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July 22, 2008 - Higher Ed Watch Blog Calls for More Budget Transparency

Echoing many of the prior recommendations made by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, New America Foundation’s Higher Ed Watch blogger Lindsey Luebchow called for the NCAA, and possibly Congress, to provide more transparency and more detailed information about athletic spending. Since the Knight Commission reconvened in 2003, it has consistently called for improvements to the accuracy and transparency of athletics financial data. Luebchow emphasizes problems with data submitted by institutions under the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act – a problem the Commission wrote to the Department of Education about in 2005 (link here to attached letter). Luebchow also calls for changes in revenue distribution so that a larger share of NCAA revenue is based on need instead of winning performances in the NCAA basketball tournament. In its 2001 report, the Commission recommended that the NCAA’s revenue distribution plan be revised to consider values such as improving academic performance, enhancing athletes’ collegiate experiences, and achieving gender equity. Luebchow’s final recommendation is to provide four-year athletics scholarships instead of one-year renewable grants. Luebshow’s full commentary can be accessed here.