The NCAA took in a lot of money in 2017. It also distributed a lot of money too.
According to USA Today, which got a copy of the organization’s financial records from the previous fiscal year, the NCAA had nearly $1.1 billion in revenue. It’s the first time the NCAA’s revenues have cracked the 10-figure mark.
And yes, at least some of that increase is attributable to television revenue.
A little more than half of the growth from 2016 came from increases in TV and marketing fees, revenue from championship events and investment income. The remainder — more than $26 million — came from the NCAA’s sale of its interest in an enterprise that, according to the financial statement, helps athletics departments and sports leagues with scheduling, referee assignments and various payments.
In case you’re wondering, the NCAA didn’t pocket all of that money. It distributed over over $700 million of that money and approximately $200 million went to the settlement of a lawsuit by former athletes.
That still leaves a nifty surplus leftover, which could potentially go to paying players in future years when there are no more lawsuit settlements to pay out. Coincidentally, or maybe not, the NCAA posted this video to YouTube on Tuesday.
The NCAA has taken a lot of heat lately, especially as the FBI probe into possible corruption regarding college basketball recruits becomes more and more public. The organization deserves some of it — its definition of amateurism is outdated and needs to be redefined — and has profited off the backs of its star athletes for far too long.
But it is important to remember the organization is a consortium of schools. Fundamental change will have to start with changing attitudes by the NCAA’s members and not the NCAA itself.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.