SEC schools to share record $309.6 million

DESTIN, Fla. — Southeastern Conference revenue is up for the 25th straight year, with the league distributing a record $309.6 million among its 14 member institutions for fiscal 2013-14.

The announcement came Friday, the final day of the annual SEC Spring Meeting at the Sandestin Hilton.

The figure includes $292.8 million from the conference office and $16.8 million in money retained by SEC schools that participated in bowl games last season.

In all, each school will get $20.9 million, in addition to any retained bowl revenue. Last year, SEC schools split $304.7 million, including bowl money.

SEC revenue has mushroomed in the past five years, up from $165.9 million in 2009. Overall, SEC revenue has increased every year since 1990.

Money is generated from football and basketball TV contracts, bowl games, the SEC Championship Game in football, the SEC men’s basketball tournament, NCAA championships and supplemental surplus distribution.

Revenue is expected to continue to increase tremendously with the launch of the SEC Network on Aug. 14, though SEC Commissioner Mike Slive declined to speculate.

There have been estimates that each school’s share of conference revenue could rise to the vicinity of $35 million per year once the network achieves full nationwide distribution.

SEC revenue distribution for the previous five years is as follows: 2009, $165.9 million; 2010, $233.3 million; 2011, $248.1 million; 2012, $256.9 million; 2013, $304.7 million.

Scheduling talk

SEC Executive Associate Commissioner Mark Womack said the league is working through assigning dates for football games beyond the 2014 season.

Dates for 2015 SEC games should be announced this summer, Womack said. He’s hopeful the conference will be able to announce dates for four to six seasons out before the end of the year.

The SEC decided in April to retain the current 6-1-1 scheduling format and announced a schedule for each school’s rotating opposite division opponents through 2025.

A joyful noise

Apparently the SEC has a fever for more cowbell.

In a ruling sure to draw chuckles and rolling eyes across the SEC, the conference voted to expand the window in which music-playing sound systems and artificial noisemakers (like cowbells) can be used during football games.

According to the new rule, sound systems and noisemakers may be used before the center is over the football and after the play is whistled dead. Previously, such noise was only allowed during pregame, halftime, postgame, after a score and after a media or team timeout.

Grad student rule tweaked

SEC members voted to change the rule for graduate school transfer student-athletes, allowing those with only one year of eligibility remaining to play as long as they meet specific academic criteria.

The rule puts the SEC in line with an NCAA rule that allows graduates to transfer for their final year of eligibility if their graduate program isn’t offered by their original school.

“Once they enroll, they must meet certain requirements,” said Greg Sankey, the SEC’s chief operating officer. “They must earn all possible (Academic Progress Rate) points during the term of their enrollment. If they don’t, their team will be prohibited from using that exception for three years.”

Satellite camps

That former Vanderbilt and new Penn State coach James Franklin and his staff are serving as guest coaches at a camp at Georgia State this summer was a subject of much conversation this week. The SEC didn’t pass any legislation regarding so-called “satellite camps,” but Slive made his league’s views clear on the subject.

“Our folks view it as a loophole (in NCAA rules) and one we should shut down,” he said.

Lagniappe

The SEC will experiment with a 30-second shot clock this season during exhibition men’s basketball games. ... Baseball player Sean McMullen and softball player Simone Heyward were recognized here this week as LSU’s H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship finalists. Both will receive $7,500 in graduate school scholarship funds. … SEC members voted to increase bowl revenue distribution to participating schools while decreasing the number of bowl tickets each school must guarantee to purchase. … The squad size for the SEC tennis championships will increase from eight to 10. … In soccer, coaches will be allowed to designate the 22 players for each game in the SEC tournament instead of before the entire tournament begins.

Follow Scott Rabalais on Twitter: @RabalaisAdv.