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The SEC announced it has provided each member university $23 million in supplemental revenue distribution to help mitigate the financial impact of the pandemic on athletics programs.
The conference said it is using future conference revenues to provide the one-time supplement for the regular 2020-21 fiscal year distributions and that the schools will be allowed to use the extra funds at their discretion.
“[T]he expectation is that the supplemental revenue will be used to maintain each school’s historically high standards for academic, athletic, medical, nutritional and mental health support for their student-athletes and help offset the significant costs associated with COVID testing during the 2020-21 athletic year,” the Wednesday release reads.
The one-time “supplemental distribution of revenue” is designed to help offset a portion of lost revenue that each campus experienced while operating during the pandemic. The conference said revenue shortfalls varied across SEC members but averaged approximately $45 million per SEC athletics program.
SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said the immediate financial support will help programs address current challenges they are facing while also ensuring each program remains well-positioned for future success.
“The extraordinary circumstances produced by the global pandemic have presented colleges and universities with an unprecedented disruption to their programs and budgets,” Sankey said. “This supplemental revenue distribution will help ensure each SEC member will continue to provide high levels of support to its student-athletes.”
The SEC is using future increases in media rights revenue to facilitate this supplemental distribution to its 14 member schools, the release states.
Beginning in 2025, the SEC will allocate a portion of the media rights fees that the conference receives to fund the supplemental distribution. The conference projects that its annual distribution to each school will still increase in 2025 and beyond, even after a portion of the new revenue is reallocated.