Knight Commission’s Recommendation to Include Academic Performance as a Part of Football Revenue Distribution Process Takes Hold

Presidents and conference commissioners overseeing the new college football playoff announced a unanimous agreement to “share revenue, for the first time in college football history, based on academic performance as part of the funding formula.” USA Today reported that 10 percent of the total playoff revenue “will be tied to teams’ Academic Performance Rates (APR). If a team’s APR falls below an undetermined threshold, it would lose that portion of the revenue.”

The Knight Commission first introduced that specific concept in its 2010 Restoring the Balance report to support the principle that the system must align its incentives with its values.

In April 2012, the Commission actively promoted the broader concept and provided various models to illustrate how academic outcomes could be considered in dividing the projected revenues from a new football playoff.

An op-ed on this issue, “Thinking beyond the payoff from a playoff,” by Knight Commission Co-Chairmen William E. Kirwan and Gerald Turner was published on June 14 in the Chicago Tribune.