The external resources identified in this section are selected works of scholars, higher education associations, and higher education or athletics administrators. The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics does not necessarily endorse all of the recommendations or opinions expressed in these resources but supports engagement, dialogue and research by all stakeholders.

Priority of Education

Athlete Health, Safety, and Well-Being

  • The History Behind the Debate Over Paying Student-Athletes. Solomon, J. (2018). The Aspen Institute Sports & Society Program held a conversation May 1, 2018, in Washington, DC titled “Future of College Sports: Reimagining Athlete Pay.” The discussion was livestreamed at pn/collegesportsfuture. The Aspen Institute discussion explored the implications if NCAA athletes could be paid by outside entities for use of their names, images, and likenesses, like any college student.
  • The NCAA and “Non-Game Related” Student-Athlete Name, Image and Likeness Restrictions. (2016). Feldman, G. Professor Gabe Feldman, Tulane Law School and Director, Tulane Sports Law Program presented awhite paper at the May 2016 meeting of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. In it, he proposed a model that would eliminate some of the current restrictions on college athletes using their celebrity for financial gain by signing autographs or engaging in commercial endorsements using an athlete’s non-game related name, image, or likeness (NIL).
  • NCAA-DOD Grand Alliance Care Consortium. The CARE Consortium endeavors to provide necessary infrastructure and scientific expertise to study concussion. The goal is to gain a better understanding of the neurobiopsychosocial nature of concussive injury and recovery in order to ultimately enhance the safety and health of our student-athletes, service members, youth sports participants and the broader public.
  • NCAA Goals Study. (2016). GOALS is an NCAA study of the experiences and well-being of current student-athletes.  Previous versions of the study (2006 and 2010) provided NCAA committees, policymakers and member institutions with the most detailed information to date on a range of important issues. Respondents provide information on important topics regarding their lives as student-athletes.
  • Athletics Recruiting and Academic Values: Enhancing Transparency, Spreading Risk, and Improving Practice. (2008).

    The University of Georgia’s Institute of Higher Education convened a roundtable of college administrators, coaches, and faculty members to discuss the recruiting process in August 2006. The Knight Commission funded this initiative. The group did not make specific policy recommendations, but instead suggested general principles of transparency and campus wide involvement in recruiting athletes. An essay generated from the group’s conversation is available.  The document can be found here.

Fiscal Responsibility


The Knight Commission does endorse the NCAA and AGB resources noted below to guide university leadership:

Additional Resources:

  • ACE Roundtable Examines Issues of Academic Integrity and Intercollegiate Athletics. (December 13, 2016).
    This paper  makes the case that “intercollegiate athletics programs should be part of an institutional culture of integrity that stresses the primacy of the academic mission and ensures that student-athletes are first and foremost students in programs of higher education.”
  • NCAA Division I Institutional Performance Program
    A central part of the Commission’s “one-plus-three” model, the NCAA’s athletics certification program was approved at the 1993 Convention. This program certified an institution’s compliance with key operating principles. In 2012, the program was overhauled and is now called the Institutional Performance Program. The new assessment is more of a report card on the health of a school’s athletics program.
  • Campus Athletics Governance, the Faculty Role: Principles, Proposed Rules, and Guidelines, Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics (2004)
    “This document focuses on the faculty role in campus athletics governance. It articulates a set of principles, proposes a set of uniform rules, and discusses in detail guidelines that, when adapted and applied by individual campuses, can help ensure the proper function of this faculty role. In focusing on the faculty role, this document assumes the leading role of campus presidents, the ultimate authority of the institutional governing board, and practical centrality of athletics directors and coaches.”
  • Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics
    COIA, an alliance of university faculty senates founded in 2002 (no longer active as of 2018) to provide a faculty voice in the national discussion about the future of intercollegiate sports, consulted with the NCAA and other national groups to develop its best practices, which were published in Framing the Future: Reforming Intercollegiate Athletics in 2007. Researchers at the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, housed in the College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University, surveyed schools participating in the Football Bowl Subdivision in 2009 to determine the extent to which they implement COIA’s best practices. The results were published in the Journal of Intercollegiate Sport, along with detailed case studies of six universities that most fully implemented those best practices. The results and case studies can be found here: