NCAA Basketball Is a Huge Business. Here’s Who’s Making the Most Cash
March Madness is here, and with it, attention turns to the amount of money college basketball and its athletes bring not only to universities, but also to TV networks and Vegas bookies.
College basketball players are ineligible for pay, but many coaches cash in—none more than Coach K, or Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University’s head men’s basketball team coach. He rakes in just shy of $9 million annually, according to financial site WalletHub. Roy Williams, head coach of the University of North Carolina’s men’s basketball team, made $2.1 million for the 2016-17 school year. He perhaps also received a bonus when the Tar Heels went on to win the national championship. UNC is the largest public university in the state, while Duke is the most prestigious private university in the state.
Coach K’s salary is more than some Fortune 500 CEOs make and certainly more than the $1.4 million combined salary for Duke’s president and North Carolina’s governor. NCAA president Mark Emmert, in contrast, makes $1.9 million annually through 2020.
Sports programs, whether football or basketball, bring in big money to their respective universities. The University of Kentucky is home to the highest-valued college basketball program at $342.1 million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rounding out the top five are the Univ. of Louisville ($320 million), the Univ. of Indiana ($278 million), Duke Univ. ($190 million), and the Univ. of Kansas($181 million). The calculation comes from what each team would be worth on the open market, based on values including revenues and expenses.
The NCAA pays a high dollar to Division 1 schools based on their performance in the D1 tournament. During the 2016-17 academic year, Division 1 school received $160.5 million combined, according to the NCAA.
Office pools are another financial engine involving March Madness, with total betting of over $10 billion—most of which is illegal. That’s double the amount the wagered on the Super Bowl.
Still, Las Vegas wins big from March Madness. Casinos in Sin City rake in nearly $100 million in profits during the Big Dance.