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Mario Chothen March 2, 2018

Since the early 1950’s, the NCAA has served as the powerful overlord of college sports, with one central tenet idea. College athletes, whether gymnasts or quarterbacks, must be unpaid amateurs, for whom sports is little more than a sideline to their academic pursuits. As the NCAA puts it in its bylaws, “Student participation in intercollegiate athletics is an avocation, and student-athletes should be protected from exploitation by professional and commercial enterprises.”  This seems a bit hypocritical considering the NCAA Tournament will be broadcast on CBS/Turner through 2032. The companies signed an eight-year, $8.8 billion extension with the NCAA for the broadcast rights to March Madness, putting the tournament’s yearly TV value at over a billion dollars for the first time. In 2010, the NCAA and CBS/Turner agreed to a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal that will run through 2024. Apparently the parties liked that deal so much, they didn’t even get halfway through their initial deal before a huge multi-billion dollar extension. And that’s just college basketball!

College football is no slouch either. Under the new playoff format that just started a few years ago. ESPN is paying $7.3 billion over 12 years to broadcast 7 games a season and four major bowl games. Those games being the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Sugar Bowl, and the Orange Bowl. ESPN also broadcasts the the College Semifinals, and the National Championship. This season, the Cotton, Fiesta and Peach Bowls each pay out $4 million per team selected under the College Football Playoff’s revenue distribution system. The Orange Bowl’s contract is with the ACC, placing against them the highest-ranked team available from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame, with this year’s game featuring Wisconsin vs. Miami. The contractual payout for that game is approximately $27.5 million for each team based on a contract between the bowl, the conferences and Notre Dame. Any revenue earned by a team for a berth in a bowl game goes directly to the conference and is then distributed according to each conference’s own rules.

Here’s a conference by conference breakdown of the payouts this year associated with the College Football Playoffs…

 

ACC

$54 million base payout (which includes $300,000 for each team which meets the NCAA’s APR for participation in a post-season football game)

$6 million for Clemson’s berth in the semifinals

$27.5 million for Miami’s berth in the Orange Bowl (payout based on contract average pursuant to a contract between the ACC and the Orange Bowl)

Total: $87.5 million

Big 12

$54 million base payout (which includes $300,000 for each team which meets the NCAA’s APR for participation in a post-season football game)

$6 million for Oklahoma’s berth in the semifinals

Total: $60 million

Big Ten

$54 million base payout (which includes $300,000 for each team which meets the NCAA’s APR for participation in a post-season football game)

$4 million for Ohio State’s berth in the Cotton Bowl

$4 million for Penn State’s berth in the Fiesta Bowl

$27.5 million for Wisconsin’s berth in the Orange Bowl (payout based on contract average pursuant to the Orange Bowl’s contract, which places the highest ranked SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame team which isn’t in the playoff against the highest-ranked ACC team not in the playoff)

Total: $89.5 million

Pac-12

$54 million base payout (which includes $300,000 for each team which meets the NCAA’s APR for participation in a post-season football game)

$4 million for USC’s berth in the Cotton Bowl

$4 million for Washington’s berth in the Fiesta Bowl

Total: $62 million

SEC

$54 million base payout (which includes $300,000 for each team which meets the NCAA’s APR for participation in a post-season football game)

$6 million for Alabama’s berth in seminfinals

$6 million for Georgia’s berth in the semifinals

$4 million for Auburn’s berth in the Peach Bowl

Total: $70 million

Note on the SEC’s revenue distribution model: For bowl games with receipts of $4,000,000 – $5,999,999, the participating team retains $1.5 million, plus a travel allowance determined by SEC. For bowl games with receipts of $6 million or more (including all College Football Playoff games), the participating team receives $2.025 million, plus a travel allowance determined by the SEC. If an SEC team makes it to the championship game, it receives another $2.125 million, plus travel allowance.

American Athletic Conference

$4 million for UCF’s berth in the Peach Bowl

Group of 5

$81.32 million collective pool

The so-called “Group of 5” (the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mid-American Conference, Mountain West Conference and Sun Belt Conference) divide their pool each year pursuant to an agreement and formula devised by those conferences. Although that formula has not been formally disclosed to the public, reports have the majority shared equally, with a small portion set aside to be distributed based on performance.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame receives $2.65 million as a base amount, regardless of whether the Fighting Irish play in a bowl associated with the College Football Playoff.

Independents

The other three independents (Army, BYU and Massachusetts) share a collective pool of $928,503.

Though other sports are profitable on average 70% of college revenue comes from football and basketball. Billions of dollars is being made off the blood, sweat, and tears of young men age ranging from 18-22. If a student athlete sells any of their jerseys or helmets they get reprimanded. Players can get kicked out of school, lose eligibility, or their teams could have to vacate wins and championships. How the hell is that right! The NCAA prey on the talent of young men to pad their pockets, but then crack the whip when the players to the same. DO AS I SAY NOT AS I DO is the mentality of college sports. College sports is a business, the players are employees, so why aren’t they being paid. Coaches make 6-7 figures, universities make millions, and TV stations make billions. None of the 3 are on the field putting themselves in harms way, taking years off their life playing gladiator sports. Pay these young men and women or college athletes need to unionize and fight for their rights. It’s absolute BS that the powers that by has gotten away with the for some many years and no one has stood up to them.

 

 

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