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Forbes: Big 12 Annual Payout To Equal $26 Million Per Team

This analysis, published by Forbes roughly two weeks ago, ranks the Big 12 fifth amongst the major NCAA conferences in terms of total revenue earned and distributed at $262 Million per year. But, because of small membership, that money is worth more to every member school.

The Big 12, with its relatively small membership, is still earning at a high clip, and member institutions have reason to celebrate.
The Big 12, with its relatively small membership, is still earning at a high clip, and member institutions have reason to celebrate.

Go ahead and hit play before you read this...

According to this Forbes article, the Big 12 ranks fifth nationally in total revenue earned. This revenue includes television and media contracts, bowl revenue, BCS revenue, and NCAA revenue which is shared equally amongst conference members.

But, because the Big 12 is currently only sharing this revenue amongst ten members, the annual payout will equal almost $26 Million per institution, second in the NCAA behind only the Big Ten.

According to the Forbes analysis, the revenue earned works out like this:

BOWL REVENUE $42 Million
NCAA REVENUE $20 Million
TOTAL $262 Million

The average yearly payout of $26.2 Million to Big 12 member institutions ranks second, here are the other top performers:

1. Big Ten ($310 Million)
2. Pac 12 ($303 Million)
3. ACC ($293 Million)
4. SEC ($270 Million)
5. Big 12 ($262 Million)
6. Big East ($94 Million)
7. C-USA ($26.5 Million)
8. MAC ($22 Million)
9. MWC ($21.5 Million)
10. WAC ($10 Million)

Of course, not all Big 12 members are fully vested into the revenue sharing program, namely TCU and West Virginia. As part of their joining the conference, each school agreed to pay an entry fee of sorts, essentially accepting less revenue per year for the first four years of their conference membership.

For TCU, the revenue sharing split will look like this (according to the FWST):

2012-2013: 50% ($13.1 Million)
2013-2014: 67% ($17.6 Million)
2014-2015: 84% ($22.01 Million)
2015-2016: 100% ($26.2 Million)

That $5 Million owed to the Big East? TCU announced that would be paid by the University/Athletic Department, no loans were taken out by the Big 12 on our behalf to cover it.

For West Virginia, the revenue sharing buy-in is a bit more complicated. I will let Dave Hickman from the WV Gazette explain:

West Virginia was included in the Big 12's 2011-12 bookkeeping, however. That's because the school received $10 million in the form of a loan to help pay the settlement with the Big East. As reported back in February, the Big 12 gave the money to WVU with half to be repaid with interest and the other half to be forgiven.

That interest will be between 2 and 3 percent and the school will begin repaying the $5 million in annual $1 million installments in 2016, the first year WVU is fully vested in the league.

Until that time, WVU will get partial shares of Big 12 revenue sharing - a 50 percent share in 2012-13, rising to 67 percent the next year, then 85 percent and a full 100 percent in 2015-16.

So, will TCU receive the exact amount outlined above? No, because nothing here is finite. The NCAA revenue fluctuates yearly based on the number of teams participating in the tournament, the TV revenue does have a component figured in to give schools with higher ratings and prime-time slots a bigger chunk of that money, but at the end of the day the point is that the Big 12 has plenty of cash and TCU is going to be receiving a whole lot of it.

But, it also illustrated a point that shouldn't be understated: Adding another team or two to the Big 12 without getting further revenue would be a bad idea for the conference. Of the five major conferences, the Big 12 earns the least by far in terms of total revenue, and if we have to split the pie amongst twelve instead of ten we go from a nice $26.2 Million to $21.8 Million, good for fourth or so amongst the big five conferences.

It is an inexact science, as conference realignment is still going on, but the news coming out of the AD's meetings is simple: We have to do something to shore up our financial state versus the other conferences, which means taking two from the ACC or partnering with it to better our conferences outlooks together. I think the latter is more likely, but any kind of resolution would be nice before the start of the 2013 season.