Principles and Recommendations

Knight Commission Principles

Before detailing our specific proposals, we begin with two broad principles that have guided our discussions and informed our final recommendations.

  • Academics first. Each institution must make decisions regarding athletics budgets with a view to how they will affect its academic mission and values. Spending on educational activities should not be compromised to boost sports funding.

  • Responsible spending. Fiscal discipline in athletics programs must be a top priority for the NCAA, for individual conferences, and for colleges and universities themselves. At every level of oversight of college sports, financial policies should aim to strengthen each institution’s broader educational mission; to preserve and promote college athletes’ educational and athletic opportunities; and to strengthen the capacity of colleges and universities to offer extensive and equitable participation opportunities for men and women.

Knight Commission Recommendations

Our blueprint for restoring educational values and priorities calls for strengthening accountability for athletics programs in three ways:





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