Forbes: The Clock Is Ticking. The Time For NCAA Reform Is Here.

Karen Weaver of Forbes explains the Knight Commission has “successfully persuaded the NCAA to adopt significant, ‘education-centric’ changes” and quotes CEO Amy P. Perko.

Read the full article here.

If everything is truly up for discussion, there are plenty of good ideas from people who have been talking about true change for a long time, including the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, academic scholars and journalists.

The number one priority for every program, in every sport, should be the health, safety, and psychological well-being of every athlete in their care. This has been championed repeatedly by scholars, journalists, the Knight Commission and others. The fact that medical guidelines in the NCAA handbook remain just that-’guidelines’ or ‘best practices’ is a travesty. Every school at every level should receive dedicated funding from NCAA revenues (approaching over $1 billion every year) off the top to take care of athletes.

Amy Perko, CEO of the Knight Commission, told me in an interview an area of big change could be in altering more than $3.5 billion in shared athletics revenues distributed annually to DI schools through the NCAA, College Football Playoff, and Division I conferences. “The revenue distribution model at the DI level should be values-based and tethered to the educational model of college sports”, said Perko.

In recent years, the Commission has successfully persuaded the NCAA to adopt significant, ‘education-centric’ changes, including:

  • The KCIA recommended a benchmark of 50% of a team’s players be on track to graduate in order for the team to be eligible for postseason championships;
  • The Commission recommended reallocation of revenues based on academic standing. If continued in the new NCAA structure until 2032 more than $1.1 billion will be awarded to institutions for both the academic and graduation success of their teams;
  • Institutions are now required to provide financial assistance through degree completion for former DI basketball players.