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Knight Commission Calls for NCAA Reforms

Jason Scott

On Monday, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics called for changes not just to college basketball, but the NCAA itself in order to restore public trust in the body.

At a meeting in Washington, D.C., the Commission called on the NCAA to take steps beyond those recommended by the Rice Commission on College Basketball, which unveiled its own list of recommendations in the wake of the FBI scandal currently unfolding in that sport.

A press release outlined the Knight Commission’s recommendations. Among them are:

  • “Add at least six independent directors to the 24-member Division I Board of Directors, now comprised solely of institutional representatives, with an ultimate goal of a majority of independent directors.”
  • “Adopt new and more stringent approvals, terms of conditions, and financial disclosures for income that NCAA institutions and their employees — particularly coaches — receive from shoe, equipment and apparel companies.
  • “Develop minimal professional standards that NCAA coaches will be required to meet to ensure they are prepared for their roles as educators and leaders in the development of student-athletes.”

“It’s an open question if the NCAA can restore public confidence in its ability to be stewards of big-money college sports,” said Arne Duncan, co-chair of the Knight Commission. “To do so, it will need to embrace far more sweeping and deep-seated reform than ever before.”

The Commission focused their suggested reforms on the areas of governance, integrity and financial transparency, and student-athlete education and development. The goals of these particular focus areas are to eliminate potential conflicts of interest, rid the NCAA of the shadow of possible financial corruption, and to groom the next generation of coaches and provide the best environment for student-athletes.

In addition to the proposed fixes, the Knight Commission endorsed many of the proposed changes suggested by the Rice Commission.

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