Wow, Knight Commission. You go, girl.
The Knight Commission has called for a restructuring of college sports in response to the “highly commercialized environment” of major-college football and basketball. In a letter to NCAA president Mark Emmert, the reform-minded commission emphasized the need to explore “alternative structures for Division I college sports.”
Last week, Knight Commission co-chair Arne Duncan suggested “big-revenue athletics programs” might be placed in a different division outside of NCAA oversight.
“Just let them play by a different set of rules — and be up front about it and be honest,” said Duncan, a former U.S. Secretary of Education. Duncan went on to say the NCAA currently is “overwhelmed,” adding that the association had become “irrelevant” in the wake of the FBI basketball scandal.
Although I’m not sure the NCAA knows how to be up front about it and be honest. Still, it’s worth a shot, especially when you consider reality.
The Knight Commission is concerned that up to 60 percent of the NCAA’s annual $500 million-plus distribution to schools is “impacted” by FBS football, a sport the NCAA doesn’t sponsor. The commission is recommending more “far-reaching reforms” that continue to emphasize athletes’ education, health and safety.
Knight chief executive officer Amy Perko used the example of the current Student Athlete Assistance Fund. While schools are able to use that fund (approximately $350,000 per school) to pay athletes’ insurance premiums and other benefits, the fund is limited.
“Is the system we have in place currently appropriate and fair as to student-athlete benefits?” Perko told CBS Sports.
I’m going to assume that’s a rhetorical question.