The 990s are in, which means we get a peek at the finances of each conference in major college athletics.
The documents cover Fiscal Year 2020 which, obviously, was greatly impacted by the pandemic. In fact, USA Today notes that the Power 5 leagues' collective incomes grew only by $11 million last year, a sharp drop from the average of $252 million in growth over the previous six years. Individually, two of the five leagues collected less money in FY2020 as they did in FY2019, and a third operated at a loss.
The news wasn't all bad, though. The SEC announced just yesterday it distributed $23 million to its 14 members to plug budget leaks created by the pandemic. That's kind of the overarching story here: the Big Ten and SEC are doing great and everyone else... much better than they used to, but not as good as those two.
According to documents obtained by USA Today, here is the gross revenue each Power 5 league collected:
1. Big Ten: $768.9 million
2. SEC: $728.9 million
3. Pac-12: $533.8 million
4. ACC: $496.7 million
5. Big 12: $409.2 million
Despite leading the pack, the Big Ten was actually one of the two leagues to earn less money in FY2020 than '19. The Big 12 was the other.
Here are the per-school payouts for full-shared members (i.e., the Big Ten is still shorting Maryland and Rutgers' checks, nearly a decade after they joined):
1. Big Ten: $54.3 million
2. SEC: $45.5 million
3. Big 12: ~$38 million
4. Pac-12: $33.6 million
5. ACC: ~$33 million
The Big 12's numbers do not include third-tier rights such as the Longhorn Network, since each school collects those on their own.
Revenues are expected to resume their rise in the coming years, especially when each conference signs new TV deals when their respective contracts expire in the coming years. The impending expansion of the College Football Playoff (a "when, not if" issue) will also lead to more revenue.
Here is how much each Power 5 commissioner earned for the most recent year on record. The SEC's Greg Sankey was not included:
Larry Scott, Pac-12: $4.6 million
Bob Bowlsby, Big 12: $4.4 million
Kevin Warren, Big Ten: $4.1 million*
John Swofford, ACC: $4 million
* Warren was hired toward the end of the fiscal year; the $4.1 million is a projection from the $1.2 million he earned over the three months he appeared on the conference's payroll.