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Knight Commission Pushes NCAA to Reward Academics

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Ahead of a major vote by the NCAA, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics urged the body to pass a policy that would change the organization’s revenue distribution model and reward schools whose athletic teams meet academic expectations with revenue generated by NCAA events.

Currently, the NCAA pays out nearly 40 percent of the revenue it generates from the NCAA basketball tournament based on the success of the teams taking part. The proposal under NCAA consideration, which goes to a vote on Thursday, would shift that model to award media revenues to schools that meet certain academic criteria.

“With more money flowing into college sports, it is even more critical to ensure educational values are supported by meaningful financial rewards – and not just by words alone,” Knight Commission chairman Brit Kirwan said in a release.

The Commission announced its positions Monday during its fall meeting at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. In addition to supporting changing revenue distribution for the men’s basketball tournament, the Commission also urged College Football Playoff leaders to adopt similar academic-based revenue distribution models.

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