NCAA scores $1B in revenue, driven by TV deals

By SportsFOXBusiness

Big East Commissioner on March Madness

Big East Commissioner Val Ackerman on the Big East basketball tournament and the debate over paying college athletes.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) surpassed $1 billion in revenue for the first time last year, driven by the organization’s television deals.

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The NCAA raked in $1.06 billion in revenue and a profit of $105 million, according to a financial statement published Wednesday. Television rights packages with CBS and Turner accounted for more than $800 million of the NCAA’s revenue, with the rest tied to championships and tournaments.

The broadcast deals, which run through 2032, are worth a total of $8.8 billion.

College sports have been under a microscope amid a federal investigation into bribery allegations and legal battles over compensation for players.

Several coaches have been charged with corruption, and some of the largest programs have been implicated in reports on how players and family members received cash or other benefits. The scandal also led to the firing of Louisville men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino, while Arizona coach Sean Miller was reportedly caught on a wiretap discussing payments to a recruit.

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The NCAA booked a $209 million expense in 2017 after reaching a settlement with former players who were part of a federal class-action lawsuit over pay. The players argued that athletic scholarships were illegally capped and didn’t fully cover expenses.

Val Ackerman, commissioner of the Big East conference, told FOX Business that players shouldn’t receive salaries or similar compensation. Republican Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin recently said he believes NCAA athletes should be paid to avoid corruption in college sports.

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