Amy Privette Perko
Chief Executive Officer
Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics
Amy Privette Perko has led the Knight Commission since 2005, serving as executive director until October 2016 when she was named chief executive officer. During Perko’s tenure, the NCAA has adopted a number of the Knight Commission recommendations. The most prominent of these actions include requiring teams to be on track to graduate 50 percent of their players to be eligible for postseason championships; reducing athletic time demands on college athletes and revising its revenue distribution to include incentives for academic outcomes. The Knight Commission recommended all of these actions in its June 2010 report — “Restoring the Balance: Dollars, Values and the Future of College Sports.”
Having served in various leadership positions in sports for more than 30 years, Perko is a recognized leader on college sports issues. She is the recipient of the 2020 Dick Enberg Award presented by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). This distinguished award is presented annually to a person whose actions and commitment have promoted the values of education and academics.
In January 2012, Perko received the NCAA’s prestigious Silver Anniversary Award, which is given to six former college athletes on the occasion of their 25th anniversary from college participation in recognition of their civic and professional contributions. In 2015, she was named a “Game Changer” by Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal.
Perko serves as the Commission’s spokesperson,and has been quoted and interviewed by leading news media, including: ESPN, USA Today, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and numerous public radio stations. She has been a keynote speaker and lecturer at a number of events, including the CoSIDA Convention, the University of Florida’s Alan C. & Elizabeth Martin Moore Lecture Series, and UNC’s Parr Center for Ethics/Public Policy Carolina Forum.
She has written published commentaries on college sports issues, including two published by The New York Times: “Promoting Academics in College Sports” and “Colleges Can Take Action Without an Athletes’ Union.”
A member of the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame, Perko was named to Co-SIDA’s Academic All-America basketball team three times and earned All-ACC honors twice. She was honored as an ACC Legend in 2005. In 2008, Perko was inducted into CoSIDA’s Academic All-America Hall of Fame. Perko graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1987 with a degree in history. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Richmond. In Dec. 2015, Perko was awarded an honorary degree from Methodist University.
Perko worked at the NCAA for more than six years and then at the University of Kansas as the Associate Athletics Director and Senior Woman Administrator, where she served on several Big 12 Conference and NCAA committees. In 2001, she was the first Team President named by the National Basketball Association (NBA) for one of its men’s basketball development teams, the Fayetteville Patriots.
Perko has contributed to numerous community and civic organizations, including service as a youth basketball coach and as President of the Board of Directors for the Partnership for Children of Cumberland County, an organization that administered over $10 million in grants for early childhood development and education.