Every year, the NCAA distributes about 60% of its total revenue — most of which comes from the Division I men’s basketball tournament — to D-I schools and conferences.
This year, the NCAA will pay out more than it ever has to D-I schools. The governing body has allocated $625.5 million, according to the 2022 NCAA Division I revenue distribution plan.
- Last year, the NCAA distributed $613.4 million — back up from the $246.3 million it sent to schools after the 2020 men’s tournament was canceled due to the pandemic.
- But by 2032, the NCAA has budgeted for $826.6 million worth of distributions, documents show.
The increase follows a steady growth in payouts for media rights for the men’s tournament. This year, the rights will pay out about $870 million, per the NCAA’s 2021 annual fiscal report. They’ll reach about $1 billion by 2026.
The distribution system is based on a number of factors, including men’s March Madness. Of this year’s allocations, about $233.7 million — or 37% — are related to eligibility, participation, and success in the Big Dance.
There is, however, no such system to reward prowess in the women’s tournament — a major equity flaw recognized by the 2021 NCAA gender equity report.