USA Today Sports

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced $221 million in revenue this year, of which about $213 million will be distributed to its 10 members.


Friday marked payday for the Big 12 Conference, with West Virginia receiving nearly $14 million from the league’s $221 million pie for 2013-14.

West Virginia and TCU, as second-year members under a four-year phase-in plan, earned a 67-percent share compared to other Big 12 schools, who netted about $23 million each.

Last year, the new additions received 50-percent shares and they are slated to earn 85 percent next spring, before climbing to full shares in 2016. (Even the partial payout dwarfs what the schools earned in their previous conferences: WVU earning about $7 million in its final Big East season, and TCU receiving a mere $2 million in the Mountain West.)

The overall revenue figures—revealed on the final day of the conference’s spring meetings in Las Colinas, Texas—exceeded league projections by $8.1 million. Commissioner Bob Bowlsby attributed the overage to postseason success in the two most lucrative sports: A second team reaching the Bowl Championship Series in football, followed by six teams qualifying for the NCAA basketball tournament.

Big 12 annual revenue has climbed every year since the league’s inception in 1997, when it distributed $56.3 million.

“The revenue we have in place will put a lot of vitality in place on our campuses,” Bowlsby said.

It violates natural law for Big 12 administrators to gather without talk of expansion, but they really tried to downplay or outright ignore the topic this week.

Their reasoning is mathematically simple: The league’s overall revenue from TV packages is far less than the SEC, Big Ten and Pac 12, but its per-school payouts are currently larger.

So even as outsiders contend the Big 12 should grow its numbers to at least match its name, and allow it to produce a football conference championship game, Bowlsby and his captains say they’re pleased with the 10-team setup.

“Having walked through the valley of the shadow of death in conference realignment, I think we all understand the importance of a collaborative body,” said Oklahoma State president Burns Hargis, who chairs the Big 12’s board of directors. “What survived all of that were the people who wanted to be together.”

Regardless of the happy-as-is company line, the league would likely seize the chance to add BYU if only there was an equally valuable and available expansion partner (which there isn’t).

With the Ed O’Bannon lawsuit proceeding—and others litigation taking shape with regard to cost-of-attendance and unionization issues—the league placed $7.8 million in a reserve fund. Some $1.5 million of that is budgeted for attorneys, up from $400,000 last year.

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  • NotFooled

    Why are comments disabled on the "story" about JR's open letter to Gee?


  • Just Some Guy

    This is the institutional equivalent of a guy accepting payment for letting other people hit him in the face.

  • Capt. Obviouos

    Thank you, Oliver.

  • Off Topic

    Anybody got a sister that's still single? I have a Big 12 and a little bit of money and my ticket prices are reasonable. Let me know...

  • Shawn H

    Please, Ollie. Spend some of that and upgrade the sound system at MPS. It sucks having a cool entrance video and not being able to hear it when everyone is screaming.

  • jay zoom

    WOW -- were really rolling in the dough now. while star athletes are leaving the programs LUCK/HUGGINS/HOLGERSEN are counting the revenue the university is rolling every thing else has turned to CRAP. well at least they will be able to feed the athletes they have. heard a report it will cost between 750,000 and a million $$ extra to feed them under the new ruling. (REALLY) must of been feeding them bread and water before where is womens softball we got a golf team now. whoops forgot the golf team members buy their own equipment and OLLIE would have to invest a few dollars for a softball field and equipmet (which of which Hawley field could be renovated but that would take away a proposed parking lot and OLLIE would lose $20.00 a car to park. like I said before OLLIES motto might be let me make a dollar and I'll stab an athlete in the back. I also (Ollie) fire coaches who aren't bowing before me and saying yes your Heiness 24 hours a day like DANA and one and done HUGGINS. in closing WVU has the $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ but were still on the outside looking in and will be for quite some time as to a winning program in mens basketball and football in the Big 12 THANKS OLLIE

    • wvu09

      You are not going to spend money renovating a falling apart baseball field when you have a new state of the art stadium on the way....that makes ZERO sense. Also, last I checked, golf is an individual sport. As a high school coach I can tell you most players would rather buy their own equipment rather than rely on school gear! Seriously...what golfer doesn't have their own clubs?

    • Uncle Unctuous

      When people say or type "must of," what do they think it means?

      My guess is that somewhere along the line, some people hear someone use the contraction "must've" and phonetically mistranslate it to "must of."

      How one gets out of elementary school without fixing that is beyond me.

  • greg veach

    Do the math Mickey F, even if you have to do it on paper!

  • william

    Big 12 is going to fall apart very soon!

    • cutty77

      JR is falling apart as we speak William.

    • J the C

      doubt it!

  • Mountaineer Steve

    What say you Mickey Furfari? Still think we should have stayed in the BE now the AAC making 1.3 million in TV money when 2 years from now we will be making close to 30 million?

  • editerguy

    When a company's revenues are up, that's good news for the company and for those who want to see that company succeed. No company serves everyone in the world. Some people will always say that they do not care for the products that company offers, that the prices are too high, that the company ought to change its product, or whatever. But income is good, and more income is better. WVU's athletic program is a very big winner!

  • Steve

    $14M big ones and WVU has yet to receive their full share of Big 12 revenue.

    Based on the posts that I'm reading, the trolls are very upset today!

    It's a great day to be a Mountaineer wherever you may be!

  • william

    How to fix it - DON'T BUY TICKETS
    I will never buy WVU tickets as long as
    Dana "The Man in Black" is at WVU
    Bob "Sweatsuit" Huggins is at WVU
    Oliver "Money Man" Luck is at WVU

    • cutty77

      William you can't afford to buy WVU tickets for anything.

    • J the C

      Even more reasons for holgs, hugs and oliver to stay.

    • ViennaGuy

      Feel free to buy all of the PITT tickets you want. I hear that they're selling really cheap on StubHub.

    • Mountaineer Steve

      Outstanding, more tickets for real fans

  • Gray Grantham

    re: Regardless of the happy-as-is company line, the league would likely seize the chance to add BYU if only there was an equally valuable and available expansion partner (which there isn’t)....

    First of all to help West Virginia fans swallow this pill, it is important to note that the current Big 12 Broadcast Media contract projects a Big 12 per member payout of approximately $40 million per year in the later years of this 12 year contract.

    (back to BYU) While there is not currently a value added regional partner for a BYU football only membership in the big 12. UNLV is going to change that in the near future.

    When UNLV completes its new 50,000-60,000 stadium that will also share duties as a multi use facility/convention center. The big 12 will have the opportunity to add Las Vegas, "The Entertainment Capital" of the western hemisphere to the footprint. Now UNLV does not have a substantial football tradition, but do you think the Big 12 can resist the urge to go to Vegas on the university dime once or twice a year?

    Considering other expansion candidates (USF, UCF, ECU, Cincinnati, Memphis, UConn) the pairing of BYU and UNLV probably have more traction than any other two expansion candidates.

    Keeping in mind that BYU will ONLY be considered as a FOOTBALL ONLY member. BYU's restriction on Sabbath travel make Olympic sports competition a nightmare for logistics and scheduling and therefore a non starter with the Big 12.

    • Rick S.

      That is great insight on UNLV. I bet the Pac-10/12/14/16 is eyeing them up. UNLV seems like a good fit for that conference.

      Keep an eye on UCF. UCF has a huge enrollment and a good market and has the potential to become a big-time player in the near future.

  • GoEers


    All the Marshall trolls are mad because WVU made $12M and they only made $2M in their glorified division 2 conference!!

    I love it!!

    • GoEers

      correction WVU made $14M...even better!

  • GoEers

    Helllllooooo!!! $14M big ones with a lot more coming in the near future!!!

    Thank You Oliver Luck!!

    It's a Great Day to be a Mountaineer Wherever You May Be!!!