SEC discusses expansion, distributes $209M in revenue (UPDATED)

(Updated 8 p.m.)

DESTIN, Fla. – Amid speculation of a massive shakeup in some of college athletics’ major conferences, the SEC quantified Friday just how well the current structure is working for its members.

The SEC completed its four-day spring meetings by announcing that it will distribute a record $209 million to its 12 members this year, $17.4 million per school –- up 58 percent from last year’s distribution of $11 million per school.

The increased payout, which is slightly higher than most projections, stems largely from the SEC’s new television contracts with ESPN and CBS. The payout also includes funds generated by the league’s football championship game and bowl games, as well as its men’s basketball tournament and its cut from NCAA championship events.

The financial bonanza is particularly notable at a time when at least two major conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-10, are trying to add schools and another, the Big 12, appears in danger of collapse.

Rumors of conference realignment and expansion have permeated college athletics for six months, gaining volume the past two days with reports that the Pac-10 is on the verge of inviting half of the Big 12 to join its ranks.

The presidents and chancellors of the SEC schools discussed the issue of expansion at length during a three-hour meeting Friday, emerging with no change from the league’s oft-stated position that it will analyze any moves by other conferences “strategically and thoughtfully” and act or react if appropriate. The consensus among the presidents and chancellors seems to be that they like their league as currently constituted but do not rule out adding members if the landscape changes substantially.

“‘Strategic and thoughtful’ could mean doing nothing, no matter what anybody else does. And it could mean doing something,” SEC commissioner Mike Slive said after the meetings adjourned. “It’s just designed to say that we have maximum flexibility in how we approach this issue.

“We are very comfortable where we are now. If nothing happened [in other leagues], we would be very comfortable [staying] where we are now. And no matter what happens, we may find ourselves very comfortable where we are now. But we may not.”

Slive declined to say whether the SEC has talked with any school(s) about the possibility of joining the league. But he suggested it’s no coincidence most of the expansion talk is emanating elsewhere.

“In fact there may be some other leagues that have some needs they’re trying to fill,” he said.

LSU Chancellor Michael Martin said “circumstances” nationally could influence the SEC on expansion but added that the league’s financial strength gives it flexibility on how to approach the issue.

“If the world changes in the future,” he said, “then I guess we’ll have to be there to see it.”

For now, the SEC is expanding in one area: revenue.

While conference-to-conference comparisons on revenue distributions cannot be fairly drawn because leagues are inconsistent in what revenue they share and how they divvy it up, the SEC was celebrating its financial results.

“This meeting, with the new [TV] contract and all, may be as much a celebration as any one I’ve seen in 13 years,” University of Georgia President Michael Adams said when he arrived at the Sandestin Hilton at mid-week.

Of the $209 million the SEC is distributing,  72 percent was produced by football, including $109.5 million from television contracts, $26.5 million from bowl games and $14.5 million from the conference championship game in Atlanta.

The remainder of the money came from basketball television ($30 million), the league’s men’s basketball tournament ($5 million) and NCAA championship events ($23.5 million).

The leap in the cumulative distribution from last year’s $132.5 million to this year’s $209 million marked the 21st consecutive year the payout has increased.  The distribution has more than doubled since 2003.

“It’s an extraordinary growth,” Slive said.

The league expects the growth to continue, with or without expansion, although the major bump from the new TV contracts came this year. The contracts do have provisions allowing for renegotiation if the number of schools in the league increases.

Follow @ajcuga on Twitter for updates.

265 comments Add your comment

JB

June 4th, 2010
8:50 am

I bet Saban would be against inviting Texas……Maybe TCU, not Texas…..

Why can't UGA win?

June 4th, 2010
8:51 am

Why can't UGA win?

June 4th, 2010
8:51 am

Bulldog

June 4th, 2010
9:03 am

GeoffDawg

June 4th, 2010
9:08 am

Austin Texas

June 4th, 2010
9:11 am

University of Texas doesn’t want to join a league like the SEC due to the poor academics and lack of controls by athletic admins. High chance that over half the SEC would be on probation if the NCAA enforced anything.

That’s why the Big Ten and Pac Ten make so much more sense for these schools longer term. Michigan and Stanford’s endowments alone and more than all of the SEC’s combined for example. It’s not just based on football results of the past 4-5 years people.

BG

June 4th, 2010
9:14 am

Leave the SEC the way it is. Although I would like to see Georgia Tech join the league. Gt would get to see what it is like to play tough games every week.

the real Old Gold

June 4th, 2010
9:18 am

BG… GT is a charter member of the SEC, and with more conference titles than the “Dawgs.”

ga gator

June 4th, 2010
9:21 am

Austin that is just your ignorant Texas arroagance. It reminds me of the story about the Texan that was too big to bury in a coffin, so they gave him an enema and buried him in a shoe box. You want to be in the Pac 10 because you would get your asses handed to you in the SEC and you know it.

El Bingo es Loco

June 4th, 2010
9:24 am

Austin, you are completely dilusional if you think that academics and endowments make that much of a deciding factor in regards to changing conferences. And, no kidding it’s not based on the last 4-5 years of football. History will tell you that the SEC is, by far, the most dominant conference.

Name (required)

June 4th, 2010
9:24 am

I’m glad my life isn’t so pathetic that I have to run around to blogs trying to be the first to post a comment.

Skipper

June 4th, 2010
9:25 am

Austin,

Florida ranks ahead of Texas on US News and World Report’s “Top Public Universities.” So yeah, tilt your nose back down a bit and I bet you’ll find Vanderbilt is still in the SEC, and that UGA also ranks ahead of the rest of the Big XII, although they are six slots behind Texas.

Texas Pete

June 4th, 2010
9:27 am

Go ga gator!

Winger

June 4th, 2010
9:28 am

I guess the definition of the SouthEast Conference would have to mean southeast of Alaska.

ryan

June 4th, 2010
9:29 am

I still don’t understand how splitting revenues among 16 teams is better than 12.

Isn’t the pie already baked? Wouldn’t this just mean more slices in smaller amounts?

I don’t get it.

atlvol55

June 4th, 2010
9:30 am

Austin is just mad that Texas would be Northern Mexico right now if it weren’t for Tennesseans Davy Crocket and Sam Houston and many more of Tennesse Volunteers who had to fight off the Santa Anna to save their a**.

Buzz Off

June 4th, 2010
9:31 am

Do schools really join conferences for academic reasons? I didn’t realize the teaching, admissions standards, or quality of students would change if Texas joined another conference. Will UT’s endowment grow by joining the Big 10.

Pac-10 academics…that’s laughable. Outside of the California schools, what do you have? Oregon, Oregon St., AZ, AZ St, Washington St. These schools are academically comparable to those in the bottom half of the SEC.

Texas was part of the Southwestern Conference (remember its motto: if you ain’t cheatin you ain’t tryin) and the Big 12. UT is probably the premiere school in its current conference and would rank third academically if it came to the SEC.

John Lastinger

June 4th, 2010
9:31 am

Yes, the Big 12 is always a beacon of academic excellence. And speaking of being on probation, does anyone remember the Big 12’s roots-the Southwest Conference? If it’s not just about the past 5 years, then you have ZERO room to talk about NCAA violations and poor academics. How can you possibly convince yourself that people like Vince Young actually qualified academically for any D-I university? Oh, and by the way, 10-9. GO DAWGS!

SICKnTired

June 4th, 2010
9:33 am

um wasn’t teh old SWC of which TX was a member the poster child for shenanigans

El Bingo es Loco

June 4th, 2010
9:33 am

Ryan, if you add 4 more schools then the combined revenue would increase. It’s not like the four new schools would be exempt from giving to the kitty.

Shiloh Sustain

June 4th, 2010
9:35 am

“Do schools really join conferences for academic reasons? I didn’t realize the teaching, admissions standards, or quality of students would change if Texas joined another conference. Will UT’s endowment grow by joining the Big 10.”
—–
Academics only matter because university presidents make the final decision about changing conferences.

jumbeauxtiger

June 4th, 2010
9:37 am

It looks like the PAC 10 is being proactive. Good move on their part. It’s interesting that now is no talk of Utah going west as has been rumored before.

I would like to see Texas face a SEC slate each week. Road games in Tuscaloosa, Knoxville, Gainesville, Athens, Baton Rouge and on the plains would be much different than Lawrence, Ames, Columbia and Waco.

Clay

June 4th, 2010
9:38 am

Ease up, Skipper. See the pocket protector and the zits? Austin Texas is just a silly nerd!

And by the way, Austin, the SEC has” lack of controls by athletic admins”? Yeah, those fine Big Ten and Pac 10 institutions like USC, Washington, and Michigan sure set high standards, huh?

El Bingo es Loco

June 4th, 2010
9:40 am

All together, now:

SEC, SEC, SEC!!!

LOL

HugoStiglitz

June 4th, 2010
9:40 am

Big Ten officials have consistently stated that academics and geographic region are the two main criteria for candidates for expansion to their conference. Most people believe that they will not invite any Tier 3 schools or non AAU schools(outside of Notre Dame). There have been supposed insiders on the Texas side that have said the university would probably shy away from the SEC for academic reasons. There are many other reasons at play as well, like the political pressure to include Texas A&M or Texas Tech anywhere Texas goes but pretending that academics will not be considered is foolish.

ATLNick

June 4th, 2010
9:41 am

the real Old Gold: UGA has 12 SEC titles and Tech has 5? I guess they don’t teach math at GT! Stay in the ACC where you are relevent!

Clay

June 4th, 2010
9:42 am

Ryan, don’t you think if Texas and Texas A&M joined the SEC, the pie would suddenly become larger and sweeter?

dan

June 4th, 2010
9:43 am

the real Old Gold

“GT is a charter member of the SEC, and with more conference titles than the “Dawgs.”

Yeah, back before teams played with facemasks and before blacks were allowed to play. Oh and BTW, Dooley 3-0 vs. Bobby Dodd.

Clay

June 4th, 2010
9:45 am

So, Hugo, let’s all hold our breath wainting for Vandy to get Big Ten offers . . .

Otto

June 4th, 2010
9:45 am

If the PAC10 is looking to take half the Big12. Yes the SEC should offer Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma St.

The 4 Big12 teams along with LSU, Ole Miss, Miss. St. and Ark. would be the new SEC West. The 4 teams from the current SEC in the new west would benefit from Texas recruiting making a stronger conf even more dominant.

Baylor may have more weight in the new conf. expansion than people will give them credit for.

Fillin' up @ Juniors

June 4th, 2010
9:46 am

I think geographics have more to do with this than anything. The ACC and PAC-10 are safe because their demographcis don’t blur as much as the Big East, Big Ten and big 12…and the SEC is simply untouchable. So there will be an arms race and it makes sense that the PAC-10 would act proactivly from a possition of strength. If a conference is sqeezed out I would like to see the remainder of the Big 12 join up with the Mountain West and make them a BCS conference, effectivly eliminated the “BCS” busters, and moving us one step closer to a true National Champion.

and Academics actually have a bigger impact than most think…Its kind of the wild card in all this.

jack f

June 4th, 2010
9:47 am

Tech has more SEC titles than UGA? Since when? You can’t count those from the Almost Competetive Conference as SEC titles.

El Bingo es Loco

June 4th, 2010
9:49 am

Hugo,

Two points:

1) If the Big 11 makes academics a priority, then there continued demise in relevance will continue.

2) Of course that’s what the school presidents are going to say publicly. Afterall, these are still, supposedly, ’student-atheletes’. That said, behind the scenes, I would imagine that the AD’s and boosters feel differently. Besides, the SEC and Pac-10 will fill-up first if they decide to expand – the Big 11 will be forced to pick up the rest. And if that means good academic schools like Rutgers and BC, then see point #1.

Floyd

June 4th, 2010
9:49 am

Real Gold…I’ve seen some revisionist history in my day, but your assertion that Tech has more SEC titles than Georgia may take the cake. Dawgs have 12…Tech has 5, the last one coming in 1952 (meaning that Tech didn’t even manage to win a league title in the decade leading up to its departure from the SEC). Don’t let the facts get in the way of your delusions, though. Tech fans rarely do.

DP

June 4th, 2010
9:53 am

Ryan, any conference that brings in Texas and Texas A&M would not only bring in the revenues those schools generate but would also see their TV ratings jump in the state of Texas, which includes a lot of major TV markets that are populated by people who are rabid about college football: Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, Austin, etc. I would be very surprised if the addition of Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State to the SEC didn’t increase the per team revenue of the SEC versus what it is currently. All 4 have large stadiums and Texas and Oklahoma pull TV ratings not only in their region but nationally.

That’s why Texas is the big enchilada everybody wants in an expansion and why the SEC expanding in its existing TV/geographic footprint (Clemson, Georgia Tech, FSU, etc.) doesn’t make much sense. If the Pac 10 makes a move on the Big 12 that includes Texas I’ll be shocked if the SEC doesn’t make an offer to Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and either Oklahoma State or Texas Tech.

Paul The Vol

June 4th, 2010
9:54 am

Don’t kid yourself, this isn’t about academics, its about money. At the end of the day Texas, and the rest of the schools, will go with the best financial deal for them. The SEC doesn’t need Texas, but they certainly want them due to the extra revenue they would generate. The Pac 10 is getting desperate because the SEC, ACC and Big 10 have been outflanking them financially for a number of years.

Texas to the Pac 10 makes sense in many respects, but Texas and other Big 12 teams also realizes that due to the typically late start times of it’s games the Pac 10’s TV exposure on the east coast is very limited. That will also be a factor for them.

Boca Baby

June 4th, 2010
9:56 am

Austin Texas: If you can’t run with the big dogs then stay on the porch. I hear that there is a cozy little porch available with a view of the Pacific. And when has Texas been recognized as an elite scholarly institution? I’ll bet you a dollar to a doughnut that UGA has more scholar athletes than Texas. Put your doughnut where your mouth is.

Otto

June 4th, 2010
9:59 am

Dan, UGA had 4 SEC titles to GT’s 5. UGA won their 5th a few years after GT pulled out in ‘66. GT had 2 SEC losses in ‘66 so even if they were in the SEC UGA would have still won the Conf title. UGA only had 1 loss all yr to Miami. UGA now has 12 titles. Donnan is the only UGA coach not to have a winning record over GT since Dolley took over in Athens. BTW Dodd never beat Dooley.

HugoStiglitz

June 4th, 2010
9:59 am

Clay, the Big Ten wont offer Vandy a spot for many reasons outside of academics. Mostly geographic. Have you wondered though why Rutgers seems to be a lock to get an invite from the Big Ten but West Virginia isnt being considered at all? West Virginia always has a quality football team and just sent a basketball team to the final four and won the Big East. There has to be a reason right?

Minnesota Dawg

June 4th, 2010
9:59 am

Texas is not the Southeast! Florida is! So, how about Miami and Florida State?

chazzo

June 4th, 2010
10:01 am

Texas and balance the East with either Florida State or G Tech. Of course, Bobby passed on the SEC before in favor of an easier, softer way (the point when I slacked on my support of the Noles).

atlvol55

June 4th, 2010
10:02 am

Texas not joining for academic reasons is about the same as Florida State not joining the SEC a few seasons back because they wanted to be in a better basketball conference….yeah, I’m sure that was the reason and had nothing to do with them getting kicked in the teeth in SEC football

Clint

June 4th, 2010
10:02 am

So, what?, there are going to soon be like 3 conferences? The Big whatever, The Pac however many, and the SEC? I think this would all be avoided if Notre Dame would just join the damn Big 11 to make them a 12 team league. As for the Pac 10, they should just add two schools if they want to get to 12. How is it that they can’t hold a championship game with the 10 teams they have now? Seems like that’d be easy to pulloff. This expansion will ruin college football. Teams that are used to losing only 1 or 2 games a year, will start losing 3-4 due to playing tougher games. There will be no more undefeated national champions, and the BCS will get even more jumbled. That’s just what college football needs.

Voice of Reason

June 4th, 2010
10:03 am

Personally I would like to see the big 12 continue as a viable conference. If it breaks apart with raids from the big 11 or the pac 10, does the SEC have to react? I know it is all about expanding footprint and tv sets. If the SEC were to go after any big 12 teams I would think Tx AM should be at the top of the list. A lot of potential there. It would open up the state of Texas to more SEC recruiting. U of Texas is such an arrogant bunch I am not sure they would even fit with the SEC. A very haughty bunch. Perhaps they should go to the big 11, they would get along fine with those aholes.

Boca Baby

June 4th, 2010
10:06 am

My picks for expansion: Texas, Texas A&M for the West and Florida State and Clemson for the East. Sixteen teams adding the TV market for Texas (huge) and enhancing the Florida market. FL/FSU would be absolutely enormous! UGA/Clemson would finally have meaning. It would bring back the rivalry of the 80’s.

Ben

June 4th, 2010
10:08 am

Texas A&M is going to sec

Boca Baby

June 4th, 2010
10:09 am

And what about Texas/Arkansas? Does anyone remember how big that was in the SWC?

Bulldog59

June 4th, 2010
10:10 am

Ryan, the idea of more teams translating to more money is based on a bigger geographic draw. Going west to Texas and picking up schools opens up new TV markets. More markets = more money.

Paul (you doesn't have to call me Johnson)

June 4th, 2010
10:11 am

Anxiously awaiting the NCAA investigation of Southern Cal, which may or may not have anything to do with PAC 10 expansion.

If the hammer comes down on USC you can bet it’s the little toy hammer with the plastic accordion head that goes beep.

larry

June 4th, 2010
10:12 am