C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grant Application Process and Conference Expectations

On November 17, 2023, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics announced the launch of a C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grant program, providing grants from a pool of $100,000 in 2024 to Division I Conferences that implement the C.A.R.E. Model principles for their distribution and use of “shared athletics revenues.”

The C.A.R.E. Model framework is outlined in the Knight Commission’s report, Connecting Athletics Revenues with the Educational Model of College Sports (C.A.R.E. Model). This framework is created to bolster accountability and ensure shared athletics revenue is directed toward college athletes’ education, health, safety, well-being, equity, and opportunity.

C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grants can be used to implement the following four C.A.R.E. Model principles and to educate institutions, athletics administrators, and other stakeholders about the impact of embedding these education-based values in the distribution and use of shared athletics revenues:

  1. Transparency
  2. Independent Oversight
  3. Incentives for Core Values of Education, Gender Equity, and Broad-Based Sports Opportunities
  4. Financial Responsibility for Athlete Education, Health, Safety, and Well-Being

Conference Expectations

  • Demonstrate compliance with the C.A.R.E. Model principles. The Knight Commission has created a C.A.R.E. Model Implementation Template as a guide for Division I Conferences to follow. Conference grants can be utilized to achieve compliance, provided that full compliance can be attained within a 12-month timeframe. The C.A.R.E. Model Certification stamp will be provided only after the Knight Commission certifies the conference has met all four principles.
  • 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. [Note: The Commission’s report, C.A.R.E. Model Implementation Template, C.A.R.E. Model resource page, and Frequently Asked Questions can be used as resources.]
  • Utilize the C.A.R.E. Model Certification stamp in branding opportunities, including the conference website. Following certification of meeting the C.A.R.E. Model principles, the Knight Commission will provide a digital tool kit for use by the conference office and its member institutions.
  • Provide a statement of impact for the grant, including the usage of the branding materials, no later than April 15, 2025.

Application Process

The application deadline for the C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grants is April 15, 2024. Conferences may request a reasonable grant amount of up to $25,000 (minimum grant will be $15,000) that will help them implement the following 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.

Grants will be awarded by July 1, 2024.

Grant requests should include the following and may be submitted here:

  • Commitment Statement. Signature of Conference Commissioner on a statement that the conference commits to aligning its distribution and use of shared athletics revenue with the C.A.R.E. Model principles.
  • Checklist for C.A.R.E. Model Implementation. Conferences may use the C.A.R.E. Model implementation template as a guide. The conference must demonstrate compliance with each of the four C.A.R.E. Model principles or the plan to reach compliance within 12 months. The conference’s shared athletics revenue distribution plan must be submitted and should indicate any changes made or that need to be made to reach compliance.
  • Timeline. If a conference is not currently in compliance, a detailed timeline of actions to achieve compliance must be included. Conferences must reach full compliance with the C.A.R.E. Model principles within 12 months and no later than June 30, 2025.
  • Financial request and intended use. Conferences may request any reasonable amount that will help them meet the conference expectations stated above. The minimum grant will be $15,000.

For more information, contact CAREModelGrant@knightcommission.org