On Thursday, Dec. 3, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics will release its recommendations for significant reform of the NCAA Division I model. The proposed reforms will be unveiled at the fourth and final virtual forum of the Knight Commission’s year-long examination of Division I, Transforming the NCAA D-I Model: A 4-Part Series.
Releases and Statements
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics announced today that members Len Elmore and Nancy Zimpher will become new co-chairs, joining current Co-Chair Arne Duncan. The new co-chairs will replace Carol Cartwright, the Commission’s longest serving member, who is retiring when her term is completed at the end of the year.
The vast majority of NCAA Division I campus and sports leaders believe that college sports reform should be focused on “big solutions,” a new survey from the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics shows. The groundbreaking survey reveals far-ranging dissatisfaction with current Division I governance.
On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics will release results of a groundbreaking survey of Division I campus leaders’ opinions on significant college sports reforms proposals, such as capping sports’ budgets and major reorganizations of the current Division I model. The reorganizations surveyed include creating a new NCAA division for Power 5 sports and separating FBS football into its own independent, operating entity.
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics today will propose in a virtual public session changes to the NCAA’s March Madness revenue distribution, which sends nearly $600 million to its 351 Division I schools every year. In addition to this direct funding to Division I schools, March Madness revenues support both NCAA operations and 90 national championships for 24 sports across all three membership divisions, which include more than 1,000 colleges and universities.
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics will hold the second virtual forum of its four-part series on the NCAA Division I model and the need for reform. This 60-minute forum, A New Analysis of the D-I Revenue Distribution Formula Inequities, will examine the financial distributions from Division I’s two marquee events: the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and the FBS College Football Playoff.
On Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2020, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics will kick off the first in a series of four public forums to be held this fall examining the NCAA Division I model and the need for reform. The forums, Transforming the NCAA D-I Model: A 4-Part Series, begin with a session on the often misunderstood finances of Division I.
The Knight Commission appreciates the gravity, urgency and uncertainty of decisions about how to reopen college sports, and recognizes that reopening college sports programs is an important leading indicator of the broader national crisis gripping higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. The decisions that college leaders make about whether to bring athletes back to campus and engage in training and competition should not be made in isolation but rather should go hand in hand with decisions about returning other students to dorms, classrooms and dining halls. Maintaining the safety and health of college athletes is just as vital as maintaining the safety and health of all students, faculty, staff and university administrators.
On June 4, 2020, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics held a webinar to assess the NCAA’s proposal allowing college athletes to earn money for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL) and to evaluate key differences with recommendations made by other groups. The session focused on issues such as compliance with fair market value, the confusion around group endorsement opportunities and ways to achieve uniformity, either through Congress or the Uniform Law Commission. The expert panel included Congressman Anthony Gonzalez, who is working on an NIL bill, Val Ackerman, Gabe Feldman and Tom McMillen.
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics Co-Chairs Arne Duncan and Carol Cartwright wrote a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert offering support, and some specific recommendations, as Emmert and the Division I governance groups work to adapt NCAA policies to the financial crisis spawned by the COVID-19 pandemic.