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WVU’s Big 12 share to rise

By Dave Hickman, Staff writer

MORGANTOWN — The first two days of the Big 12 Conference’s annual meeting of athletic directors and school presidents were largely spent on theoretical topics. Today, by the time those meetings end, there should be at least one item that is more concrete.

The conference is expected to announce its revenue distribution for the year at the end of its meetings today in Irving, Texas, and that number is expected to once again rise.

A year ago, eight of the league’s 10 schools received shares of approximately $22 million from a pool of $198 million. The majority of that money comes from the conference’s television contracts with Fox and ESPN for football and men’s basketball.

The pool this year is expected to rise to nearly $220 million and the full shares to about $23.5 million, according to conference commissioner Bob Bowlsby.

West Virginia won’t be getting one of those full shares, though. WVU and TCU, both finishing their second year as league members, agreed to take increasing partial shares of the pot for the first three years of membership. Last year that was a 50 percent share, which increases to 67 percent this year and 84 percent next year. Beginning in 2015-16, both schools will receive full shares.

Still, even at 67 percent, West Virginia’s take is expected to be in the $15-16 million range. That’s still roughly twice what the school generally averaged in the Big East, and that doesn’t include revenue from the school’s Tier 3 rights. The contract signed with IMG College last year called for WVU to receive at least $86.5 million over 12 years.

Every little bit will help because among the topics of discussion during this week’s meetings at the Four Seasons Resort and Club was how much it will cost league schools to comply with new rules requiring more meals for student-athletes and eventually the costs that will be associated with scholarships that cover the full cost of tuition.

Most schools in the Big 12 estimate that the increased cost for meals will range between $700,000 and $1.5 million per year. Texas has estimated that its costs could go as high as $2 million.

BRIEFLY: The league did make at least one announcement Thursday, setting the league’s national television football schedule for the first three weeks of the season, as well as its non-Saturday games throughout the season.

For West Virginia, the news was that the Nov. 20 home game against Kansas State, on a Thursday, will kick off at 7 p.m. and be televised by Fox Sports 1. The opening game against Alabama in Atlanta on Aug. 30 was previously announced as a 3:30 p.m. kickoff on ABC or ESPN2.

n West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck left the Big 12 meetings early. He was scheduled to go to the White House Thursday to attend the president’s Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Summit. Luck attended representing Practice Like Pros, a national organization advocating safer practice standards in high school and youth sports.

Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickman1@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.


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