NCAA's Power Five conferences are cash cows. Here's how much schools made in fiscal 2022. (2023)

Table of Contents
ACC Big 12 Big Ten Pac-12 SEC FAQs Videos

Clarification: The article was updated to reflect the future financial distributions and conference television revenue for Big 12 schools following the upcoming departures of Oklahoma and Texas.

The Power Five conferences combined for more than $3.3 billion in revenue during their 2022 fiscal years, their new federal tax records show. That represents an expected recovery from a pandemic-related decrease in 2021, but it also leaves the conferences short of where they would have been had their revenues kept increasing at an average annual rate that they had established before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition, the Pac-12 Conference reported on its new filing that it “anticipates” filing an amended return for 2022 because of “a possible restatement” of its audited financial statements. This is connected to overpayments totaling more than $50 million that Comcast made over a period of at least five years to the conference-owned Pac-12 Networks, according to a conference spokesman, a previous statement from the conference and a wrongful-termination suit filed by two former Pac-12 executives who were fired in January after the overpayments were discovered.

In fiscal 2017, 2018 and 2019, the Power Five conferences’ combined revenues increased by an annual average of about 8.4%. Had they maintained that for 2020, 2021 and 2022, the fiscal 2022 figure projected to be just over $3.7 billion.

The conferences other than the SEC provided their new returns this week in response to requests from USA TODAY Sports. The SEC made its return public in February.

Overall, among the Power Five:

▶ The Big Ten had the greatest revenue total at $845.6 million and the greatest per-school distribution at about $58.8 million for each school other than Nebraska, Maryland and Rutgers. Those schools each received several million less, the conference said, because of distribution of revenue from the Big Ten Network that was earned before they became entitled to full shares.

In February, the SEC reported what ended up being the second-highest total and distributions -- $802 million, which was lower than its total in 2021, and about $49.9 million per school.

(Video) Florida State DEEP DIVE LIVE Call-In Show

▶ Because of changes in commissioners, and IRS rules about the reporting of compensation to highly paid former employees, the conferences reported pay for eight current or former commissioners that combined for a net total of $26.3 million for the 2021 calendar year. (The IRS requires non-profit organizations to report their revenues and expenses based their fiscal years and their employee compensation based on the calendar year completed during the fiscal year.

Former Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott had the largest single-year net total: nearly $4.1 million, although he departed his job by mutual agreement with the schools’ presidents on June 30, 2021 – a year before his contract had been set to expire. His amount included $875,000 in bonus pay, as well as a $1.5 million severance payment. He also continued to have the benefit of a nearly $1.9 million loan.

Conference spokesman Andrew Walker said Scott received further compensation in 2022 and the loan is due to be repaid by June 30, 2024.

Scott, who became the conference’s commissioner in July 2009, had totaled $48.7 million in compensation over 12½ years through December 2021.

Other conference-by-conference facts, figures and details from the documents obtained this week, along with additional comments from the conferences:


Revenue: $617 million, third among Power Five.

The total increased by $38.7 million from fiscal 2021 (6.7%), when the ACC joined the SEC as the only Power Five conferences to have a year-over-year revenue increase, as they were the most aggressive in their approaches to staging football games during the 2020 football season amid a period of considerable caution about the pandemic. The increase in fiscal 2022 was driven by the ACC Network reaching full distribution in December 2021, the conference said in a statement.

Per-school payouts: $37.9 million to $41.3 million, fourth among Power Five, with Notre Dame receiving $17.4 million while playing football as an independent.

(Video) 2022 Summer Meeting - Plenary I: K-12 Computer Science Education

The payouts vary because of reimbursements for bowl travel and participation in ACC championship events, a conference spokesperson said. They increased from fiscal 2021, in part because Notre Dame received a full share of nearly $35 million after playing the 2020 football season as an ACC school.

Commissioners’ pay: John Swofford retired as commissioner on June 30, 2021, but remained on the payroll through December 2022, the spokesperson said. His total pay for the 2021 calendar year was nearly $3.4 million, with more than $3.2 million in base salary. The conference declined to provide information about Swofford’s pay rate after his retirement date. In 2019, his last full year of pay not affected by a pandemic-related reduction, Swofford was reported with nearly $3.9 million in base salary.

Current commissioner Jim Phillips moved onto the payroll on Feb. 1, 2021, and had total pay of just over $2.5 million, including $2.4 million in base salary.

Big 12

Revenue: $480.6 million, fifth among Power Five.

The total increased by just over $124 million after decreasing by $53 million in fiscal 2021. Compared to fiscal 2019, which was pre-pandemic, the increase for 2022 is just under $42 million.

Per-school payouts: $42 million to $44.9 million, third among Power Five.

The question going forward is what these will look like for the conference’s eight continuing schools as Brigham Young, Central Florida, Cincinnati and Houston join on July 1, and Oklahoma and Texas depart for the SEC as of July 1, 2024, which is one year earlier than originally planned.

It is possible the payouts, at least for the 2023 fiscal year, will be greater than those for 2022. Oklahoma and Texas have agreed to forgo a combined total of $100 million in what the Big 12 has termed “distributable revenues.” That money will go to the eight continuing schools. Based on the 2022 distributions, at least some of that amount will have to occur in 2023.

(Video) The Emerging New Normal in Athletics: Changes Impacting Sports in High School, College, and the Pros

Meanwhile, conference spokesman Bob Burda said, the four incoming schools will have multi-year ramp-ups to full revenue distributions. Burda declined to provide additional details, but that also will mitigate the impact on the eight continuing schools.

Commissioner’s pay: In his final full calendar year as commissioner, Bob Bowlsby was credited with $4.05 million in total pay for the 2021 calendar year. His base salary of $2.25 million reflects the last part of a pandemic-related decrease he took to April 2021. But after receiving no bonus money in 2020 amid the pandemic, Bowlsby received $1.25 million in bonus pay in 2021. That’s double the amounts he received in both 2018 and 2019, so he ended up being made whole in that portion of his compensation.

Brett Yormark became commissioner on Aug. 1, 2022.

Big Ten

Revenue and per-school payouts: See above.

The conference said in a statement that under its existing TV deals, revenue has been designed to increase by 2% to 3% each year, so it seems safe to anticipate that its revenue for fiscal 2023 will be at least $870 million and that per-school payouts will be at least $60 million.

But new television agreements with Fox, NBC and CBS begin July 1. Southern California and UCLA are set to join the conference for the 2024-25 school year. While the SEC’s revenue also likely will take off with Texas and Oklahoma joining that year, figure the Big Ten’s to do the same.

Commissioners’ pay: Kevin Warren, who recently departed for the Chicago Bears, was credited with just over $3.6 million in total compensation for the 2021 calendar year. His total increased by about $140,000 over the amount reported for him for 2020. Nearly all of the increase was in deferred pay. He received no bonus money in 2020 or 2021. He has been succeeded by Tony Petitti.

Jim Delany, who retired from the Big Ten in the middle of 2020, was credited with a net total of just over $3 million in pay that represented the fourth year’s worth of money from the more than $20 million in future bonuses for which he became eligible in July 2015 and the conference said he will be receiving over a 10-year span, running through the 2027 calendar year. In addition, during the 2021-22 fiscal year, Delany Advisory Inc., received $400,000 for what the new tax record described as consulting services.

(Video) This is Why You Never Mess With a Royal Guard...


Revenue: $580.9 million, fourth among the Power Five, pending the anticipated restatement of revenue.

The Pac-12 had $190 million decrease in revenue in fiscal 2021 and a $237 million increase in 2022. The future appears challenging, with Southern California and UCLA leaving after the upcoming season, no new TV deal announced yet and the Comcast overpayment issues.

Per-school payouts: About $37 million, fifth among the Power Five.

Commissioners’ pay: George Kliavkoff, who took over after Scott’s departure, was credited with a total of just more than $1.8 million for a period beginning July 1, 2021, including $1.75 million in base salary. Annualized, that’s a little over $3.6 million. Kliavkoff received no bonus pay in 2021.

Eight other Pac-12 or Pac-12 Networks executives were credited with more than $435,000 in total pay in 2021, including four who made more than $550,000. Among those was then-Pac-12 Networks president Mark Shuken, who was credited with more than $1.1 million. He and then-Pac-12 treasurer Brent Willman (just over $650,000) were fired in connection with the Comcast overpayments and are now suing the conference.


Revenue: $802 million, second among the Power Five.

Per-school payouts: About $49.9 million, second among the Power Five.

Commissioner's pay: Greg Sankey was credited with just over $3.7 million in total pay in the 2021 calendar year, nearly all in base salary.

(Video) Madden 23, Run up the numbers!


How much revenue does the NCAA generate 2022? ›

In fiscal year 2022, the NCAA generated $1.14 billion in revenues. March Madness accounts for a majority of its revenues, which come from broadcast rights, ticket sales, corporate sponsorships, and television advertising.

How much do colleges make from sports? ›

The Facts: Division I athletics generated $15.8 billion in revenues in 2019, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), which regulates student athletics among 1,100 colleges and universities.

How much does college football make a year? ›

The average annual total revenue for an FBS football program is more than $20 million. The highest grossing conferences are the Big Ten and SEC with each conference team on average bringing over $35 million in revenue.

How much money do schools get for making the NCAA Tournament? ›

If a team makes it to the final, they can make as many as five units. According to Sportico, a unit was worth $337,141 in 2021. In 2022, $169.4 million was paid out from the performance fund. For the bigger conferences, this payout is a bonus.

How many NCAA schools are profitable? ›

Of available data, a total of 18 of 229 public Division I athletics programs generated more money than they spent in 2020. This ranged from a whopping $270 million profit (thank you for the gift, Nike co-founder Phil Knight) at the University of Oregon to a massive $48.2 million deficit at James Madison University.

How much money do colleges make? ›

In 2019–20, total revenues at degree-granting postsecondary institutions in the United States1 were $695 billion (in constant 2020–21 dollars). Total revenues were $438 billion at public institutions, $242 billion at private nonprofit institutions, and $14 billion at private for-profit institutions.

What college makes the most money? ›

Here are the 10 schools whose previous attendees are earning the most, according to the New York Times' analysis:
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ...
  • Harvey Mudd College. ...
  • Bentley University. ...
  • University of Pennsylvania. ...
  • Carnegie Mellon University. ...
  • Stevens Institute of Technology. ...
  • Stanford University. ...
  • Georgetown University.
Apr 6, 2023

What college football teams make a profit? ›

The top-revenue producing schools for football won't surprise you, either. Texas tops the list at $144 million, followed by national champion Georgia ($134 million), Michigan ($126 million), Ohio State ($116 million) and Alabama ($110 million).

How many colleges make money off football? ›

In 2019, only 25 of 130 schools in the high-grossing Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) whose members are large, mostly public universities (with some exceptions such as Notre Dame, Northwestern, and Stanford) reported positive net revenues (see here).

What sport gets the most money? ›

Basketball is the highest paid sport in the world, with the average annual salary in the NBA in 2023 being nearly $10.5 million.

How much money does each conference get in the NCAA tournament? ›

That's because of what the NCAA calls “units.” Every conference receives around $2 million for participating in an NCAA men's basketball tournament game up to the Final Four.

Where does most of the NCAA money come from? ›

The NCAA, the governing body of college sport in the US, makes almost all of its money from the yearly Division I Men's Basketball Tournament. The NCAA March Madness basketball tournament is responsible for most of the organization's revenue.

What is the largest single source of revenue for the NCAA and collegiate athletics? ›

The NCAA receives most of its annual revenue from two sources: television and marketing rights for the Division I Men's Basketball Championship and ticket sales for all championships.

What percent of college athletes get scholarships? ›

48% of students receive federal scholarships. Only 1.3% of athletes receive a full or partial athletic scholarship. An average scholarship for athletes is around $5,000.

What is the richest college in the United States? ›

Harvard University, with a $50.9 billion endowment as of 2022, is the wealthiest university in the world.

What is the richest college football conference? ›

The Big Ten Conference has reached the richest-ever television agreement for a college athletic league, selling the rights to its competitions for an average of at least $1 billion a year.

Which college sends most to NFL? ›

NFL Draft picks: 401

But the Wolverines have also produced 28 other selections in the last three seasons, including eight in the 2021 event and led the Big Ten with nine selections in the 2023 NFL Draft. Michigan is top-10 all-time with 49 first-round picks.

What percentage of college is paid for? ›

During the 2021/2022 school year, the average parent covered about 43% of their student's college costs using income and savings. Parents covered an additional 8% of that cost by taking out loans, according to the Sallie Mae study. The average total parent contribution came out to $13,000 per year.

How much money do colleges get from the government? ›

Both state governments and the federal government provide just over 40.0% of total funding for postsecondary education each, while almost all of their contributions come from budget appropriations for the funding of their respective public schools.

How much does the average person that goes to college make? ›

Typical earnings for bachelor's degree holders are $36,000 or 84 percent higher than those whose highest degree is a high school diploma. College graduates on average make $1.2 million more over their lifetime.

What college has produced the most millionaires? ›

About 35% of U.S. residents worth more than $100 million went to one of eight American universities.
  • Harvard. 7%
  • MIT. 5%
  • Stanford University. 5%
  • University of Pennsylvania. 4%
  • Columbia University. 4%
  • Yale University. 4%
  • Cornell. 3%
  • Princeton University. 3%
Feb 22, 2023

What majors make the most money straight out of college? ›

10 college majors that make the most money
  • Business.
  • Economics.
  • Accounting.
  • Biomedical engineering.
  • Mathematics or Statistics.
  • Finance.
  • Nursing.
  • Information technology.
Mar 10, 2023

Who is the highest paid college football coach? ›

Nick Saban remains college football's highest-paid coach for the third consecutive year. Norvell, who was hired in 2019, and led the Seminoles to their first ten-win season since 2016, will receive a base salary increase to $5.335 million in 2023 and jumps to $7.335 million in 2024.

Does college football pay for itself? ›

Money-Making Myth. According to the American Council on Education (ACE), the notion that college sports makes money is a myth. Even where football does turn a profit, that money often goes to cover expenses associated with other sports.

Who gets the money from college football games? ›

The money is used to fund NCAA sports and provide scholarships for college athletes. Distributed to Division I schools to assist with academic programs and services. Distributed to Division I conferences for programs that enhance officiating, compliance, minority opportunities and more.

Do all college athletes get paid? ›

The opportunity to earn money while playing college sports is available to all athletes, from football's Heisman Trophy winner to small-college wrestlers. But of the approximately 520,000 students currently competing in intercollegiate athletics, maybe 519,000 are making nothing at all.

What percentage of college football players make it to the league? ›

Fewer than 2 percent of NCAA student-athletes go on to be professional athletes. In reality, most student-athletes depend on academics to prepare them for life after college. Education is important.

What percentage of football players go to college? ›

How many college football players are there? There are around 1.1 million football players that compete in high schools. Only 6.5% get a chance to play in NCAA Division 1, 2, and 3. Of those who are lucky enough to make it to college football, only 1.6% make it to the NFL.

How much money does Notre Dame football make annually? ›

Notre Dame brought in $97,944,469 in revenue from its football program while paying out $51,387,021 in expenses. This means the program turned a profit, making $46,557,448 for the school. This is great since many college sports programs lose money.

What is the number 1 hardest sport? ›

Degree of Difficulty: Sport Rankings
Ice Hockey7.252
33 more rows

What's the highest paying sport in the United States? ›

NBA. NBA generates huge sums of money yearly - from sponsorship rights to income generated from NBA odds. Basketball is the highest-paid sport in the world, with an average annual NBA salary in 2023 of nearly $10.5 million. The league has over 30 teams and pays the highest player salary of $48 million.

Who is the richest athlete in the world? ›


Ronaldo tops the athlete rich list for the first time since 2017 and sits just ahead of fierce rival Lionel Messi in second. According to Forbes, the Argentine earned $130 million last year with his Paris-Saint Germain teammate Kylian Mbappé just behind on $120 million.

How much money does sports generate 2022? ›

Total revenue in the Sports market is projected to reach US$2.27bn in 2022. Total revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 9.16%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$3.71bn by 2027.

Where does the revenue go that the NCAA earns? ›

The money is used to fund NCAA sports and provide scholarships for college athletes. Distributed to Division I schools to assist with academic programs and services. Distributed to Division I conferences for programs that enhance officiating, compliance, minority opportunities and more.

What sports event generates the most money? ›

Complete list of top 10 biggest sporting events in the world with the highest prize money
S.NSporting EventsPrize Money
1.Formula 1$ 100 million
2.UEFA Champions League$ 85 million
3.FIFA World Cup$ 35 million
4.World Series (MLB)$ 31 million
6 more rows

What sporting event generates the most money? ›

The Super Bowl is the most valuable sports event brand with a value of 780 million U.S. dollars.

What generates the most money in sports? ›

The Super Bowl is the last round, where two conference champions compete with each other to determine the league champion. As per revenue, the NFL is the wealthiest professional sports league.

Which college football program generates the most revenue? ›

1. University of Oklahoma
  • 2019-2020 football revenue: $101,119,170.
  • Conference: Big 12.
Jan 9, 2023

How much money does the college football playoff generate? ›

As of 2021-22, each conference receives $6 million from the College Football Playoff for each team selected for a semifinal game and a further $4 million for each team that plays in a non-playoff bowl under the College Football Playoff.

Does the NCAA generate revenue? ›


1. Can Deuterium Damage Your Metabolic Health and Mitochondria?
(Anthony Chaffee MD)
2. College Football, but with relegation like English Soccer
(Not The Expert)
3. How Elites Will Create a New Class of Slaves | Whitney Webb | The Glenn Beck Podcast | Ep 162
(Glenn Beck)
4. Reality of College Football Player Life Documentary: The Truth About NCAA Football (2022)
(D.A.T.A Productions Media)
(Betting On The Bayou)
6. Kansas vs. Texas Southern: 2022 NCAA men's first round | FULL REPLAY
(March Madness)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Last Updated: 15/05/2023

Views: 6411

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (59 voted)

Reviews: 90% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Rev. Leonie Wyman

Birthday: 1993-07-01

Address: Suite 763 6272 Lang Bypass, New Xochitlport, VT 72704-3308

Phone: +22014484519944

Job: Banking Officer

Hobby: Sailing, Gaming, Basketball, Calligraphy, Mycology, Astronomy, Juggling

Introduction: My name is Rev. Leonie Wyman, I am a colorful, tasty, splendid, fair, witty, gorgeous, splendid person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.