Jim Delany has a lot of lasting legacies as he departs as Big Ten commissioner this year but perhaps the biggest for many of his member schools is the one he’s left on the bottom line of their budgets. And you can just keep adding to it too.
This week Michigan made their annual budget presentation for the school’s board of regents and while Wolverines fans may raise their eyebrows a bit at the athletic department’s expected $196.3 million in revenue, it was the figure expected to be coming in from the conference in 2019 that was far more interesting to outside observers for its largess:
(Warde) Manuel told The Detroit News on Thursday that Michigan is expected to receive $56 million in Big Ten conference disbursements. That’s an increase from $52.1 million last year, and a significant increase from $36.3 million in 2017. The increased funding from the Big Ten is in large part because of the move to multiple television partners in a deal with ESPN/ABC and Fox.
While the growth from as recent as two seasons ago is also incredible, the overall number shows just how far out the league is compared to its peers in the sport. Though it just means more down South, only the SEC can even entertain approaching what the Big Ten is bringing in from their media deals and bowl games — and they were $100 million behind in 2018 alone.
So yeah, Delany may have his fair share of critics after so many years in charge but the man has certainly made up for it on the balance sheet.