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NCAA Basketball

Um, They Pay Schools How Much To Play In The NCAA Tournament?!?!


TV money is for real. Just ask Wichita St, who has already earned $1,227,500 this tourney. The going rate? $245,500 per game. And that’s after the NCAA pays for their travel expenses. The Shockers are finding Cinderella’s glass slipper is made by Dulce & Gabana. Although they have to share their “winnings” with their conference, Wichita St. has seen a 400% uptick in web traffic and expects a serious influx of fundraising dollars as a side effect. Basically, the school just went viral.

But who makes the most money out of this whole thing? Simply put, coaches. As Bloomberg news reports, homeboy is getting PAID for this trip to Atlanta:

University of Louisville coach Rick Pitino would make $425,000 extra this year — on top of a $5.7 million pay package — by leading his favored Cardinals to the championship of the men’s national basketball tournament.

Honey, looks like we’re going on that vacation! And they pale in comparison to the corporate big dogs. Consider the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Last year alone they made bank. So much so, that it’s often hard for them to keep their status as a non-profit. How much? Try close to a billion dollars. That’s right. CBS/Turner sports shelled out $871.6 million for last year’s March Madness (which is just $200 million shy of the asking price of the freakin’ Olympics.) That’s more than $6 per estimated viewer (viewership is somewhere in the vicinity of 140 million people.) So where’s all that money go? Dope cars. Psych, it goes back into Division I to help out the kids.

While the amount of revenue is large, little of the money is retained by the NCAA national office. About 96 percent is distributed directly to the Division I membership or to support championships or programs that benefit student-athletes. The remaining 4 percent goes for central services, such as building operations and salaries not related to particular programs.

For 2012-13, NCAA revenue is projected at $797 million, with $702 million coming from the Association’s new rights agreement with CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting.

You know who ain’t getting paid? The players. But, then again, that’s what the NBA draft and Enterprise rent-a-car are here for.

H/T Forbes


  • Anonymous

    No. They should not get paid for good reasons.

    1. They are getting a free college education.

    2. Where do you draw the line? Once you pay b-ball players you then pay football and baseball and tennis and lacrosse and etc. etc. etc.

    3. Most programs do not have the money the major b-ball programs have and will not be able to afford to pay players. Then the elite players out of high school will end up in only about a handful of colleges and among the will be a bidding war. It will ruin conferences and competition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004051497924 Tom Martin

    Sorry, but this article is wildly misinformed on how much schools earn. Last year, for instance, Kentucky was given about $200K in travel stipends, but it spent more than twice that much on tickets and lodging for its large pool of constituents. (The NCAA only covers 75 people, so team, band, cheerleaders, coaches…that’s about all you can account for.) In 2006, George Mason claimed it lost hundreds of thousands of dollars, in part because, by NCAA rules, it had to get tournament hotel rooms for the round of 16…20 miles from campus. Now, the school estimated it received a ridiculous $677 million in publicity, which is primarily based on how much a minute of advertising costs on TV and the internet, but that’s not actual money and the publicity goes away almost immediately. In essence, that’s what the schools play for — some imaginary quotient of publicity.

    College sports is a racket. I live in Phoenix and there was an interview with the president of ASU a couple years ago in which he described how the school had for five or six years taken over $50 million away from other areas of the budget just to keep athletics afloat. It’s far worse next door in California, where some schools pony up more than $10 million a year from other parts of the school to pay for sports. Oh, and California tuition has absolutely skyrocketed because, you know, they don’t have enough money.

    Football bowl games are a complete wash for teams (Florida took home a whopping $44,000 for the BCS game in 2009), with the only beneficiaries being TV and the bowl game chairmen. And football is the only consistent revenue-generator for any school. Some do great in March, yes, but football keeps these things up and running.

    Regardless, the vast majority of programs lose money every year. I like the example of Alabama in 2008: Generated the most revenue of any athletic department: $123,769,000. It also spent the most: $123,370,000. Yep, the Tide made less than half a million bucks that year on everything. And according to a 2010 report, only 14 programs in the entire country are on the right side of the ledger. 14! That’s just D1 schools or whatever it’s called now — the numbers are even more grim for smaller schools that don’t get TV revenue.

    And of course, the players get zilch. Kevin Ware’s a huge star but he’ll never see a dime that comes from this injury, while the school can milk it forever.


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