The Southeastern Conference released its fiscal 2016 federal tax returns yesterday and, yes, it does “mean more” to be a League member – a lot more. As USAToday put it:
The SEC is the first conference to release its tax records for the 2016 fiscal year, but its revenue distributions —– helped by the burgeoning SEC Network — may swamp those of even other Power Five conferences. In fiscal 2015, the Big Ten distributed about $32.4 million to each of its 11 longest-standing members. The other three power conferences distributed millions less per school.
For another point of comparison, consider that the SEC’s 2016 revenue was roughly two-thirds of the $952 million that the NCAA reported on its most recently available tax returm, which covered a period ending Aug. 31, 2015.
The SEC’s revenue total comes from its television agreements, bowl agreements, the College Football Playoff, conference championship events in football and men’s basketball, NCAA championships and a supplemental surplus distribution. The distribution total doesn’t include $7.8 million in NCAA grants split among the SEC’s 14 member schools.
The SEC currently distributes the most revenue, on average, to its members. The Big Ten is second after distributing $34.8 million to its fully vested members in its 2016 fiscal year, the most recent to be reported.