The good news: the NCAA took in nearly a billion dollars — $996 million, to be exact — in 2016, an organization record.
The bad: it still lost more than $400 million.
According to documents released by the NCAA and obtained by USA Today, the 2016 fiscal year saw the NCAA spend $1.4 billion, a near half-billion dollar increase from 2015. The $996 million in revenue represented an $84 million jump from 2015, but that came on the heels of a $76 million decline from 2014.
In all, it’s a year that saw the NCAA’s reserves dip to $296 million, the lowest mark in the 11 years USA Today has kept track of the NCAA’s finances, and the first year in that span the NCAA has operated at a loss.
The $500 million increase in expenses results largely from a myriad factors: a 1-time distribution to member schools of $200 million in March, a $200 million lawsuit settlement proposal in November, a payment of $42 million to lawyers in association with the Ed O’Bannon case, and a $25 million jump in outside legal expenses.