The SEC announced Thursday that it generated $777.8 million of total revenue during the 2020-21 fiscal year, which ended on Aug. 31, 2021. The revenue was distributed among the SEC’s 14 institutions $54.6 million per school excluding bowl expenses retained by teams that went to bowl games following the 2020 season.
“The commitment of the SEC’s 14 universities to provide an impactful and lasting student-athlete experience is enhanced exponentially by the substantial revenue distributed through the Southeastern Conference,” said SEC commissioner Greg Sankey. “As a direct result of this distribution, SEC universities provide their student-athletes exceptional instruction, training, equipment, academic counseling, medical care, mental health and wellness support and life-skill development that is unmatched in intercollegiate athletics.”
The $777.8 million in revenue is a $120.1 million increase from the $657.7 million distributed in 2019-20, which broke down to $45.5 million per school after bowl expenses. That’s quite shocking considering the financial uncertainty presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which was ongoing during the entire fiscal year. The revenue figure does not include a one-time stipend of approximately $23 million each school received to mitigate revenue lost from the pandemic.
“SEC athletics programs often contribute in unique and significant ways to the academic missions of their universities as a result of athletics-generated revenues,” Sankey said. “Past examples of the impact of this revenue have included assistance in construction and renovation of academic facilities, financial support of academic scholarships, funding of academic programs and direct transfers of funds to support academic budgets.”
The revenue is used to fund athletic departments, which includes financial aid given to student-athletes, academic and campus improvement initiatives, student wellness and research programs.