Knight Commission to Meet Nov. 8 in Washington, D.C. to Discuss College Athletes



Knight Commission meeting to review the academic performance of college athletes, reform efforts and the NCAA athletics certification program (agenda below)


Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2005, 8:45 – 12:45 p.m. (EST) Meeting Sessions,
Pierce Room, Press Conference, 2:45 p.m., Douglas Room


The Willard InterContinental Washington,
1401 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.,
Pierce and Douglas Rooms,
Washington, D.C.


For more information, interview set-up or to RSVP please contact: Stacy Garrett at 202.667.0901 or

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Knight Commission begins its work for the 2005-06 academic year with a meeting to discuss the implementation of the NCAA’s new academic performance program for college athletes, and to review academic performance data. The Commission will discuss the changes made to the academic performance program with Walt Harrison, chair of the NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance, and discuss the appeals process with Britton Banowsky, the chair of the appeals subcommittee.

The Commission also will examine the NCAA’s athletics certification program, which has been in place since 1993.  The Commission advocated for the adoption of the certification process in its 1991 landmark report—Keeping Faith with the Student-Athlete.

Finally, representatives of faculty groups that have endorsed other reform proposals will address the Commission.

This will be the first meeting for several new members of the commission, including USA Basketball president Val Ackerman and NFL Hall of Fame member Steve Largent.   This will also be the first meeting for Alberto Ibargüen, former publisher of The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald, since assuming the position of president and CEO of Knight Foundation in July. Thomas K. Hearn Jr., chairman of the Commission and president emeritus of Wake Forest University, will be unable to attend.


Tuesday, November 8

8:45 – 10:00 a.m., Pierce Room

NCAA Athletics Certification Panel (open to the media)

  • Paul Risser, Chancellor, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and past chair, NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification
  • Greg Sankey, Associate Commissioner, Southeastern Conference, and member, NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification
  • Dawn Rogers, Athletics Director, Xavier University, and member, NCAA Committee on Athletics Certification
  • Larry Moneta, Vice President for Student Affairs, Duke University and chair of Duke’s athletics certification steering committee
  • 10:15 – 11:30 a.m., Pierce Room

    Academic Performance Program update and presentation of data related to initial eligibility; academic progress rates; and graduation rates (open to the media),

  • Kevin Lennon, NCAA Vice President for Membership Services
  • Walt Harrison, President, University of Hartford; chair, NCAA Executive Committee;and chair, NCAA Committee on Academic Performance
  • Britton Banowsky, Commissioner, Conference USA and chair, NCAA Division I Committee on Academic Performance Subcommittee on Appeals
  • Todd Petr, NCAA Director of Research
  • 11:45 – 12:45 p.m., Pierce Room

    Faculty Panel to discuss academic reform proposals and athlete well-being issues (open to the media),

  • Percy Bates, Faculty Athletics Representative, University of Michigan and chair,Division I-A Faculty Athletics Representatives group
  • David Ridpath, Executive Director, Drake Group and Assistant Professor of Sports Administration, Mississippi State University
  • Virginia Shepherd, Co-Chair, Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics; Professor of Pathology, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; and Director of Center for Science Outreach, Vanderbilt University
  • 2:45 p.m.  Press Conference (open to the media), Douglas Room (second floor)

  • R. Gerald Turner, President of Southern Methodist University and Vice Chairman of the Knight Commission of Intercollegiate Athletics,
  • Clifton R. Wharton Jr., former Chairman and CEO of TIAA-CREF and Vice Chairman of the Knight Commission
  • Alberto Ibargüen, President and CEO, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and ex officio member of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
  • New members of the commission:
  • Val Ackerman, President, USA Basketball
  • Bill Asbury, Vice President Emeritus, Pennsylvania State University
  • Janet Hill, Vice President, Alexander and Associates
  • Steve Largent, President, CTIA-The Wireless Association
  • Andrea Fischer Newman, Vice President, Northwest Airlines