Good morning, and thanks for your continued support of Extra Points.
Way back in the fall of 2020, the Knight Commission released their anticipated report on recommendations for NCAA governance reform. The report was an ambitious effort, one that included interviews with dozens and dozens of university presidents, ADs, conference leaders, SWAs, and athletes, trying to see how they felt about various reform packages, and how college sports was currently operating.
I was on several of those calls, and at the time, I was pretty critical of the report. I wasn't critical because I thought the main ideas suggested by the Knight Commission were bad, or because the report was created out of bad faith.
Rather, after looking at the cross tabs, I thought it showed a world where virtually everybody involved agreed that college sports needed significant reforms, but that the bulk of those reforms should be shouldered by other people. Administrators overwhelmingly believed that "athletics are in alignment with the core mission of our institution", despite having concerns about that alignment as a whole. Small school administrators were more likely to support reform packages centered around larger schools. Programs without football pointed the finger at football. You get the idea.
2020 was a long time ago. This report was before Alston, before NIL, before the financial ramifications of COVID were completely understood, before a lot of things.
I feel like my general sense of time has been blown to smithereens, but I do remember Fall of 2020 being a chaotic time for college sports. But now, with additional legal challenges, financial challenges, political challenges and NIL...it's clearly an even more topsy-turvy world.
And a funny thing may be happening. Some of those leaders are changing their minds about what they think about some Knight Commission proposals.