Opinion: Time for sports and television revenue sharing in the NCAA
A commentator recently said that football and basketball are seemingly the only two profitable college sports at schools. Should these programs share their wealth with other sports?
Recently, during the Penn State-West Virginia college football game, a commentator remarked that these school moves were football only and that other sports were not consulted on the matter. This commentator questioned the moves because they were strictly football related moves and had nothing to do with other sports.
Hate to say it, but this commentator is very much right in terms of the fact that other sports are not profitable through ticket sales or having a television contract so that viewers can watch said event. Ratings for college football and basketball are amongst the highest in the nation during the season, whereas you won’t see a national television contract for say baseball or lacrosse.
Football and Basketball, with their large viewership following either locally or nationally, walk away with billions and billions of dollars in new revenue. Coaches of Football and Basketball are some of the highest paid in the nation and their salaries are public because they are considered employees of the public through a combination of funding sources. Other sports don’t get that kind of money (not even baseball, shockingly) due to a lack of “following” that to be frank is more dependent on the history of the team’s success.
So how do we fix this?
The National Collegiate Athletic Association needs to look at the finances of every power five conference school and see how much the take is when it comes to both football and basketball (as they are two most heavily watched collegiate sports that actually have billion-dollar national and network television contracts) and begin revenue sharing. Other sports such as baseball, lacrosse, and volleyball for example only have large followings that are dependent on success and the hardcore sports fans that will watch on the conference’s network.
Revenue sharing would help ease the floods of red ink that other sports seem to have as spring college sports are some of the least watched sports.
To be honest, it is the correct thing to do. NCAA, take note.