integrity; looking for low-income students; more. https:/…
KnightAthletics RT @BenjaminEW: .@ACEducation is out today with tips for avoiding cheating scandals. More in @Morning_Edu: https://t.co/TT5CIX7tz9 https://…

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.

 


Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics https://t.co/irzF6yUxVv used in Bloomberg's special report on college football teams' debt via https://t.co/x0Z2AawGL1
KnightAthletics RT @ACEducation: Headlines 12/13: ACE paper on intercollegiate athletics/academic integrity; looking for low-income students; more. https:/…
KnightAthletics RT @BenjaminEW: .@ACEducation is out today with tips for avoiding cheating scandals. More in @Morning_Edu: https://t.co/TT5CIX7tz9 https://…

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 https://t.co/irzF6yUxVv used in Bloomberg's special report on college football teams' debt via https://t.co/x0Z2AawGL1
KnightAthletics RT @ACEducation: Headlines 12/13: ACE paper on intercollegiate athletics/academic integrity; looking for low-income students; more. https:/…
KnightAthletics RT @BenjaminEW: .@ACEducation is out today with tips for avoiding cheating scandals. More in @Morning_Edu: https://t.co/TT5CIX7tz9 https://…