“I don’t think it’s ever been a question of money…”

There’s an interesting post mortem about the SEC’s national playoff proposal debate in the Tuscaloosa News today, with lots of quotes from coaches and school officials.

Mike Slive’s ridiculous quote aside, here’s the reason Bernie’s ship never even left the dock:

… While the NCAA men’s basketball tournament might bring in more money, thanks to a huge exclusive contract with CBS (11 years, $6.2 billion, for an average of $545 million per tournament), it has to be equally split among the 300-plus athletic departments.

With the Bowl Championships Series, only the six conferences directly involved (roughly 65 schools) split most of the revenues.

In terms of the 2005 bottom line, Alabama received $1.8 million in broadcast rights for men’s basketball and an additional $1.8 million in NCAA/SEC distributions. Meanwhile, the football program took in $5.4 million in broadcast rights and $2.6 million in NCAA/SEC distributions.

Most university presidents are therefore adamant against a playoff system, which would almost certainly result in equal distribution across the board. During the 2004-05 school year, the NCAA took in more than $500 million in revenues, the bulk from television contracts. Of that, 95 percent was distributed among the member institutions.

To accentuate how times had changed following the 1984 landmark Supreme Court ruling that said the NCAA couldn’t limit the number of televised football games (NCAA v. Board of Regents of University of Oklahoma and Georgia Athletic Association), in 1990 the 10 SEC schools shared $16.3 million in revenue. Friday, the SEC announced that its 12 members will split a record $122 million for the 2006-07 fiscal year…

One way the rich get richer is to make sure the rules allow them to stay richer.

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