NCAA to tie funding to academic performance
- The NCAA recently announced a slate of recommendations to increase revenue sharing in academic development for Division I institutions, a step officials say will devote more resources to schools ensuring positive postgraduate outcomes for student athletes.
- The new disbursement plan will create funding for schools earning an all-sport Academic Progress Rate of 985 for one year, a Graduation Success Rate of at least 90%, or a federal graduation rate that exceeds the percentage of the entire student body.
- Officials expect that total amount of academic payouts to qualifying schools to double in the first year of the plan, from more than $55,000 to $111,000 by 2021.
Already regarded as an institution designed to make well-resourced schools even richer, the new NCAA academic payout system will likely expedite the ultimate folding of mid-major non-Bowl Championship Series institutions by making the economic disparities that much larger. Schools which can already dedicate staff and technology to improving student outcomes (or cheating in the case of the University of North Carolina) will now receive rewards for doing more of what already sets them apart.
For institutions outside of the Power 5 conference orbit, the question will now be one of hyper-fundraising as the answer to make athletic funding outpace academic development, as it does at Louisiana State University; or if the answer is competing at a lower division outright and leaving the NCAA spoils to the wealthy.