Priority of Education

  • Graduation rates of athletes have increased since 1991.
  • Accountability systems for academic success are in place: initial-eligibility rules, progress-toward-degree requirements, and team-specific benchmarks and expectations to ensure athletes are on track to graduate.
  • Graduation rates and other academic success metrics for teams are transparent (searchable databases for Academic Progress Rate and Graduate Success Rate)
  • An academic threshold is in place for postseason eligibility requiring teams to be on track to graduate at least half of their players to be eligible.
  • Treating athletes as students first and emphasizing their academic obligations is an important Knight Commission principle that has taken hold in national policies and practices to address athletics time demands and allow multiyear scholarships. Some institutions now guarantee scholarships through degree completion and have more robust programs in place to assist athletes with internships and career development.
  • The NCAA changed its revenue distribution system to reward programs for their academic outcomes. As a result, between 2019 and 2032, more than $1.1 billion will be rewarded to institutions for the academic and graduation success of their teams.
  • Institutions are placing a greater emphasis on academic success in coaches’ and administrators’ contracts.
  • Portions of College Football Playoff payouts are awarded for meeting NCAA academic benchmarks.

Fiscal Responsibility

Athletes’ Health & Safety

Integrity (Governance and Institutional Accountability)