C-USA got nearly $40M in membership dues in realignment era

The poaching and backfilling of conference realignment was not kind to Conference USA, but it was to the league’s bank account.

The league reported more than $36 million in ‘membership dues’ on its last two federal tax returns, including $20.78 million from the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, according to documents obtained by CBSSports.com.

The dues are not broken down in the return but are believed to comprise entrance and exit fees after losing seven schools to the American Athletic Conference (formerly the Big East).

For comparison, C-USA listed $3.61 million in membership dues on its 2010-11 return.

Former C-USA schools UCF, Houston, Memphis and SMU officially joined the American last season. East Carolina, Tulsa and Tulane will debut in the American this fall.  

C-USA back-filled with the likes of Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee, Western Kentucky and Charlotte.

New member UTSA, for example, paid a $2 million entrance fee in May 2012.

The membership dues bolstered C-USA’s total 2012-13 revenue line to $62.6 million after television rights, NCAA tournament credits and bowl distribution.

C-USA had considered a 16-team model but last summer opted to remain a 14-team league.

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