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The Sports Daily > WSU Football Blog
Pac-12 to Share Equally? Well….
So, it’s welcome aboard Utah.  The press conference was held yesterday, and citizens in the greater Salt Lake area “thrilled and delighted” for the BCS-busting moment.  As they should be, too, you know?  They finally made it.  And in a win-win scenario, hey, we don’t have to listen to Utah senator Orrin Hatch whine about Utah getting the shaft!   But when you look at their winning record against BCS teams (19-11 vs BCS schools since 1998) and Pac-10 teams (4-3), it’s a good-looking fit on the field of play.  They will add a nice dynamic to the conference, with the 31st ranked media market in the country in Salt Lake City.  Their facilities are top-notch, and while Rice-Eckles Stadium isn’t huge at just over 45,000 seats, it’s a wonderful stadium. 

I don’t know about you, but, sitting from where WSU is right now with our own stadium, I can’t help but look at Utah’s home venue and see some resemblance to what Martin Stadium might look like…..eventually?

Nice.

One thing that seems a little unclear is where, exactly, Utah fits in on the academic side of the ball?  The Utes were ranked #126 in the country by US News and World Report, ahead of only Oregon State in the new conference.  Not exactly progress on the academics, is it?  But when you read the press release yesterday by the Pac-12, you’d think we’d be adding a significant academic presence in the conference:

Utah’s academic and athletic profile is a great fit for the Pac-10 Conference. The University’s high academic excellence ranks it among the top-100 universities in the world and is the only institution in the state to earn a top-tier ranking from the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and has done so for the last five years.

Utah is among a network of 52 consortia of universities leading the way in space-related research, including the University of Arizona, Arizona State University, the University of California, Oregon State University, UCLA, USC, Washington and future member Colorado.

In addition, Utah ranks among the top public research universities in the nation, with particular distinction in medicine, genetics and engineering. Acclaimed faculty member Mario R. Capecchi was a 2007 Noble Prize winner and will fit in to the roster of 25 Nobel laureates from California and other Pac-10 institutions.

Sounds good enough to me!  Anyway, on to business.  As you are probably aware, much has been made about the money side to this new Pac-12.  You know, how the TV money was going to go up considerably from where the Pac-10 stands today, as written up nicely by Jon Wilner yesterday?  From the early “guesstimates”, the feel is that it could be up to $14 million or so per Pac-12 team, purely in the TV side of things.  That is, of course, if you subscribe to the theory of EQUAL SHARES amongst the 12 teams?? 

Our own A.D. sure hopes that we share and share alike….but that may not be what happens.

First, from Bill Moos and his chat at WSUCougars.com yesterday:

Bruce (Virginia Beach): The current PAC-10 TV contracts have their share of critics. What is your vision of a contract package that would better benefit the conference and our Cougs? Does the Commisioner seem to share that vision? Welcome home, and GO COUGS!

Bill Moos: Bruce, my hope is that the conference will adopt a formula that will share tevelvsion revenue equally among its member institutions. This is the model used by the Big Ten, the SEC, and the NFL. In my opinion, it’s the only way to assure parity in the conference and also provide the overall strength needed to be successful.

What would be really nice is if the Pac-12 commissioner felt the same way…..read on for more.

Larry Scott, from yesterday’s press conference recap via Bob Condotta, had this to say in regards to TV revenue sharing:

On revenue sharing: “Our conference has a long-standing policy of equal revenue sharing with some exceptions for football television revenue. We intend to keep that concept in place. There may be some changes as things evolve. The principals will stay in place. The arrangement worked out is that Utah will become a full member of the conference over a period of three years in regards to revenue sharing.”

Uh-oh. 

Moos explained this nicely on KJR the other day, but the chat transcript sums it up perfectly – other big-time conferences share the TV dough equally, the Pac-12 does not.  If it is good enough for the Big Ten, and it’s good enough for the superpowers-that-be in the SEC, why can’t it work for the Pac-12!? 

I know it’s easy to ask for that type of thing from a WSU point of view. It’s not that hard to ask for something that you don’t already have.  And if I’m an SC fan or UCLA fan, do I want to give up a chunk of what I deliver in the TV revenue towards a program that can’t come close to delivering the same thing?  But as Moos says, what better way to promote parity and overall strength of a football conference by making sure every school at the table gets an equal slice of pie? 

And, believe it or not Cougs…..and I know you may find this hard to believe…..but we have a strong advocate for full revenue sharing in the conference, an advocate who presides over an athletic program with one of the bigger media markets in the conference.

It’s true.  Scott Woodward, A.D. at UW, stumped for full Pac-10 revenue sharing last year!  Now, not to suggest that he’s losing sleep over how to give WSU and Oregon State more money (he’s not).  But Woodward at least can see the bigger picture, and that point is that the conference can thrive with greater distribution of revenue, something the conference does NOT do today:

However, football TV revenue — one of the biggest moneymakers for schools each year — is not shared. Instead, the participating team or teams keep the lion’s share of the money, essentially splitting 59.5 percent. The other 40 percent is shared evenly among the other teams. For non-conference games, the participating team keeps its entire share of the money.

That results in some wide disparity in incomes each year.

In 2008, for instance, USC took home $6,469,584 in revenue from TV games that were part of the regular Pac-10 package (the totals do not include money for local TV games, which pay out far less). At the bottom of the scale, Washington State took home $3,029,526.

 

Then again, you know the old saying – the bigger the dog, the bigger the meal!  And there is no denying that the LA schools are the big dogs.  Here’s hoping that they seriously consider adopting the model that works everywhere else.

That’s it for now.  Enjoy your Friday, and as always, GO COUGS!