How many AT&T cell phone plans do the Connecticut women have to sell on ESPN to subsidize Emmert’s Steakhouse Dinners? How many bottles of Coca-Cola do Stanford women have to sell for free before their game is treated fairly and properly promoted by the NCAA? The greatest burden on university sports, the actual liability, is not women’s basketball. It’s these somberly titled, overpaid suits that attempt to paint women’s teams as the proceeds don’t cover their softly padded seats.
At the top of NCAA headquarters are 10 executives whose total salaries are $ 8 million per year, followed by Emmert’s $ 2.7 million compensation.
This is the U-Conn. Women’s company budget for a whole year.
Let me repeat that. The salaries of just 10 NCAA administrators could sustain the most successful program in women’s basketball for an entire season.
New Washington Post coverage of Ben Strauss and Molly Hensley-Clancy suggests the NCAA underestimated the value of the women’s tournament by nearly $ 100 million. The women are mixed into a $ 500 million ESPN package of 24 championships. The NCAA has said the women’s event is only worth 15 percent of that deal, or about $ 75 million. But people in the industry, including some who worked on this pact, say the women’s tournament is actually worth around a third of it – or $ 167 million.
Meanwhile, the NCAA overlords, with more than 500 bloated employees, have taken advantage of this system for $ 44.8 million per year in administrative expenses and an additional $ 58.4 million in various business expenses. In addition, there is the staggering 23 million US dollars spent on “governance committees” and an annual meeting. That’s $ 126 million – what for? For double-talk and for cooking books.
The lousy, insulting differences at the women’s tournament in San Antonio – the $ 14.5 million budget that is only half the men’s budget, the apparent lack of promotion – are not the result of poor “communication” or ” Throwing off “Emmert suggests so deceptively. It’s a basic way of working. “It’s almost exhausting because I’ve spent 40 years coaching and we’ve never got to a point where we have justice – and it’s now more blatant than ever,” says Muffet McGraw, the Notre Dame’s seven national Championship games led and two titles before retiring last year.
These differences may be at least in part intentional.
In their 2016 multimedia deal for the men’s tournament, the NCAA Turner and CBS granted what was known at the time as “expansion rights”. The $ 8.8 billion deal keeps her informed. They treat women like waitresses begging for tips, perhaps not so much out of sheer sexism – although this is certainly the case – but because they have given broad rights to a larger network partner to unsubscribe.
Under the terms of the contract, CBS-Turner will administer the NCAA’s corporate marketing program, March Madness Live, and the NCAA.com website. So it is a real question whether this deal, which runs until 2032, denies women valuable advertising and marketing tools. CBS and Turner certainly have no incentive to sponsor a women’s championship on a competing sports network. Has it harmed the women’s event – and if so, what is it worth? Congress should convene a hearing to ask this exact question and to examine the language of the NCAA’s media and sponsorship deals.
Because in case no one noticed, these so-called NCAA leaders were involved in a conflict of interest.
Congress should ask the members of the Board of Governors who signed these budgets and contracts and who are presidents of some of our largest public and private universities to explain themselves. What is the exact language and what are the terms and conditions of these offers? How much do they affect the female constituency? How exactly do you allocate costs and revenues?
And why on earth should the NCAA get a tax exemption for that?
At one point, the NCAA began to function more like a strip mining operation than a not-for-profit educational institution. And the problem with that behavior at the top is that it’s drained to the bottom. The bloating and spending habits have inherited from virtually every major member school in the organization – and so has the mindset that income is all that matters, and when a women’s team doesn’t raise enough money, it’s somehow undeserved. “We feel like we’re not contributing and I think we are,” says McGraw.
As Will Hobson of the Post documented in a 2015-2016 study, the payrolls for administrators at Power Five conference schools rose 69 percent in a decade, while the number of teams remained essentially unchanged. At UCLA, the sports director tripled his salary to $ 920,000. In Michigan, the number of administrators making $ 100,000 or more rose to 34. “Everyone has a director of operations of operations,” admitted one sports director.
And Emmert’s remuneration, already in the seven-digit range, has more than doubled. But are women’s sports the ones he has framed as costs?
The insolence of those laid back inerts at the NCAA. What’s the point of their paid positions and massive infrastructure if they aren’t meant to benefit and serve all athletes? What’s its purpose if it’s not a Paige Bueckers, the transcendent, elegant band of a gamer that gets people to turn on their television? Or the licorice-armed Kiana Williams, whose Stanford team scored a staggering 43 three-point record in their first three tournament games and then added seven more as they raced past Louisville into the Final Four? They are what university sports are all about – not those greedy officials who line up at their congress buffets.