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Welcome

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 19, 2015 - Knight Commission Urges a Student-Centered Approach in College Sports

    Photos and video of the meeting are available below the release.

    The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics convened leaders in athletics administration and experts in antitrust and tax law, public policy and economics to examine pressing issues in college sports and concluded that universities must apply a more laser-like focus on the educational experience of students who compete in intercollegiate athletics.

    In the face of legal and governmental pressures – and in the absence of a clear vision about what direction intercollegiate athletics will take in the coming years – the Commission reiterated its commitment to policies that recognize the educational value inherent in athletics participation and the access it provides to the full college academic experience.

    “The current complexities facing college sports exist because universities have been responding to commercial challenges rather than to the primacy of the educational mission,” said Commission Co-Chair R. Gerald Turner, president at Southern Methodist University. “We believe every decision made during this time of change must be viewed through a student-centered lens. The time has come for the college athletics community to take control of issues that need solutions instead of leaving it to the courts and others to determine outcomes.”

    Commission members urged actions that could be taken in the short term to place more emphasis on the educational imperative by reducing athletically related time demands, reducing financial payouts for winning and realigning them with educational values, and developing standards for coaches that emphasize their responsibilities as educators.

    The meeting also featured two panels addressing potential ramifications of the O’Bannon vs. NCAA court ruling, and offering suggestions for managing the long-range impact of legal challenges to the current Division I structure and the evolving definition of amateurism.

    LINK HERE for the full release.

    Videos:

    • Session 1: Examining the implications of the O'Bannon ruling and related issues impacting college athletes' image rights not addressed in the ruling.
    • Session 2: Responding to Change: Alternative Regulatory Systems for College Sports

    Photos: link here.


    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics Positive changes in #collegesports...Days of Selling Popular College Players’ Jerseys Seem Numbered http://t.co/sqOPflMRIE #highered
    KnightAthletics @American_FB schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 72% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM
    KnightAthletics @American_Conf schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 75% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM

  • 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. 

  • 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 Positive changes in #collegesports...Days of Selling Popular College Players’ Jerseys Seem Numbered http://t.co/sqOPflMRIE #highered
    KnightAthletics @American_FB schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 72% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM
    KnightAthletics @American_Conf schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 75% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM

     

  • 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.


    Division I Model and Governance Review

    The Knight Commission recently completed its 18-month examination of the Division I model and governance—an examination it called for at its October 24, 2011 meeting. The Commission’s recommendations were conveyed to the NCAA Board of Directors and NCAA President Mark Emmert in an August 6 memorandum.


    Latest Tweets

    KnightAthletics Positive changes in #collegesports...Days of Selling Popular College Players’ Jerseys Seem Numbered http://t.co/sqOPflMRIE #highered
    KnightAthletics @American_FB schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 72% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM
    KnightAthletics @American_Conf schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 75% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM

May 19 Meeting

May 19, 2015 - Knight Commission Urges a Student-Centered Approach in College Sports

Photos and video of the meeting are available below the release.

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics convened leaders in athletics administration and experts in antitrust and tax law, public policy and economics to examine pressing issues in college sports and concluded that universities must apply a more laser-like focus on the educational experience of students who compete in intercollegiate athletics.

In the face of legal and governmental pressures – and in the absence of a clear vision about what direction intercollegiate athletics will take in the coming years – the Commission reiterated its commitment to policies that recognize the educational value inherent in athletics participation and the access it provides to the full college academic experience.

“The current complexities facing college sports exist because universities have been responding to commercial challenges rather than to the primacy of the educational mission,” said Commission Co-Chair R. Gerald Turner, president at Southern Methodist University. “We believe every decision made during this time of change must be viewed through a student-centered lens. The time has come for the college athletics community to take control of issues that need solutions instead of leaving it to the courts and others to determine outcomes.”

Commission members urged actions that could be taken in the short term to place more emphasis on the educational imperative by reducing athletically related time demands, reducing financial payouts for winning and realigning them with educational values, and developing standards for coaches that emphasize their responsibilities as educators.

The meeting also featured two panels addressing potential ramifications of the O’Bannon vs. NCAA court ruling, and offering suggestions for managing the long-range impact of legal challenges to the current Division I structure and the evolving definition of amateurism.

LINK HERE for the full release.

Videos:

  • Session 1: Examining the implications of the O'Bannon ruling and related issues impacting college athletes' image rights not addressed in the ruling.
  • Session 2: Responding to Change: Alternative Regulatory Systems for College Sports

Photos: link here.


Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics Positive changes in #collegesports...Days of Selling Popular College Players’ Jerseys Seem Numbered http://t.co/sqOPflMRIE #highered
KnightAthletics @American_FB schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 72% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM
KnightAthletics @American_Conf schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 75% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM

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. 

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 Positive changes in #collegesports...Days of Selling Popular College Players’ Jerseys Seem Numbered http://t.co/sqOPflMRIE #highered
KnightAthletics @American_FB schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 72% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM
KnightAthletics @American_Conf schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 75% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM

 

Current Initiatives

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.


Division I Model and Governance Review

The Knight Commission recently completed its 18-month examination of the Division I model and governance—an examination it called for at its October 24, 2011 meeting. The Commission’s recommendations were conveyed to the NCAA Board of Directors and NCAA President Mark Emmert in an August 6 memorandum.


Latest Tweets

KnightAthletics Positive changes in #collegesports...Days of Selling Popular College Players’ Jerseys Seem Numbered http://t.co/sqOPflMRIE #highered
KnightAthletics @American_FB schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 72% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM
KnightAthletics @American_Conf schools since 2005 median FB coaching pay/FB player up 75% via #collegesports database: http://t.co/6rLhOqOybM