Statement by Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics Leadership, William E. Kirwan, Chair; Carol Cartwright and Arne Duncan, Co-Vice Chairs

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics supports the proposals announced last week by the ACC, Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC conferences aimed at giving college athletes more time off from their sports. Other conferences like the Ivy League and Conference USA have already taken some actions to address these issues in ways that apply to their member schools. All of these initiatives signal a recognition by college administrators that a greater balance must be achieved to improve the experience of college students participating in varsity sports. The Commission called for reducing athletics time demands in its 2010 Restoring the Balance report. While no actions resulted immediately, the Commission persisted in promoting a more student-centered approach to college sports, urging actions like reducing athletically-related time demands and reducing financial payouts for winning and realigning them with educational values. It is encouraging to see progress now being made with these “time-balance” initiatives and the proposal to recognize academic achievement recently announced by the Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group.