NCAA Media Rights Deal: Time to Better Manage Commercial Success

In response to the NCAA’s new 14-year, $10.86 billion agreement with CBS and Turner Broadcasting System to broadcast the Division I men’s basketball tournament, Knight Commission co-chairmen R. Gerald Turner, President of Southern Methodist University, and William “Brit” Kirwan, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, provided a comment:

“Today’s announcement of the new NCAA media rights deal presents an opportunity for universities to use the money guaranteed through this contract for the good of college sports and the educational missions of our universities. In the past, more revenue gained from more games and more television has not always resulted in outcomes that have strengthened our educational missions. Now is the time to better manage commercial success and ensure that sports programs and their growth are aligned with the primary missions of our universities. The Knight Commission will release a major report in June 2010 to address this goal.

The Commission is pleased the NCAA did not pursue a proposed 96-team NCAA men’s basketball tournament, as the additional postseason games in that proposed format would have produced indefensible intrusions on college athletes’ academic obligations.”

The comment was published in Inside Higher Ed.

(updated 2:25 pm, April 23, 2010).