Financial Concerns Push Institutions to Consider Their Conference Affiliations

An article published by Diverse Issues in Higher Education discussed the current economic landscape impacting decisions by leaders at NCAA Division I colleges and universities to change athletic conference affiliations. The article considered research presented at the last meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics as a framework to understand why institutions search for new conference alliances as part of their strategy to generate more money for their athletics programs. The article stated: “in the process, the distance between the haves and have nots gets wider and wider.”

“The studies, six in all, were funded by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a nonprofit group of academics seeking changes in intercollegiate athletic programs to bring more balance between them and the missions of colleges and universities.

“Most higher education leaders acknowledge that costs have gotten to a point where they are more than footnote items. That said, nothing short of laws, a fundamental change of heart or a financial crisis is likely to change the race to be in the big arena of intercollegiate sports.

“‘We have proposed a process to keep athletic spending in check with academic spending,'” says Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission. ‘It hasn’t gotten much traction,'” she says, noting the actions of schools since the commission’s idea was first proposed in 2010. “‘Much more could and should have been done.'”

For the complete article, LINK HERE.