Blog Entry

NCAA making more and more money off tourney

Posted on: November 17, 2011 2:33 pm
Edited on: November 17, 2011 2:38 pm

By Matt Norlander

Not exactly a headline that get you stiff in your seat, is it?

The NCAA's finance books have always been publicly available. Most don't get into them because, basically researching and sifting through financial records of the NCAA isn't a lot of fun. It's dense, burdensome work that isn't really fruitful, unless you stumble upon a tax scandal that would blow the whole thing open. Not likely to happen. Not much reason, other than random curiosity, to actively hunt through hundreds of pages filled with numbers that just glaze past the uneconomical eye.

But in the wake of Deadspin posting -- at 2:25 a.m. -- what it initially thought was privileged information, the organization's records have been a topic of interest on the Internet today. Just how much money is the NCAA bringing in? We've got that info for you, plus the dollars attached to the men's and women's tournaments.

They're lofty numbers, and they continue to climb. For anyone who fights and advocates for college athletes to earn money at means above a scholarship, these figures only serve to rile and further invigorate your cause. In terms of the NCAA tournament, here are the dollar amounts attached to it (read: the profits the NCAA makes off its massive bovine) since 2005 and up through 2013. In 2005, the NCAA made $420 million. The next year, it went up to $453. In 2007: $490 million; 2008: $529 million; 2009: $571 million; 2010: $617 million; this past spring: $657 million.

Yes, the numbers will keep climbing. Next year will be a $710 million-dollar check, and 2013 is a $764 million boost to the organization. The NCAA record show most -- most -- of this money goes back to member institutions, as well as putting on all of the NCAA championships/tournaments in the sports that don't raise money. What I take from this: college football, which has fractured off its TV money from the NCAA (something basketball can and could do by 2025, in my opinion), isn't the beast in all areas we think it is.

Men's hoops is vital, so, so, vital to the NCAA continuing to exist and be the behemoth that it is. Without the tournament TV money, what is the NCAA? Not nearly as power or influential.

For a view of how much the men's D-I dominates, next spring, the NCAA will make 18.8 million from the women's field of 64.  And the NIT is now a measly $56 and a half million check that is spread out over 10 years, expiring in 2015.

Here's one of the copies of the financial records, if you so choose to peer.

2008 Ncaa Financials Copy

Photo: Getty Images

Since: Jan 8, 2007
Posted on: November 17, 2011 8:29 pm

NCAA making more and more money off tourney

It's not about the NCAA.  Division I-A (now FBS) college football has always been the domain of the individual conference commissioners.  Do you really think they'll relinquish the power that comes with controlling the sport just for the sake of having a playoff?  They know they can make more money with such an arrangement but they don't want to share the wealth with the smaller schools under ANY circumstances.  

Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: November 17, 2011 6:26 pm

NCAA are pretty stupid for "smart people..."

So, if the NCAA makes so much money off of a basketball tournament, why are they too stupid to see all of the money they are leaving on the table by refusing to determine a true football champion with a playoff?  This would lead me to believe that there are a lot of personal kickbacks being given by the bowls.  

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