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Knoxville News-Sentinel (Tennessee)
John Adams

DESTIN, Fla. - The annual SEC spring meetings reached a familiar conclusion Friday. And the ending was accentuated by a dollar sign.

As expected, the 14 conference schools will make more money this school year than last. Another record-revenue year is business as usual for the SEC.

This time, the conference will split $309.6 million. That comes to slightly more than $20.9 million per school.

Last year's then-record financial haul was about $5 million less. In the 2011-12 school year, the conference distributed $256.9 million, almost $53 million less than this year.

In the last five years, SEC distributions have almost doubled. The conference distributed $165.9 million in 2009.

This year's total is comprised of $292.8 million distributed from the conference office and $16.8 million in bowl revenue retained by the SEC bowl participants.

The distribution amount includes revenue from televised football, televised basketball, bowls, the SEC football championship game, SEC men's basketball, NCAA championships and a supplemental surplus distribution.

Revenue should increase again next year after the conference launches its own television network this August.

Fans also can expect more noise next school year.

The SEC voted to allow more leniency in regard to artificial noisemakers at football stadiums.

Institutionally controlled, computerized sound systems (including music), institutionally controlled artificial noisemakers and traditional institutional noisemakers now can be used at any time except from when the center is over the football until the play is whistled dead.

The current rule allows for such noisemakers only during pregame, halftime, postgame, after a score and after a media or team timeout.

There were no proposals related to greater autonomy in governance for the NCAA's major conferences, which was this week's most popular conversation topic.

But Slive made it clear the NCAA needs to make changes to accommodate the big five conferences.

The SEC and the other four power conferences within the NCAA mainly want more flexibility in providing financial support to student-athletes.

Slive was asked what would happen if the NCAA didn't approve the power conferences' planned proposal on autonomy.

"If it doesn't pass (when the NCAA board of directors meet in August), the next move would be to go to a Division IV (within the NCAA)," Slive said. "It's not something we would want to do.

"Right from Day 1, we said we wanted to stay in Division I, and the revenue distribution that is in play won't change. Within that structure, we want the ability to have autonomy in the area that has a nexus to the well-being of student-athletes.

"I'm optimistic that it will pass. If it doesn't, I think our league will want to move to a Division IV.

"I'd be surprised if our colleagues didn't feel the same way."


Photo by Dave Martin, AP2013 Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive talks with reporters during the SEC NCAA college basketball media day in Birmingham, Ala., Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Dave Martin)


May 31, 2014




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