The below information was compiled directly from each FBS conference’s IRS Form 990. The same is true of the NCAA.
The data ranges from FY07 through FY13 (the last available 990’s). I began with 2007 simply because that is the point at which I began collecting 990’s and for no other reason. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to conduct an in-depth review of each 990 given the sheer volume of the data. If you know of something I missed please leave a comment. The same goes for inaccuracies. Just keep in mind that this blog is managed by one person and compiled only out of an interest in college sports.
Please note that the below data is limited solely to those monies individual schools received from their respective conferences. It does not include revenue received by the school via other sources (ticket sales, merchandising, etc.). This is important because those additional revenue streams can amount to tens and even hundreds of millions of dollars (see here for those amounts). Also, because this information pertains strictly to conference financials, independents are not included.
Finally, I am including the actual compiled raw data in PDF format. It may be a little messy but I thought it would add value and readers might spot some things I missed.
Here are some of the things I noted.
Items pertaining to conference financials–
Here is the raw data on revenue and expenses: Rev vs Exp
- During FY13, five of the 10 FBS conferences realized 83% of all revenue.
- The PAC 12 realized the most revenue during FY13 at almost $334 million.
- The conference with the least amount of revenue in FY13 was the Mountain West with $9,857,849.
- In FY13, the PAC 12 received 20% of all FBS conference revenue while the Big Ten and SEC both received 19%. That left seven conferences to share the remaining 42%.
- PAC 12 revenue increased 90% from FY12 ($175,898,248) to FY13 ($333,992,599). That’s an increase in revenue of about $158,000,000.
- In FY12 the PAC 12 listed $85,630,000 in ‘television rights fees’. In FY13 this amount increased to $252,674,304.
FY07 through FY13
- FBS combined conference revenue surpassed the billion dollar mark in FY10.
- In the seven years recorded, overall conference revenue increased 103%.
- Between FY07 and FY13, PAC 12 revenue increased 276%, the Sun Belt 148%, the MAC 135%, and the Big East/American 118%. No conference lost money. The smallest increase across the seven years was the Mountain West at 27%.
- Over the seven years evaluated, the Big Ten realized the most revenue at $1.7 billion. They were followed by the SEC ($1.5 billion), the ACC ($1.3 billion), the Big 12 ($1.1 billion), and the PAC 12 ($1 billion).
- The conference with the least revenue over the seven years is the Mountain West at $67.6 million.
- In FY13, about every 11 days, the PAC 12 earned what the Mountain West made in the entire year (18 days for the Sun Belt, 25.5 days for the MAC, and 68 days for CUSA).
- The largest deficit run by any conference was the SEC, which ran a $30,000,000 deficit in FY08. I have no idea what the explanation is for this deficit; however, here is the SEC’s 990’s for FY07, FY08 and FY09. Leave a comment if you know the reason.
- Between FY07 and FY11, FBS conference revenue increased by an average of 8.75%.
- In FY12, FBS conference revenue increased by 20% and in FY13 by 21%.
Pertaining to school allotments–
Below is the data on conference allotments per school. Unfortunately, the MAC did not provide school allotment information beyond FY08. The raw data on school allotments in available here: School Allotments
- The largest per team allotments were in the Big Ten where each member school received roughly $25.7 million dollars. This is five times the amount of money Sun Belt schools were allotted combined.
- Overall, per school allotments increased 100% from FY07 to FY13.
- The largest increase in terms of conference allotment was TCU. In FY12 TCU was allotted $215,676 by the Mountain West. After moving to the Big 12, TCU was allotted $9.8 million. Eventually, this allotment will increase to the $20 million to $21 million range that other Big 12 schools received.
- Utah was also a winner in the conference shuffle. This school increased its allotment from $406,908 in FY11 (when with the Mountain West) to $10.2 million in FY13 (with the PAC 12). Eventually, this allotment will increase to the $20 million-plus range that other PAC 12 schools receive.
- West Virginia University has also made significant strides in revenue by changing conferences. In FY12, WVU received $6.5 million in allotment from the Big East/American. In FY13 the school received $8.8 million from the Big 12. Eventually, this allotment will increase to the $20 million to $21 million range that other Big 12 schools receive.
- You will note from the data that conference expansion/shuffling will ultimately have significant impact on specific schools as their allotments substantially increase once they become fully vested, payoff conference loans, etc.
- It should be added that conference expansion/shuffling has benefited smaller schools. This is especially true of small schools that found their way into FBS conferences, substantially increasing sports revenue for those schools.
School allotments as a percentage of overall conference expenditures
How much do conferences actually give back to member schools? To answer this question a comparison was done between the total amounts allotted to schools and the total amount expended by the conference. An item of interest is that conferences with greater budgets demonstrated higher ratios of member school allotments versus overall expenses than did conferences with lesser budgets.
Here is the raw data: Allotments vs Expenses
For FY13, this comparison found that…
- The Big Ten led the way with 94% of all expenditures going back to member schools. The SEC was next at 93% followed by the ACC (91%). From there it drops off considerably with the Big 12 at 85%.
- The PAC 12 provides a good example of how deceiving financial information can be. While the financials show that the conference allotted a comparatively paltry 68% of expenditures to member schools, during FY13 the conference invested in the PAC 12 Network. Here is the breakdown…
- $8,405,364 on information technology
- $17,632,111 to Matt Construction for PAC 12 Network Studio (Check it out here)
- $13,667,613 to Diversified Systems on the PAC 12 Network (Here is some info on it)
- $1,383,152 to Comcast Media Center for video transmission services
- $1,254,221 to Evolution Media Capital for consulting
- However, despite the PAC 12’s FY13 investment in its network, in FY12 the conference’s percentage of allotments to expenditures was 76% and 84% in FY11. It’ll be interesting to see if the conference’s new found wealth will impact allotments as a percentage of overall expenditures.
From FY07 to FY13…
- Interestingly, the ACC, SEC and Big Ten showed similar increases in the percentage of allotments to expenditures, moving from an average of 87% in FY07 to roughly 93% in FY13.
- The highest allotments noted were in the Big 10 where 95% of expenditures were school allotments during FY08, FY09, FY10, and FY11
- Across the seven years, the Big Ten ranked the highest in school allotments as a ratio of overall expenditures with 93%. The SEC was second at 91%. Every other conference fell below the 90% mark.
Pertaining to conference commissioner compensation–
Total compensation includes base salary, discretionary and performance based compensation, deferred compensation, and payments to executive retirement.
Here is the raw data: Commiss Salaries
- The largest compensated conference commissioner in FY13 was the Pac 12’s Lawrence Scott at $3,304,459. This included $2,203,750 in base salary, $123,961 in ‘other compensation’ and a $900,000 bonus. To put Scott’s compensation package into perspective, the amount comes to $9,078 a day or $378.25 an hour for every hour of every day.
- The second highest commissioner compensation went to the ACC’s John Swofford at about $2.2 million.
- In the PAC 12’s FY10 990 is a loan for $1,861,842 made from the conference to Lawrence Scott. In FY11, FY12,and FY13 the loan remained at the same amount (no payments made or interest accrued).
As it pertains to the NCAA–
Here is the raw data on the NCAA: NCAA
In FY13, the NCAA’s…
- Revenue was $874,309,425
- Expenses were $842,072,422
- Excess revenue over expenses was $32.2 million
- Revenue from ‘Television Rights Fees’ was $726,391,860
- Revenue from ‘Championships and NIT’ was $101,910,268
- Number of employees was 580
From FY07 to FY13, NCAA…
- Received revenue of $5.2 billion
- Received $5.1 billion in Program Service Revenue (television rights fees, championships and NIT tournaments, and amateur related fees). When compared to overall revenue, this clearly demonstrates the NCAA’s almost complete reliance on the NCAA basketball tournament for revenue.
- ‘Television rights fees’ increased 42%
- ‘Championships and NIT’ revenue increased 67%
- Program Service Revenue (television rights fees, championships and NIT tournaments, and amateur related fees) increased 47%
- Overall revenue increased 44%
- Compensation for the director position increased 83%
- Revenue over expenses was $302,283,867
- Spent $55,611,195 on travel and conventions
- Spent $341,091,940 on employee related costs
- ‘Compensation of current officers, directors, key employees’ increased 168%
- ‘Salaries and wages of other employees’ increased 36%
- Added 146 employees (from 434 in FY07 to 580 in FY13)
- Paid $56,608,295 in ‘Legal fees’ ($20 million in FY07)
Two other notes on the NCAA…
- In FY09, the NCAA began an endowment fund for its operations. Since its inception, this endowment fund has increased by 60% and in FY13 was valued at $638,450,876. The organization’s 990 lists this fund as being necessary due to the fact that, “The concentration of the NCAA’s revenue coming from one primary source.” This source, of course, is the NCAA basketball tournament.
- The NCAA releases a 10 year report on college athletics that contains some excellent information. The 2204-2014 report is available here.
Remember to leave a comment if you know of anything left out!