- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
SHARING THE WEALTH
The NCAA's executive committee last week passed a proposal under which schools in all divisions would share to some extent in the $1 billion the NCAA will get from CBS over the next seven years for rights to the NCAA basketball tournament. The method of distribution would be more equitable—and less performance-oriented—than the current system, in which teams are paid based on their tournament showings.
Here's how the roughly $115 million-a-year windfall would be distributed under the scheme, which will be brought up for final approval at next January's NCAA convention:
?All Division I schools would get shares, the size of which would be determined by two factors: 1) the performance of a school's conference in the NCAA tournament over the previous six years (the NCAA has yet to determine how to handle independents) and 2) a combination of the number of sports programs a school operates and the number of athletic scholarships it hands out. The first criterion would ease the financial pressure to win; the second, designed to promote athletic opportunity, would guarantee that colleges with broad-based athletic programs would get large pieces of the pie even if they don't do well in basketball.
?Each Division I school would get an estimated $20,000 to $50,000 a year for "academic enhancement" programs for student-athletes.
?A portion would go to fully fund catastrophic health insurance for athletes in all three NCAA divisions. At present, the NCAA fully funds such insurance only for Division I men's and women's basketball players.
?The NCAA would increase its funding of food and lodging costs for schools participating in any Division II or III championship. Currently some Division II and III schools that compete in championship events lose money because of the food and lodging costs.
?Another chunk of the money would go to establish a fund for needy Division I athletes. Says NCAA executive director Dick Schultz, "This will be for special items, not spending money." For example, the fund, a pet "project of Schultz's, might allow a poor athlete to go home for Christmas.
In an ideal system, a school's share of NCAA money would be based only on the number of sports programs and athletic scholarships it offers. That would make athletic opportunity absolutely paramount. But such a plan would be unlikely to survive opposition from basketball powers. The proposal now heading to the NCAA membership for approval has already won expressions of support from conferences big and small. It seems a reasonable compromise.