NCAA Still Making Money

NCAA Financials


Alex W



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The NCAA is expected to face some financial loss from 2020-21, but the previous year was a big revenue increase for the organization.

A pair of Power 5 conferences, the ACC and Pac-12, just recently shared their financial data from that year.

According to the ACC, it distributed $497.2 million to its league members, and that was an increase of $42 million. It is the highest gross revenue ever reported, but that number will likely take a hit in 2020-21.

The launching of the ACC Network in 2019 played a key role in the growth in revenue, but so did the postseason success of league teams. The conference receives money for postseason bowls and tournament appearances as part of a revenue-sharing agreement from the NCAA.

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With the overall growth in gross revenue for the league, it also means that schools received a record amount of money. For the first time in history, each school in the ACC was paid more than $30 million to be used for its athletic programs.

Clemson received $37 million in 2019-20 revenue as the Tigers reached the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame is not a league member in all sports, and that institution received just $10.8 million for the fiscal year.

Pac-12 Had Smaller Growth

The Pac-12 Conference also had an increase in revenue from the previous year, but the growth was not as large as it was for the ACC. During the 2019-20 season, the overall gross revenue for the league was $403 million that was distributed to schools.

The average amount that was distributed to the schools was $33.6 million, and postseason success from some of the smaller sports helped boost the overall numbers. The Pac-12 Conference also has its own television network, but it has not brought in as much revenue as the other leagues.

COVID-19 is expected to have a much bigger impact on the revenue numbers in the Pac-12 as schools and teams faced much harsher restrictions.

SEC Bails Out League Teams

The Southeastern Conference has taken a different approach to help its member schools cope with the financial losses that occurred during the 2020-21 school year. According to an announcement from the league, each school will receive $23 million to help cover financial losses.

The money will be sent to each of the 14 schools in the conference, but the SEC acknowledges that it will not cover all losses. According to the report, the league estimates that each activity has lost $45 million in revenue on average.

ESPN has signed on a new deal with the SEC to broadcast games beginning in 2024, and that money will be used to send out these payments. The league believes that it will start to increase revenue each year, beginning in 2025.

Each school will be able to use the one-time payment at its own discretion, but it has to be used to maintain the strong and history-rich tradition of academics and athletics. The cost of COVID-19 testing put a burden on SEC teams, prompting the league to help them out.

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