NIU profits more than $180,000 in contract money

By Wes Swietek

NIU will be getting a big slice of NCAA money from the $1 billion contract the NCAA signed with CBS television.

NIU will receive $180,117 of the $20.8 million the NCAA recently distributed from the CBS contract, giving the network the TV rights for the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament for the next seven years.

Of the 282 Division I institutions in the NCAA, NIU’s share ranks it 39th nationally.

Each university’s share is determined by the NCAA largely based on number of athletic grants-in-aid. NIU also received added funds because the Mid-Continent Conference had two participants (including NIU) in the NCAA men’s basketball tourney and because NIU sponsors more than 12 men’s and women’s varsity sports.

NIU’s share ranks it second behind the University of Illinois at Urbana ($226,911) among Illinois’ Division I schools. Northwestern was third with $135,452.

“From a national perspective, the NIU numbers are quite impressive,” Athletic Director Gerald O’Dell said. “Our share is based mostly on our more than 200 athletic-scholarship commitments and on the large number of sports we sponsor.”

NCAA Executive Director Dick Schultz said the goal of the NCAA’s new distribution formula is to reward schools that offer a wide variety of sports and to de-emphasize the importance of winning the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison received the biggest share of NCAA money—$311,111, followed by four other Big Ten schools: Michigan ($299,372), Minnesota ($298,169), Ohio State ($291,974) and Iowa ($291,225).

NIU’s national ranking placed it just behind Purdue and just ahead of Bowling Green.

The University of Nevada-Las Vegas, despite winning the 1990 men’s basketball championship, ranked 87th with a share of $91,814. 1991 men’s basketball champion Duke University ranked 72nd with a $122,037 share.