NCAA may reward teams for academic performance

Friday September 30th, 2016

The NCAA may soon reward teams in all sports based on their academic performance during a school year.

A final report of the NCAA Division I Values-Based Revenue Distribution Working Group, obtained by USA Today, recommended that the NCAA let athletic departments who meet at least one of three academic benchmarks each year be a determining factor in how much money those conferences receive from a new pool of money.

The new money would be funded by future increases in the NCAA's media rights fees. The fund is separate from increases in the NCAA’s other Division I revenue distribution funds, such as the men's basketball tournament.

A vote is set to take place with the the NCAA Board of Governors and the Division I Board of Directors in late October.

The fund would not start until the 2019-2020 fiscal year, with the first six years of the fund receiving 75% of the yearly TV rights fee increases. It would start at nearly $13 million for the first year and then balloon to a projected $105.4 million by the 2024-25 fiscal year.

Based on the thought that 3/4 of the 347 Division I schools would meet at least one of the academic requirements each year, a conference would receive about $460,000 for each qualifying institution.

Schools would receive many based on performance in having an Academic Performance Rate (APR) of at least 985 the previous year, a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 90 or above, and a federal graduation rate of least 13% higher than the undergraduate student body of that school.

- Scooby Axson

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