Endnotes and Acknowledgments


  1. Data Source for Figures 1, 2, 7a - 7l, and 9a - 9l: Figures 1, 2, 7a - 7l, and 9a - 9l were produced by analysts with The Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability using data from the following sources: USA Today NCAA athletics finance database using each institution’s NCAA financial report for athletics revenues and expenses; NCES Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for full cost of education spending per full-time equivalent student; Office of Postsecondary Education Equity in Athletics database for athlete participation counts only; participation data provided by two institutions independently because their data were not included or were reported incorrectly in the EADA database. Note: The data in these figures do not include data for 17 private universities that are members of the Football Bowl Subdivision. Also excluded are data for the three military academies and the three state universities in Pennsylvania that are not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests for financial data.

  2. All figures reflect current dollars.

  3. The Knight Commission consulted with antitrust counsel from the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom regarding the recommendations set forth in this report. Counsel advised that these recommendations, which are designed to promote amateurism and to preserve a balance between expenditures on athletic programs and the core educational goals of all universities, are consistent with antitrust principles.

  4. Individuals are encouraged to cite this report and its multimedia content at In doing so, please include the following attribution: Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. (2010, June). Restoring the balance: Dollars, values, and the future of college sports. Miami, FL: John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

  5. In June 2010, the Delta Cost Project on Postsecondary Eduation Costs, Productivity, and Accountability launched its "Trends in College Spending" database of institutional academic spending per full-time equivalent student. It is available at:



The Knight Commission acknowledges the many individuals and organizations whose contributions of time, talent, and experience made this report possible.

The Commission is grateful to 95 presidents who contributed their time and opinions to the presidential survey conducted in fall 2009. Their thoughtful responses and concerns contributed significantly to the framework of this report.

The Commission owes deep gratitude to its founding co-chairmen William Friday and Theodore Hesburgh whose leadership and integrity continue to inspire all who are committed to our nation’s goals of achieving excellence in higher education. The Commission is also grateful to the leaders who have guided the group’s efforts over the past five years – the late Thomas K. Hearn Jr., Clifton Wharton Jr., and the current co-chairmen, William E. “Brit” Kirwan and R. Gerald Turner.

Knight Commission Executive Director Amy Perko and Communications and Research Associate Scott Hirko were assisted by consultants Jeffrey Orleans and David Welch Suggs Jr. in providing primary support to the Commission as it worked to develop this report. This team also contributed to the drafting and editing of the print and multimedia reports. Dennis Kramer II provided research assistance and Ted Leland provided advice during the project. Ben Wildavsky was the primary author of the report, and was aided by Rodney Ferguson of Lipman Hearne. The report was designed by Widmeyer Communications. Katie Reardon and Stacey Finkel also with Widmeyer Communications coordinated the communications efforts.

The Knight Commission would like to thank the NCAA research staff, particularly Nicole Brachen and Todd Petr, for providing revenue and expense data gathered from institutional reports and grouped by decile. The Commission also thanks USA Today staff for providing athletics revenue and expense data collected from financial reports.

Colleen Lenihan and Jane Wellman of The Delta Project for Postsecondary Education Costs, Productivity, and Accountability conducted data integration and analysis for the academic and athletics spending data for each Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) institution and for each FBS conference. Andrew Zimbalist, the Robert A. Wood Professor of Economics at Smith College, produced projections for 2015 and 2020 spending.

The Commission thanks the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation staff that has provided assistance and support for Commission activities over the years. The Commission expresses special thanks to Knight Foundation President and CEO Alberto Ibargüen, an ex-officio member of the Commission, and to Paula Ellis, vice president for strategic initiatives, for their leadership.

Since the Commission reconvened in fall 2003, numerous experts, leaders in higher education and college sports as well as college athletes have informed the Commission’s work. In Oct. 2008, the Knight Commission launched the first in a series of public meetings to examine the business of college sports. Below are the individuals who offered their insights and expertise. The Commission is grateful to them. The presenters and participants at meetings prior to October 2008 can be found in the listing for each meeting in the resources section of

Oct. 15, 2008:

  • Robert Corn-Revere, Partner, Davis Wright Tremain; Project Chair and Co-Author, First Amendment and the Media, Media Institute
  • Jeffrey Mishkin, Partner, Skadden Arps; former Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, National Basketball Association
  • Wallace Renfro, Vice President and Senior Advisor to the President, NCAA
  • Clay Walker, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Fantasy Sports Ventures
  • Glenn Wong, Professor and Attorney, Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Faculty Athletics Representative
  • Jeremy Bloom, former football player, University of Colorado and World Champion and Olympic snow skier
  • Kerry Kenny, Chairman, NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
  • Craig Krenzel, former football player, The Ohio State University
  • Dan Fulks, Author, NCAA Revenues and Expenses of Division I Intercollegiate Athletics Programs Report and Accounting Program Director, Transylvania University
  • Ron Wellman, Director of Athletics, Wake Forest University
  • Andrew Zimbalist, Robert A. Wood Professor of Economics, Smith College

May 12, 2009:

  • John J. Cheslock, Associate Professor, Center for the Study of Higher Education, University of Arizona
  • Tim Curley, Director of Athletics, Pennsylvania State University
  • John Colombo, Albert E. Jenner Jr. Professor, University of Illinois College of Law; Author, “The NCAA, Tax Exemption, and College Athletics,” University of Illinois Law Review
  • Andy Geiger, former Athletics Director, The Ohio State University; University of Maryland; and Stanford University
  • Robert Zemsky, Chair, The Learning Alliance for Higher Education; founding Director of the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Research on Higher Education

Oct. 26, 2009:

  • Ced Dempsey, former President, NCAA
  • Gene Smith, Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics, The Ohio State University
  • John Thelin, University Research Professor, History of Higher Education and Public Policy, University of Kentucky; Author, Games Colleges Play and A History of American Higher Education
  • Dutch Baughman, Executive Director, Division I-A Athletic Directors Association
  • Jim Delany, Commissioner, Big Ten Conference
  • Pete Likins, President Emeritus, University of Arizona
  • Neal Pilson, former President, CBS Sports


Knight Commission member Sarah Lowe on the purpose of college sports

Knight Commission member Len Elmore on putting college athletics into perspective

Knight Commission Co-Chairman William E. “Brit” Kirwan on financial reform