In November 2021, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics (Knight Commission), a panel of university presidents, former athletic directors and other leaders, updated a report recommending its Connecting Athletics Revenue with the Educational Model of College Sports (C.A.R.E. Model), a new approach for the distribution of National Association of Collegiate Athletics (NCAA) funds to Division I institutions.
Each year, more than $3.5 billion in revenue is distributed to Division I institutions. Of the annual distribution:
The report argues that the existing system allows for, and will continue to allow for, disproportionate spending on coaches’ compensation and state-of-the-art athletic facilities relative to educational, health and safety priorities.
In its report, the Knight Commission outlines the five core principles of its C.A.R.E. Model:
This principle also recommends meaningful incentives and penalties to encourage spending consistent with the broad educational mission for college sports and minimum financial thresholds to limit sport-specific spending.
The Knight Commission’s C.A.R.E. Model was presented to the NCAA’s Constitution Committee, a recently-appointed group tasked with proposing a new governance model. While the committee considers dramatic changes to the NCAA’s constitution, it may adopt some or all of the Knight Commission’s recommended principles as it revises the draft constitution. A new constitution will be voted on at the 2022 NCAA Convention in January 2022.
Constitutional changes, if adopted, will alter the structure of the NCAA and how it operates and governs intercollegiate athletics. The Knight Commission’s C.A.R.E Model proposes changes that would need to be implemented broadly but also at the institutional level (e.g., public disclosure requirements, to changes financial reporting).
We can help your institution take a proactive approach to evaluate the current state of your financial policies, processes and internal controls related to athletics to identify opportunities that align with potential funding distribution and allocation changes.
Contact our higher education specialists to learn more about how we can help your institution.