The NCAA will reduce its payouts to Division I conferences by $375 million, to about $225 million, in wake of the mass cancellations brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, USA Today reported Thursday.
The approximately 63% cut is largely a result of the cancellation of the Division I men’s basketball tournament, which brings in “most” of the NCAA’s $1.1 billion annual revenue, according to USA Today. The NCAA was previously planning to distribute $599,622,705 to conferences and schools between April 15 through June 10; now, the entire payout will likely come in early June, NCAA chief financial officer Kathleen McNeely told USA Today.
Of the $225 million now allotted, $53.6 million will be distributed (as originally planned) to the Equal Conference Fund, which is split equally among all Division I basketball-playing conferences eligible for the NCAA tournament. The rest will be distributed among the association’s nine other funds, which contain a varying amount of money and are allocated to each conference in varying ways.
$50 million of the $225 million given out will come from NCAA reserves, according to USA Today. Additionally, the NCAA $270 million event-cancellation insurance policy for the basketball tournament which will be used to pay off the rest.
The cuts won’t affect schools across the country uniformly. Indiana, for example, told The Athletic that it will defer any “non-essential building and maintenance projects and purchases,” and that the athletics department is “now under a university-wide hiring, promotion and bonus freeze.”
Additionally, in response to the cuts, Big 12 conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby said that it’s hard to plan ahead without knowing the fate of the 2020 football season.