The SEC will distribute a record $289.4 million to its member schools for this fiscal year, more than twice as much as four years ago, conference commissioner Mike Slive said Friday.
That translates to about $20.7 million per school — “a pretty healthy number,” Slive said.
The money comes from the league’s revenue-sharing pool, which includes funds from football and basketball television contracts, the SEC Championship football game, bowl games, the SEC men’s basketball tournament and the league’s share of NCAA Championships revenue.
The total distribution is up about $45.4 million — or 19 percent — from last year’s $244 million. It will be divided 14 ways, rather than 12, this time because of the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M to the league. Still, the share per school increased by about $400,000, from last year’s $20.3 million.
SEC revenue has soared in recent years, largely because of increases in TV contracts. This year’s distribution is up 118 percent from $132.5 million in 2009.
More revenue jumps likely are ahead. The conference, in partnership with ESPN, plans to launch a national cable television channel, the SEC Network, in August 2014. The SEC will share profits with ESPN, and SEC schools expect to see a major revenue boost after ESPN accounts for start-up costs.
This year’s increase in SEC revenue was believed to be largely attributable to changes in TV deals related to the addition of Missouri and Texas A&M.
The distribution announced Friday, the final day of the SEC’s annual spring meetings at a beachside resort here, is for the fiscal year that ends Aug. 31. It doesn’t include about $15.1 million retained by member schools for bowl participation and academic enhancement.
2014 schedules: The SEC had planned to unveil its 2014 football schedules this week, but ran into some snags and did not do so.
The main complication, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity said, is working around the dates that schools already have locked in contractually for non-conference games. To prevent that problem in the future, SEC schools won’t be permitted to book non-conference games until the league schedules are set.
Slive said Friday the league hopes to complete the ’14 schedule “in a matter of weeks.”
Calling on NCAA: The SEC, after a year of study by its “Working Group on Concussions,” said it will formally ask the NCAA to take the lead on the issue of head injuries in college athletics.
The SEC said it wants the NCAA to organize a national research effort and examine possible revisions of playing rules in football and other sports.
“There is much work to be done,” Slive said, “and while the conference has a role to play, prevention and treatment of concussion injuries is a national concern that needs and deserves a coordinated national effort.”
The SEC said its working group, which included Georgia trainer Ron Courson, gathered information about concussions, identified best practices and standards of care, and provided such information to schools around the league.
Bowl deals: The SEC is working on deals for new bowl tie-ins to replace the Chick-fil-A and Cotton bowls, both recently named part of the semifinal rotation for the College Football Playoff that begins with the 2014 season. The Belk Bowl in Charlotte, N.C., and the Texas Bowl in Houston are the likely choices.
Slive said the conference expects to have “more say-so” than in the past in deciding which teams go to which bowls. The SEC also intends to negotiate a lower minimum for the number of tickets that bowls require participating schools to purchase.