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INFOGRAPHIC: Who Really Profits From The NCAA Basketball Tournament?

So you’ve already filled out those NCAA college basketball brackets. Now as you’re getting ready to ditch school or work today to watch the opening round of games, you might start to wonder how nice it would be to actually get paid to be a part of this extravagant event…

As your mind starts to race, you begin to speculate on who is actually making out on all of this March Madness insanity?

The Coaches

Getting to the big dance not only earns a coach a great deal of respect, but a lot of coins too. The average coach bonus for making it to the tournament is $48,000 and goes up to $186,000 for a championship appearance. Schools also have incentives in place to reward coaches that have student athletes performing well academically.

The highest paid coaches in college basketball include:
John Calipari – University of Kentucky – $4 Million (495-153, 76.4% winning percentage)
Tom Izzo – Michigan State University – $3.5 Million (407-166, 71% winning percentage)
Billy Donovan – University of Florida – $3.5 Million (417-174, 70.6% winning percentage)
Bill Self – University of Kansas – $3 Million (469-156, 75% winning percentage)
Rick Pitino – University of Louisville – $2.5 Million (608-227, 72.8% winning percentage)

The Schools

So how are the schools making out? One study from 2009 found that an NCAA men’s tournament appearance boosted applications by 1% the following year, 3% for the “Sweet 16”, 4-5% for a Final Four appearance and 7-8% for a championship game. Private schools with less exposure, saw application rates rise 2 to 4 times greater than public schools. In the most recent data filed with the U.S. Department of Education from 2010, Division I schools grossed a whopping $1.6 billion on basketball programs and spent $1.4 billion to maintain them.

The Players

The only folks who don’t seem to be cashing in are the players. Student athletes don’t get paid to play but are granted free room and board provisions, and tuition breaks depending on their scholarship. The average out of pocket expenses or “shortfall” for each full scholarship athlete during the 2010-2011 year was -$3,222. However, the fair market value of the average FBS player is $265,000!

Do you think students who play basketball or any college athletic sport should be better compensated? Would that help star athletes stick around in school longer instead of jumping straight to the pros after their freshman year?

Harold Gardner
You didn't mention all the bookies & bars! TV, radio, and other media outlets also bank solidly.
Daniel Zeevi
That they do albeit indirectly.
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