NCAA payments to schools down by $370m after mass cancellations
USA's National Collegiate Athletic Association the organising body for college sports, is to distribute $225 million to members in the top-tier Division I in 2020, less than half the total it was due to deliver.
This reduction comes after the Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, the NCAA’s most high-profile competition, was cancelled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament, also known as March Madness, annually generates almost all the body’s revenue, which amounts to around $1.1 billion. It was among the first sports competitions in USA to be cancelled due to the pandemic.
The NCAA, according to its 2020 distribution plan, was set to distribute just under $600 million to Division I schools, through 32 different conferences, between 15 April and 10 June.
Instead, the reduced sum, of which $50 million will come out of NCAA reserves, will now be paid out in its entirety in June only, and schools in Division II and III of the NCAA’s various conferences will also receive reduced payments.
It is estimated that in terms of Division I schools, their athletic departments received, at most, 5 per cent of their revenue from the NCAA in the 2019 fiscal year.
Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12 Conference, said in a conference call that in addition to the competition’s normal operating reserve, “we have some money beyond that, that was a result of withholding some last year for another purpose.”
However, he added: “It’s a whole new ballgame if we find ourselves not playing [American] football.”
Bowlsby confirmed that his conference would receive $10 million instead of $24 million this year, while the cancellation of other tournaments means losing another $6.6 million.
Bowlsby said that as a result of this, “it’s not a time when we’re going to throw a lot of money around. We’re all going to have to be careful about our management of resources.”
Donald Remy, the NCAA’s chief operating officer, said that the organisation was conducting “an examination of all our programmes to see where we can cut costs.”