Pac-12 revenue drops by $12.5 million, but commissioner received raise in 2017

Eric HeYahoo Sports Contributor
Yahoo Sports
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott received a raise in 2017, according to federal tax filings released by the conference on Monday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott received a raise in 2017, according to federal tax filings released by the conference on Monday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Pac-12 may be falling behind other Power 5 conferences in generating revenue, but it is still making sure that commissioner Larry Scott is well-compensated.

According to a federal tax return released by the conference on Monday, the Pac-12 recorded just under $497 million in revenue during the 2018 fiscal year, a drop of $12.5 million. In 2017, it gave Scott a $500,000 raise from the previous year, with his compensation topping $5 million for the first time.

Scott took home $5.3 million in 2017, just shy of the $5.5 million that Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany made that year, according to figures released by the Big Ten last week.

The difference, though, is the Big Ten is thriving, pulling in nearly $759 million in revenue during the 2018 fiscal year and leading the Power 5 in campus distributions at $54 million per year.

According to the San Jose Mercury News, Pac-12 schools receive the lowest revenue distributions from the conference at $31.3 million per school, with the SEC at $43.7 million and the Big 12 at $36.5 million (the ACC has not reported figures). The Pac-12 amount actually marked a 5 percent raise because it included Rose Bowl income from the past two years that had been held in reserve.

The Pac-12 blamed the revenue decrease on the “Rose Bowl and its associated revenue being part of the College Football Playoff in fiscal year 2017-2018.” In years that the Rose Bowl is part of the College Football Playoff, the Pac-12 champion plays in another bowl game and the conference does not receive a share of the Rose Bowl revenue. According to the conference, that figure was around $36.5 million.

The conference also noted that the numbers do not include the equity value of the Pac-12 Network, which is owned by the Pac-12. Still, the network fell short of its revenue projection for the fiscal year 2018, recording $127 million in revenue.

Lagging behind

The latest revelations will likely not appease critics of the Pac-12, which has fallen behind its Power 5 peers in revenue and seen its premier football and men’s basketball program struggle in recent years. It also had a number of schools implicated in two scandals that have rocked the college athletics world: the FBI investigation into college basketball and the college admissions fiasco that is still ongoing.

Last year, an investigative series by the Oregonian’s John Canzano pointed out numerous issues in the conference’s inner-workings, from Scott on down.

And yet, the commissioner is a $5 million man.

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