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General Information, Lectures & Seminars, Media Advisory

LSU Chancellor Michael Martin to Participate in Knight Commission Meeting on Oct. 24

Knight Commission Meeting with NCAA President Mark Emmert in Washington, D.C.

10/12/2011 03:15 PM

BATON ROUGE – On Monday, Oct. 24, LSU Chancellor Michael Martin will join other university presidents and chancellors as the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics meets with NCAA President Mark Emmert in Washington, D.C.


Policy changes being considered by the NCAA and updated financial data will frame the reform-focused discussion among higher education leaders at the meeting, taking place at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, located at 1150 22nd St., NW, Washington, D.C.


Martin said it’s important for those with higher profile programs such as LSU to participate in these types of discussions to figure out what’s best for the whole of college sports.


“I think it’s important because we have one of the most successful programs in the country and still many of us have some concerns about the way this whole thing has evolved,” Martin said. “I think it’s important for the schools that are very successful in the obvious sense – winning and money – to also be clearly involved in any reform that serves the greater good.”


The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, chaired by William E. “Brit” Kirwan, chancellor of the University System of Maryland, and R. Gerald Turner, president of  Southern Methodist University, will be joined by Emmert; Martin; Robert Kustra, president of Boise State University; and Tom Ross, president of the University of North Carolina.


The group will discuss topics such as the values guiding college sports, progress on the commission’s prior recommendations, policy changes being considered by the NCAA, the impact of conference realignments, and whether athletes should be compensated beyond current scholarship limits. See meeting agenda below for more information.


Martin will participate in a panel discussion, along with Kustra and Ross, titled “Presidential Viewpoints on the Future of Division I Athletics.” 


Martin said the panelists will share opinions, bounce ideas off one another and take questions.


“I’m going to be on a panel to talk about various ways we can refocus the emphasis of big time sports back on the student athlete experience and not just the athlete experience, and I think the debate will also revolve around how we reward or support athletes, if anything can be done about the enormous budget differentials, etc.,” Martin said.


Media will have an opportunity to interview and speak with presenters and commission co-chairmen at the conclusion of the final session. A media workroom with Internet access will be available in The Washington Room following the meeting.


To RSVP for the meeting, contact


About the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics


The Knight Commission was formed by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in October 1989 in response to more than a decade of highly visible scandals in college sports. The commission’s goal is to promote a reform agenda that emphasizes academic values in a climate in which commercialization of college sports often overshadows the underlying goals of higher education. In June 2010, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics released its third major report, “Restoring the Balance: Dollars, Values and the Future of College Sports.” More information about the commission including its prior reports can be found at


About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more information, visit



Full Meeting Agenda


9:00-9:30 a.m. Public Session: An Update on Financial Trends in Academic and Athletics Spending at Division I universities, presented by Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs researchers and Knight Commission consultants.  


Researchers will provide updates to athletics and academic spending data for public universities in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision, or FBS, as presented in the commission’s “Restoring the Balance” report. For the first time, athletics and academic spending data will be presented for the non-FBS Division I public universities. Relevant financial data shaping the college sports landscape for all Division I institutions will be reviewed.



9:30-10:30 a.m. Public Session: Discussion with NCAA President Mark Emmert


Emmert will provide a summary of key policy issues being considered by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors and the values guiding the NCAA’s efforts.


The commission and Emmert will discuss the membership’s reaction to specific Knight Commission recommendations, including requiring public transparency for NCAA financial reports, implementing higher academic standards for postseason eligibility, revising the revenue distribution formula to reward academic success, and maintaining an appropriate ratio between athletics and academic spending.


The session also will include a discussion about the implications of recent conference realignments, the dominant role football plays in shaping the landscape for all other college sports, the effectiveness of the current governance structure, and the debate about whether college athletes should be compensated beyond current scholarship limits.



10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Public Session: Presidential Viewpoints on the Future of Division I Athletics


Three university leaders – Kustra, Martin and Ross – will discuss their views on major challenges facing college sports; the values that should guide the future; the NCAA’s current efforts to address key policy areas; the commission’s recommendations; and the policy actions they favor, with particular attention to the wide diversity of financial resources among Division I athletic programs.

LSU Media Relations