Amateur athletics in the Big Ten Conference continue to be very big business.
The conference recorded $759 million in revenue in fiscal 2018, per USA Today, which blew away the previous annual record which had also been established by the Big Ten. In fact, it’s a nearly 50 percent uptick from their previous high number, which was $512.9 million in 2017.
The boost in revenue was driven in large part by new TV agreements that went into effect during the 2017-18 school year. It also means that 12 of the conference’s 14 members received a payment of almost $54 million.
Maryland and Rutgers received smaller shares, though both schools also received loans from the Big Ten against future revenue. Maryland received a $31 million loan in 2018, which, when coupled with their reduced payout, actually means that they received more money than any other school in the conference last year, but they also owe the Big 12 over $66 million in total. That will come out of their future revenue.
Rutgers, meanwhile, received a $14 million loan from the conference to go with $11.7 million in 2018 revenue.
To show you how far these conferences have come in such a short period of time and how these numbers are increasing at an astronomical rate, consider that Big Ten teams received just $25 million per school in the 2013 fiscal year.
How impressive is that haul? That $54 million per-school share means that those programs received more money from one revenue source than the vast majority of Division I athletics departments had in total. More than 170 of the 213 public-school athletics programs outside the Big Ten reported less than $54 million in operating revenue for fiscal 2017.
The SEC is next when it comes to per-school payout. That conference reported a little under $660 million in revenue for 2018, which ends up being $43.7 million in revenue shares for 13 of their 14 schools. Ole Miss received less due to a postseason ban.
The Pac-12 reported revenue of $509 million for the past year with a distribution of roughly $30.9 million per school. Meanwhile, the Big 12 reported $374 million in revenue for fiscal 2018, but with fewer teams to dole out payments to they end up with higher per-school numbers ($34.3 million). While the ACC was lagging behind all of them with payouts of $30.7 million per school, that’s expected to change as the ACC Network begins to take off.
All of which leaves the Pac-12 wondering how it can prevent getting left behind in the race to make as much money as humanly possible off of amateur athletics.