C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grant Application FAQ

1.    What is the purpose of the C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grant program?

A new financial framework is needed to ensure that Division I shared athletics revenues are used to directly support the educational mission of college sports. This C.A.R.E. Model is created for conferences and national entities to bolster accountability and ensure that both the distribution criteria and spending of shared athletics revenue are focused on college athletes’ education, health, safety, well-being, equity, and opportunity.

2.    How much money is available?

In 2024, the Knight Commission is providing grants from a pool of $100,000 to Division I Conferences that implement the C.A.R.E. Model principles for their distribution and use of “shared athletics revenues.” Conferences may request a reasonable grant amount of up to $25,000 (minimum grant will be $15,000) that will help them implement the four C.A.R.E. Model principles and educate institutions, athletics administrators, and other stakeholders about the impact of embedding these values in the distribution and use of shared athletics revenues.

3.    What can the CARE Model grant funds be used for?

C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grants may be used to:

      • Educate conference membership and stakeholders on the C.A.R.E. Model commitments: a) conference’s alignment of its financial incentives with the core values of education, gender equity, and opportunity and b) accountability of member schools to direct shared athletics revenue toward college athletes’ education, health, safety, well-being, and equity.
      • Promote the certification of the conference and member institutions, such as adding the Knight Commission C.A.R.E. Model Certification stamp to websites or creating an email signature that includes the C.A.R.E. Model Certification stamp for all conference members.  
      • If the conference is not yet in compliance but can achieve compliance within 12 months, the grant may be used to implement any of the four C.A.R.E. Model principles.

4.    How do we know if our conference complies with the C.A.R.E. Model principles? Who makes the final decision?

The Knight Commission has created C.A.R.E. Model Implementation Resources to guide Division I Conferences. You may also contact a Knight Commission representative by emailing CAREModelGrant@knightcommission.org to review your conference’s shared athletics revenue distribution policies for compliance.

The Knight Commission Finance Committee will review each application and determine compliance with the four C.A.R.E. Model principles.

5.    What is the application timeline?

      • Application deadline is June 21, 2024
      • Grants will be awarded by July 23, 2024
      • The final statement of impact deadline is June 30, 2025

6.    How does a conference incentivize the value of Gender Equity?

A conference’s athletics performance incentives comply with the core value of Gender Equity when its policies provide equitable opportunity to achieve the athletics performance incentive. For example, an equal incentive could be provided to any men’s and women’s teams that advance in specific post-season events (e.g., NCAA tournament) or only to its men’s and women’s basketball teams.

In any given year, one gender team may earn more than the other because of its post-season success. The important point is both men’s and women’s teams have the same opportunity to earn the same level of incentive in any given year. This also applies to participation reimbursements.

7.    How could a Division I conference demonstrate compliance with the Financial Responsibility Principle if its members are private schools that do not publicly report spending and they do not offer scholarships?

For any multi-sport conference whose schools do not give athletics scholarships, an example of a financial responsibility plan for the conference could be that conference distributions are required to be used for gender-equitable support, and such uses are reported to the conference.


Click here to access all C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grant Application Resources

For more information, contact CAREModelGrant@knightcommission.org