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Big 12 to distribute record $470 million amid realignment

IRVING, Texas — The Big 12 schools will share a record $470 million in revenue distribution, the conference announced Friday as it completed its first spring meetings as a 14-team league and before expanding by two additional universities.

Although the 10 full members will receive lower amounts than last year due to the addition of the four schools that joined the league for the 2023-24 academic year, Commissioner Brett Yormark said the conference was more relevant than it has ever been. .

“We went for stability as a conference and we felt they were investing in all the right ways and for all the right reasons,” Yormark said. “Clearly, it was the right fit for this conference as we think about where we’re going.”

Freshman members BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF will each receive partial shares of about $18 million each. That leaves about $398 million to split among the league’s 10 other schools, including Oklahoma and Texas, before moving on to the Southeastern Conference this summer.

About $440 million was distributed last year.

The Big 12 will expand to 16 teams with the official additions of Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah from the Pac-12 on August 1. All four incoming schools participated in this week’s meetings, while Oklahoma and Texas did not.

Yormark said the increases were a result of increased College Football Playoff and bowl revenue, growth in ticket revenue for all conference championships and sponsorship after streamlining that so it is managed directly by the conference instead of relying on third parties.

According to tax filings released last week, the five power conferences generated $3.55 billion in the 2022-23 fiscal year, with the Big Ten reporting revenue of $879.9 million, compared to $852. $6 million for the SEC. The ACC saw the largest increase, going from $617 million in 2021-22 to $707 million.

The Pac-12, which will see 10 of its 12 members disperse to other conferences in 2024-25, generated $603.9 million. The Big 12 was fifth with $510.7 million, before distributions when it was still a 10-member league.

Like other leagues, the Big 12 is bracing for big changes after announcing a historic $2.8 billion settlement that will transform the way athletes are paid. Power conferences last week agreed to settle a series of antitrust claims that could begin directing millions of dollars directly to athletes as early as the fall 2025 semester.

“I think we found ourselves in a fair and reasonable situation,” Yormark said. “Obviously the landscape is going to change. But I also see opportunities in this changing landscape, and the work really starts now. There’s a lot of work to be done. I view this as a sort of reset for our industry. And we’re prepared for this The ADs, myself, the board, we’ve been discussing this reset for some time, so it’s not a surprise.

When he became commissioner of the Big 12 two summers ago, Yormark was an executive at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation and former CEO of the NBA’s Brooklyn Nets. He spent nearly 15 years with the Nets, overseeing the club’s move from New Jersey and construction of the Barclays Center, and previously worked for NASCAR, where he oversaw a $750 million deal with Nextel Communications for the rights to naming of the best racing series on the circuit.

“Since I took this position, you know, I’ve said from day one that I’m open for business. And I guess you could say we’re open for business now more than ever,” he said. Yormark said. “When I think about my journey, I certainly believe that college athletics is evolving, closer to where I came from than to where we are today.”

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