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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  • 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!!!

  • Mr.P

    Take another drink of the Kool-Aid,FOOLS!!

  • Mr.P

    Keep paying those outrageous prices for tickets,parking and alcoholic beverage while I sit in a 50 yard line seat every game in front of the big screen,someday people will wake,MAYBE!!

    • booldogsuck

      The revenue dollars are based on cable TV boxes and TV viewership. As the BIG 12 TV footprint and viewership grows, so does the revenue. Stay home and watch the games, pay your cable bill. Watch as the money rolls in and WVU and her Big 12 partner schools will reap the financial reward!

    • brad

      Wake up to what? The fact that WVU is now in a lucrative position? Oliver Luck has done more for this program than any AD in the history of WVU football...

      Went from $7mil, (only by winning conf & BCS) to $15mil just for waking up... Bad Ollie.. Bad bad Ollie...

      We don't need no money in this here learning place... We just need Uconn, cincy & Rutgers to beat & tell everybody how good we are..

      • J the C

        Thanks Brad!

      • Mountaineer Steve

        More to the point, if we were still in the Big East (now AAC), we would only be making 1.3 million in TV dollars

    • WVUFla

      If John Rease was still in control of the AD, he'd set ticket prices where you common folk can afford to take your kids... Or just listen on the radio..

      But that damn Ollie, I bet he voted himself a pay raise too...

      He's worse than Vlad the impaler on his hill top mansion, thinking of more ways to squeeze another drop of blood from you working class folks....

    • WVU lifer

      Ticket prices? Do we have to revisit this again?

      Do you have basic comprehension skills?

      WVU isn't in the top 50 of ticket prices... Super powers like Utah, Washington & ISU are at least $30 more than WVU is...

      It's posted above & a valid link is given of the top 25 ticket prices

  • Mr.P

    I've been saying it all along it's all about the money Ollie could care less what kind of records the 3 major sports at WVU have,but you loyal dummies kept supporting them,LMAO!!

    • J the C

      Mr. P, the only support for that statement is that we are not producing at a level sufficient to satisfy you. I've spoken to Oliver on several occasions, and am convinced that he loves this school and this state. Come join us in the 21st Century. I'm laughing my *** off!

    • Mark

      "Ollie could care less what kind of records the 3 major sports at..." How could he "care less"? Perhaps he "couldn't care less"?

      WVU is in a great position to improve facilities, coaches' salaries, efforts on behalf of the students, etc. with these monies. Mr. Luck is doing what needs to be done for WVU

    • Arron S

      I'm not voting for him next election.... O'wait...

      So, we're maybe top 50 money programs (maybe not even close), & you hate Luck because he's greedy & money hungry?

      & teams like Texas & the other 48 or so before us aren't.. They just started with more $$ & wins than the other 63 in the power 5 conf.?

      I'm not quite following your reasoning? I bet you get that a lot...

      Maybe you should watch a non revenue sport like soccer or lacrosse.. They play for the love of the game....

  • Robin

    Well we got the money now if we could only get a team.

    • Mark

      Let's hope the kids that are considering WVU never read these boards and the remarks from "fans"...

      Let's go, Mountaineers!

  • Mountain Navy

    It's all about the money.

  • Aaron

    I'm not so sure what all the hubbub is about as conference realignments are not done. Before it's all said and done, football will dictate 4 power conferences consisting of 16 teams each.

    The question for WVU fans is, where will we land? That will depend on where Texas lands. While the ACC would love to grab both Texas and Oklahoma, both schools are tied to instate institutions that pretty much prevent either the ACC or Big 10 with 14 members taking on 4 teams.

    That leaves the SEC and the PAC 12. In all honesty, I cannot see Texas and Oklahoma butting heads with SEC powers and both are more aligned with western schools thus, I think that duo along with OK State and Texas Tech heading west. The simple truth is, had the PAC 12 not taken the stance they did on the Texas television network, that move would have already been made.

    While it may take anther decade, at some poin in the future, survival and television money will dictate the PAC 12 back down from their ban on independent television networks, the 4 mentioned schools will head west and the Big 12 will be no more. From there, the dominoes will fall.

    Unless West Virginia University can somehow manage AAU membership, the Big 10 is not an option thus WVU will be left to either the ACC or the SEC. I know current ACC schools have blocked WVU's admittance into that conference but perhaps by 2025, their stance will soften and WVU will be playing in the same conference with schools they competed against half a century ago. If not, it's off to the SEC and competition in the toughest football conference going.

    • CaptainQ

      Folks, you all seem to be forgetting one thing. The ACC and the SEC have already REJECTED WVU's membership attempts, that's why the Mountaineers ended up in the Big 12 in the first place. Let's face it, NO other major sports conference wants WVU. The ONLY reason the Big 12 invited WVU in was out of desperation. They needed 10 teams to keep their TV contract, and they were down to 9 at the time and THAT deal nearly got nixed at the last second when Louisville tried to muscle in on us.

      WVU won't have ANY good options left if the Big 12 does break up. West Virginia is NOT a major TV market so the Big Ten, ACC not SEC will want the Mountaineers. Bottom line, if the Pac 12 does destroy the Big 12, WVU will be lucky if it could join the MAC or Conference USA!

      • Steve

        Hey Capt. Q WVU got chosen by the big 12 because of their large TV draw. WVU while in the Big East played most of their games on national television including the highest rated Thursday night game ever in 2006. They also won 2 BCS bowl games while in the Big East. I know that all the $$$ WVU is making upsets you. So either get over it, or find something else to be negative about.

      • Rick S.

        The Captain has once again done a good job of injecting reality into the discussion. I think he is correct.

        However, I would like to point out that WVU has something now it did not have when it joined the Big 12 -- E. Gordon Gee. Perhaps Oliver Luck was unable (or unwilling) to join the ACC, SEC, or Big 10, but Gee has clout that Luck does not. If Gee had been here then, WVU would probably be in the ACC right now. But that is water under the bridge for now.

        Gee is a tremendous asset to have moving forward. If Gee can do his magic and improve WVU's perceived academic reputation, then the value of WVU's overall brand will soar.

      • Aaron

        The ACC firmly rejected Miami when Fl State initially joined and when talk of expansion came about with the rumored teams Miami and others, It was stated that Va Tech would not be considered.

        Situations change.

    • Ron- from Morgantown

      Wow your going old school on me with that argument . At least you understand the importance of AAU to expansion ( B10) . Most don't. But I think this argument is dated , especially since we are on the cusp of Power 5 autonomy. Do you remember when Coke and Pepsi were actual rivals ? Now they just work together to keep the rest of the drink companies off store shelves . Well that's how you have think now with the Power 5 . They will work in concert together to grow the sport and will share in the profits ( and like Coke/Pepsi will try to keep the other football conferences off the shelf - ie off Tv and out of the meaningful Bowls ) . Plus in your argument you don't have a place for Notre Dame - you can't have major college football without ND. Most observers no longer think we will have 4 - 16 team mega conferences . But that doesn't mean we won't have realignment . Since the Power 5 will have a more egalitarian approach to one another and will all work together for the betterment of college football I can see teams moving conferences to help the geographical map . Conferences will simply agree to swap schools without financial punishment. So for example , WVU and Missouri will probably switch conferences in about 5 years ( once all the legal lawsuits are settled ) where Wvu goes to the SE C and Missouri goes back home to the B12. The only competitiveness between the Power 5 conferences will be the college football playoffs because only 4 openings are available for 6 teams ( including ND ) . But that will be settled when they expand the playoffs to 8 teams .

      • Aaron

        I would surmise that the Nash Equilibrium will come into play given the impact of television, particularly with issues like Tier III media rights before conferences start "trading" teams.

        • mad hatter

          i would surmise,no, maybe concur, well, it's troubling, no , i take that back , i surmise. Let's see, things change, i concur, so with the elimination of the acc, and only four power conferences, WVU will be well positioned to assume a major roll in forming a combination of east coast teams where he should reside. this all will occur in the very near future, as texas and okie are both headed out of the big 12, texas to the big 10;s new conf. and okie will do t he same,,, it's a much better fit,, notre dame will be forced into a conf. and will find a home with the east coast conf.,,, four conferences, 16 to 18 teams each. this will materalize much faster than people would imagine, i concur, and surmise.

  • Big Larry

    This is such wonderful news...

    With all the extra money, it will now help WVU develop into national contenders in both basketball and football!

    Actually, I just made that last part up. But it's a good one, isn't it? I almost believed it myself, and I'm the guy who made it up!

    • Ole Sasquatch

      You Go Big Larry.
      Here’s what has happened to a lot of fans since joining the Big 12, followed by Ole Sasquatch’s view.

      Fans: Traveling back from Texas after another away loss: I’m goin down this long lonesome road feel’n bad – Lord, Lord and ain’t gonna be treated this a way.

      Ole Sasquatch's feelings after the first losing season: I’m gonna a walk away from your money, I’m goin a sing my way back home, I got my head up high and I’ll never cry, I’m gonna carry on that way.

      • Steve

        Last time I traveled back from Texas it was against the win over the University of Texas.

        You're confusing WVU with Marshall. The last time they went to Texas they got blew out by Rice.

      • GoEers

        Hey Ole Sasquatch the last itme I traveled back from Texas it was with a win against the University of Texas!!

        I think you are confusing WVU with Marshall who went to Texas and got blown out by Rice!!

        • Ole Sasquatch

          By jumpin' bohemma, I believe we did pull that first one out. But then there was Tech, then there was Baylor, then there was... if things around here don't settle down, I'm gonna buy myself some new shoes. I'm gonna walk on down to the five and dime buy some shoes start looking fine (Fiddle plays) "Yeah! Whooh! (Applause) Here it is:

          Songs 11 & 20 - play it for yourselves

      • Big Larry

        Wonderfully spoken with great wisdom!

        • Steve

          Yes wonderfully spoken like a true Marshall troll!

          You seem very proud of yourself Larry Jeffords

        • Ole Sasquatch

          Thank ye - Good Night.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    I'm not so sure the B12 would "seize the chance to add BYU " if they could find an equally valuable 12th school . Don't get me wrong, I think BYU needs to be added and should be added but I'm not so sure the B12 agrees with me . One well respected blogger did an exhaustive study with a bunch of parameters to help determine which schools would help the B12 if they decided to expand . Only 2 schools made the final cut - BYU and Cincinnati . The B12 needs to expand to help them with the next media contract because I don't think they will get as much next time as they are getting currently . It was the perfect storm when the last media deal was cut - that won't be the case next time . So we have to add value to our conference so that we are more attractive to the media come bidding time . Simply put - we don't have enough inventory to please the media executives with only 10 schools ( although they do like the true round robin in basketball - something unique to the B12 ) . Throw in the fact that the B12 never schedules a tough non conference football schedule ( subject to change in the modern era playoff format ) and TV executives are scrambling to find compelling games that can draw respectable ratings . The TV guys might force the B12 to expand just so they can get decent games to broadcast. .

    • Runt

      I'm not sure how BYU would help either. Everything I've read says Fox wants more TV sets in the East tuned in to the Big 12. The whole conf is basically in 3 states and the biggest pop rests east of the Miss. and pretty much the eastern seaboard which is dominated by the ACC. I can find an ACC game on every Sat from noon cont until 11p. and our Big 12 just doesn't have enough product to do that. If this commish had balls he'd grab UCF and I think UConn, but he ain't running it Texas and OK are in charge i mean really do we want to play BYU out there every other?

      • Steve

        Why bring any more teams in unless they can add 22 million each to the TV contract?

        The big 12 pays out the most per team of any conference. Why dilute that by bringing in a BYU, Connecticut, or UCF?

      • Cigarman


      • Fred

        BYU brings in TV sets from all over the country. There is a good reason ESPN set them up with a nice tv contract as an independent. The church members are loyal to their school. It would be a good addition.

  • Ron - from Morgantown

    I think we are getting less than TCU (net ) because the B12 helped us pay the 20m $ exit fine to leave the Big East early . Now we have to pay that back to the conference yearly . And don't forget about additional expenses as a direct result to joining the B12 and to college athletics generally . That would be 1. Travel 2m$ year. 2. Enhanced coaches salaries 1m$ year 3. Golf 250000$ year 4. Repayment on 150m$ in renovations on facilities 5m$ year 5. Training table enhancements 1m$ year 6. True cost of attendance for players 1m$ year 7. Possible union issues - like additional year of non playing scholarship to aid in graduation and enhanced( after playing) medical insurance / treatment could add a couple million more yearly . That's a start - I'm sure I left out something , but as you can see the additional $ isn't all profit . I just wonder how the non "Power 5 " schools can make it financially because they are not getting huge TV and other media / bowl money .

    • Steve

      Ron I'm glad that you brought up travel. Yes that is no additional expense. I'm glad that WVU is making a kind of money now to very easily cover that expense. Could you imagine what it would be like if WVU played in conference USA? There are four teams from Texas, two from Louisiana, and one from Oklahoma in that conference. Not to mention the fact that there are at least two schools from Florida. Could you imagine what it would be like only making 2-3M to with all that travel involved?

    • Aaron

      "I just wonder how the non "Power 5 " schools can make it financially because they are not getting huge TV and other media / bowl money ."

      Taxpayers and/or tuition. Only 23 schools actually made money off their athletic departments during 2012 and of those, only 6 did so with zero subsidies from either public money or student fees. For all the talk of WVU being "self-sufficient," the school receives millions from student fees, direct state and government support, direct institutional support from general revenue funds, and indirect support in the form of payments for facilities, utilities and other cost by the University. All are subsidized by students and/or tax payer dollars.

      Even with that support, during the last two yeas in the Big East, the athletic department at WVU lost money including almost $13 million during their last year in that conference as a result of the exit fee imposed by the Big East. Switching to the Big 12 in 12/13 allowed WVU's athletic department to once again make money, profiting a little more than $4 million. Of course, that is with the aid of subsidies.

      • Ron- from Morgantown

        The finance and marketing of major college athletics is a fascinating topic . And when you throw in Sports Law , it makes for some healthy debates .

  • David Kennedy

    I wish Big 12 Stock could be bought on the open market.
    In the years ahead it's value will certainly rise significantly.
    With the potential coal tax severance taxes on the downswing, any money that can come to rescue the education facilities of this state is a major contribution.
    I'm good with the Big 12.

    • Rick S.

      Enron stock looked really good at one time, too.

      Coincidentally, wasn't Enron located in the heart of Big 12 country?

      • Steve

        Enron was also located in the heart of conference USA country!

      • David Kennedy

        I love it when all of you jealous Marshall fans get involved in the WVU information blogs.

        Do any information blogs exist for Marshall?
        Well, until there are...keep using ours...but you take up a lot of space with your dribble.

        • Steve

          David I could not of said it any better myself. These Marshall fans are so mad and jealous at all the money that WVU is making, while their favorite team is stuck in a glorified Division II conference!

  • Alum

    I hate it that OL brought all this revenue to WVU athletics (sarcasm)

    And billy-from-mommy's-basement, you've been outside long enough now. Time to go back to mommy's safe confines.

    • uncle phil

      So when we finish in the bottom 3 of the conference this year in football, and you're all depressed and blue, just remember how much money the school has - that should make you feel better.

      • susanf1218

        Yep, as the old saying goes "money can't buy happiness". Or in the case of WVU football, a respectable team, or coach, or a winning record.

        • Steve

          Just remember Susan jealousy is an ugly thing!

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

        • GoEers

          Susan you know all about not being happy as you are Marshall fan who comments on WVU articles.

        • ViennaGuy

          So you would rather be part of a dying conference?

          • SwflWVU

            Let's go back to the big east where we were top 3-4 & making $3mil average & fighting teams like Marshall, ECU & BGSU for any chance of a playoff or decent bowl....

            Or stay in the big12 make $20mil whether we win or lose every game...& does anyone think that we would've even got a $10mil 3rd teir contract?

            No that's right, we would still be with the great WVRC & John R paying us $5mil for a 10yr contract..

            Let's go back to that.... I miss it..

          • uncle phil

            Of course not. I'd rather be in a superior conference setting records of profit and records of embarrassing defeats and humiliations.

  • william

    No one should care about the MONEY!
    unless your getting some.
    Fans that talk about the money are stupid,
    Are fans getting any of it?
    Ticket prices going down?
    It should be about wins and loses
    The BIG 12 is a terrible conf. to be in for so many reasons!
    It's a very sad time to be a Mountaineer fan wherever you may be.

    • Ut Oh

      Then quit being one and get the H--l off here!

    • Mgd

      William, your comment shows your ignorance. Actually, it IS about the money. We are a standalone program and we need money to survive. This is a business and it must be run like one. Thank you BIGXII

    • Aquarius

      At least there were no mis-spelled words... Mommie must be proofing little Willie's rants.

    • WVU Fla

      Washington, Utah & ISU tickets are at least $30 more than ours...

    • WVU4life

      2013 big 12 average was $115 per ticket...

      here's a top 25

    • WVU fla

      & here they come... Would you rather be in the big east? O'wait it doesn't exists...

      There's a reason it's called power 5... ACC SEC B10 B12 PAC 12...
      Guess who's not included?

      So $14mil right now & $22mil minimum future payout isn't worth it?

      & the 2 Big East conf champs & BCS bowl wins are only worth $7mil..... That's at the very best we've ever done....

      That's what you want?

      Take an average of ticket prices from any of the power 5 schools & see how we stack up...

      • J the C


      • jeff wisdom

        Rank Team Ave. Price

        1  Notre Dame $227 
        2  Ohio State $208 
        3  Michigan $197
        4  Texas A&M $185 
        5  Georgia $174 
        6  Alabama $159 
        7  Oregon $156 
        8 LSU $145 
        9 Auburn $144 
        10  Nebraska $139 
        11  Penn State $138 
        12  Washington $135
        13  Clemson $130 
        14  Tennessee $122 
        15  Oklahoma $122 
        16 Miami $117 
        17 Oklahoma State $116 
        18  Iowa State $115 
        19  Florida $115 
        20 Texas $114 
        21 South Carolina $113 
        22  Florida State $111 
        23  UCLA $110 
        24  Michigan State $110 
        25  Utah $109

  • Woodchuck

    Girls are the only winners. Too bad the boys are losers.

  • wvumounties8

    WVU deserves a bigger payday..........we carried BE for years with nothing financially to show for it. It is nice that we are now getting a
    much better payday.

    • ViennaGuy

      Agreed. And yet there are still people who think leaving the Big (L)East was a mistake ...

      • Aaron

        If there's one thing I've learned VM it's that there are some really stupid people on this world. Many of them post on metro news and complain about Oliver Luck, Bob Huggins and Dana Holgorsen daily.

        • Rob


        • Wvu4life

          I think it's 1 of John R's cronies, paid to bash everything WVU.. Kinda like Mickey.....
          Might be Mickey...

          That's the only thing that makes sense to me.... They can't be that ignorant in real life..

        • notorious

          Huggins has a track record of success. Luck has done well and helped to improve the AD as a whole.

          But he whiffed big time on Holgorsen. He gave that clown an unbreakable contract and now we have to suffer through two more years of putrid football as a result.

          • WvuFla

            Or maybe a Luck foreseen the problem before hired Holgerson & like most football people, understood that Stewart wasn't gonna fix it. Or Stew, might've been the cause....

            But he does have inside info & he's a very smart man & wouldn't have gotten as far in his career with dumb coaching decisions...

            & no contract is unbreakable..