The NCAA passed a new policy that will for the first time financially reward colleges and universities that meet academic expectations for sports teams and athletes, as opposed to payouts dictated by athletic performance.
The new policy goes into effect in 2019/20.
Under the NCAA’s current revenue distribution formula, nearly 40 percent of the annual $550 million payout for March Madness is awarded based on the success of men’s basketball teams in the tournament. Under the new policy, more than $10 million and eventually more than $100 million of the media revenues from the March Madness tournament will be awarded to conferences to distribute to member schools based on how their athletic teams meet academic-based criteria.
Brit Kirwan, chairman at The Knight Commission, who is retiring at the end of the year, said, “It’s especially gratifying, in my final months on the Commission, to see the NCAA take this game-changing step to place a higher value on education in college athletics … It is critical to align the incentives in college sports with educational values.”
The NCAA policy is consistent with on the Knight Commission made roughly 15 years ago.