COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The potentially vexing problem of equality in revenue sharing apparently has been settled for the foreseeable future by the Big 12’s board of directors.
Harvey Pearlman, the chairman of the Big 12’s board, announced this week that the league’s current revenue-sharing model will remain in place as the conference divvies up a record $113.5 million distribution to its member institutions.
Unlike conferences like the Big Ten or the Atlantic Coast, the Big 12 does not share its revenue equally among its schools. And Pearlman’s declaration means that the current system will remain in place, despite some pointed criticism in recent years by some of the conference’s schools with lower athletic budgets.
Big 12 schools share half of their television revenue, with the other portion set aside. That money is then distributed — with the schools that play in more televised men’s basketball and football games, receiving a greater share of the pot.
Schools also earn a greater share of funding for participating and advancing in the NCAA basketball tournaments.
During the 2007 season, each Big 12 school received approximately $1.5 million from a common pool from its football television appearances. The Omaha World-Herald reported that for games on ABC, the participating school received $260,000 for a league game and $520,000 for a nonconference game. For FSN and ESPN games, the figures were $150,000 and $300,000. And for games on Versus, the sum was $50,000.
Schools like Texas and Oklahoma, which have the majority of their games on television, receive bigger television checks than schools like Baylor and Iowa State, which are rarely televised.
Former Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg expressed frustration when he left his job the summer of 2007, saying that the issue could potentially prove to be divisive for the league’s growth.