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NCAA Football

Big Ten to Distribute $284 Million for Fiscal 2011-12

On Monday’s conference call with the media, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany announced the league would distribute $284 million to its 12 teams at the end of the current fiscal year.

Not bad, not bad at all.  That is up from the $251.9 million it paid out to its 11 members for the 2010-11 fiscal year.

The $284 million distribution works out to be $23.7 million per school, although Nebraska isn’t yet receiving its full share after being in the league only one season.

The Illinois athletic department reported each Big Ten school will receive $24.6 million which if you multiply by 11 teams leaves Nebraska with a first year payout of approximately $13.4 million.

For comparison’s sake, the SEC announced last week it was distributing $241.5 million or $20.1 million per school.  On the surface, it would appear each Big Ten school is hauling in almost $4 million per year more than their SEC counterparts, but it’s worth noting that the SEC figures do not include any amounts for the third tier rights which are held by each school so the numbers are likely closer than they might otherwise appear.

The Big Ten’s payout is all inclusive of their television rights because they include all revenue from their Tier I, II, and III rights.

However you want to slice it, seeing these numbers grow by leaps and bounds from where they were just a few years ago and it’s not hard to understand what’s fueling the conference realignment phenomenon that has swept over college athletics the past two years.

Teams are chasing the almighty dollar while any other considerations take a back seat to how much more money a school can bring in by finding a new home.

And don’t expect it to stop here.  With the upcoming playoff on the horizon, the pool of money available to the conferences is only going to get bigger, and quite possibly much bigger.

According to a report in the Sporting News, the new playoff model could be worth more than double the current BCS agreement and quite possibly much more than that.

Money is driving this bus and if you’re one of the few who still value a little bit of tradition within college athletics, well, you’d best just get out of the way because there’s likely no stopping the changes that are coming.