NCAA assets pass $500M, including $260M fund
by Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY Sports
While many of the nation’s major-college athletics programs are struggling to support themselves financially, the NCAA not only is providing more assistance to schools than ever but also accumulating money as never before.
Although audited figures for its recently concluded 2012 fiscal year are pending, a USA TODAY Sports analysis has found, the NCAA now likely has more than $500 million in net assets. Among its unrestricted assets is an endowment fund of more than $260 million, more than double where it stood six years ago.
The analysis is based on an examination of the NCAA’s previous audited financial statements and membership reports, its federal income tax returns and a series of interviews and e-mails with association executives.
The endowment fund has been designated as a quasi-endowment, which means the money is intended to be retained and invested, but unlike a permanent endowment, its principal can be spent. It was established in 2004 by the NCAA Executive Committee, a group of college presidents that oversees association-wide matters, primarily to protect against an event that could impact what is overwhelmingly the NCAA’s greatest revenue source: the Division I men’s basketball tournament.
The NCAA had at least $860 million in revenue during its 2012 fiscal year, which ended Aug. 31, the USA TODAY Sports analysis found. More than three-fourths of that revenue came from the basketball tournament’s multimedia rights agreement.
While the association’s expenses are less clear, the analysis found they likely exceeded $800 million, with $503 million being distributed to Division I schools and conferences, an all-time high, spokesman Erik Christianson said in an e-mail.
“We are not speculating on our year-end numbers,” Christianson said via e-mail. “But we expect to post a surplus at the end of the year and make a supplemental distribution to our members after receiving final audited financial results.”
That distribution will occur early in 2013.
Said Kathleen McNeely, the NCAA’s vice president of administration and chief financial officer: “In the future, we are going to be challenged to see the increases (in revenue) we’ve seen the last three, four years. This is why we continually seek to be good stewards of our resources … [For more on NCAA assets pass $500M, including $260M fund, click here.]