The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics: Why It Needs Fixing

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics was established in 1989 by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Under the strong leadership of its founding cochairs, the Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh and Dr. William C. Friday, the Commission set forth to put pressure on the NCAA to clean up its own act before Congress stepped in to do it for them. Subsequent to their tenure the Commission strayed far off the course they set. Can colleges control the NCAA? The answer, plain and simple, is no. Neither can the Foundation’s Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics as it is presently structured—it needs to be fixed first. To this end, The Drake Group has urged the president and CEO of the Knight Foundation to take a hard look at the Commission, arguing that the Commission has not only moved off mission, but has morphed into an unofficial arm of the NCAA as well—it seems time for critical introspection.

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