Division I leaders discussed the future of the Power 4 and the non-FBS Division I programs, agreeing on a need for different Division I governance moving forward. The recording of this Knight Commission standing-room only session at NACDA, "House Case Impact: Blueprints for the Future of Division I" is available here.



Gene Smith, Senior Vice President and Wolfe Foundation Endowed Athletic Director, The Ohio State University, on the need for a different mindset:

“...at the end of the day, we need to change our thought process. It's not about a scholarship. It's not about Alston money. It's not about NIL. It's not about revenue share. It's a damn compensation package. And we need to get to that. And everybody should be compensated differently, whether that includes NIL or not. But it's a different compensation package. We need to start talking that way, because that's what it is, and face reality with it.”


Janet Cone, Senior Administrator for University Enterprises and Director of Athletics, UNC Asheville, and President, Division I-AAA Athletic Directors Association, on the plan created by the Division I-AAA and FCS Athletics Directors Associations:

“…we initiated collaboration to create a defensible model of college sports that fit our subdivisions. Our goal is to create a sustainable model that is philosophically and legally defensible, and we keep our subdivisions competing in Division I. Let me say that again: Our goal is to stay in Division I, compete at the highest level with broad-based championships, and also receive shared athletic revenues.”


Anthony Egbo, Jr., Vice-Chair Elect of the Division I national Student-Athlete Advisory Committee; former FCS football athlete and current MBA student, Abilene Christian University, on greater athlete involvement in policy and governance:

“So what we're talking about is a system, a sustainable system of powerful student-athlete legislation advocacy that provides student-athletes the opportunity to influence the decisions over our direct experiences … that works inside the governance system and that does not trigger employee status.”


Dr. Judy Olian, President, Quinnipiac University, and Knight Commission member, on the House case settlement terms:

“While the NCAA itself and the Power 4 are bearing significant costs in absolute dollar terms, the Power 4 concurrently will benefit from the windfall football broadcast revenues that flow to the Power 4 that position them financially to be able to share revenue, raise scholarship rosters, and offset the cost of the settlement. The non-football conferences and teams won't be benefiting from the football broadcast windfall, and in percentage of budget terms, the mid-major conferences and schools are carrying as high, and sometimes a higher burden than the Power 4. That's what one New York Times commentator called ‘financial Darwinism,’ survival of the fittest, or should we say, the richest.”


Jacques McClendon, Vice President for Football Coaching Operations at WME Sports; former SEC and NFL player; and Knight Commission member, on the student-athlete experience:

“...now, we're making decisions that are based off – purely – financials. And at the end of the day, that's the difference between being – let's call it transactional (vs.) transformational. The college student-athlete experience is supposed to be transformational, and we need to keep that at heart.


Tom Moreland, Chief Commercial Officer, University of Illinois, on the need for different FBS football governance to regulate the new financial model:

“...to really have effective regulation, whether it's the public sector, the private sector, anything that is hyper-competitive like college athletics is – aligning regulation with authority, responsibility, and financial control … I think has shown to work really well across all industries.”


C.A.R.E. Model Conference Grant application deadline is Friday, June 21, 2024.

Grants are available from a pool of $100,000 to Division I Conferences that implement the C.A.R.E. Model principles to demonstrate accountability to college athlete education, health, safety, well-being, equity, and opportunity through their distribution and use of shared athletics revenues.

Conferences currently in compliance with the model and those that can achieve compliance within 12 months may apply for grants up to $25,000.

Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics  |  knightcommission.org