About BTiell Sports Reports

Dr. Bonnie Tiell writes a monthly column for the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune Sports Department (http://www.advertiser-tribune.com/). This blog archives each column and dates back to the 2008 Olympic Academic Experience in Beijing, China. Check out the Blog Archives to read more. Check out info about the TU Olympic Academic Experience at http://www.tuolympics.blogspot.com/ and contact Dr. Tiell at btiell@tiffin.edu

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

April 15, 2009 Brushing up on math skills for NCAA tourney

Remember that 13th seeded Cleveland State win over 4th seed Wake Forest in the first round of the NCAA tournament? That was a million dollar win, my friends. I mean, literally – a million bucks.

A colleague taught me a little lesson during the tournament which helped me hone in on my elementary math skills. Every time a team appeared in the NCAA tournament, the conference earned a unit. A unit was worth $1,000,000 in CBS/NCAA monies. That means, the seven teams from the Big East helped the conference rake in a cool $7-million before a single game was even played.

Cleveland State was one of two Horizon League teams in the tournament in a system where small conferences (like the MAC) rarely ever see more than one bid. No doubt, the Horizon League was smiling all the way to the bank when the Vikings chalked up an unanticipated victory over the ACC foe. Having two teams clinch a play-off spot and the unexpected upset win by Cleveland State helped the conference earn three units worth $3-million.

There were 65 teams that entered the tournament including the play-in game at Dayton Arena where the Alabama State Hornets fell to the Morehead State Eagles. You can bet the Southwestern Conference is ecstatic over the added extra play-in game. Spread the wealth. That was one-million smackaroos.

Let’s do some more Math. With 65 teams in the tournament, we are at 65 units before the first tip-off ($65,000,000). First round has 32 games. Add 32 units to the running total ($32,000,000). Next round has 16 games. Add 16 units ($16,000,000). You get the picture.

Keep adding a unit (a million bucks) for each game in every round - 8 games, 4, games, 2 games, and the final one where UNC man-handled Magic Johnson’s Michigan State Spartans like a pit bull fighting a Chihuahua puppy. The total should equal 128 units or $128 million dollars. That is over 100 million to the NCAA conferences as part of the total $6 billion over 11 years paid out by CBS.

Here is some more math as you scratch your head to figure how much money those conferences get and how much money the NCAA keeps. Remember, CBS paid the NCAA six billion for the media rights to the men’s tournament over 11 years. If the unit price of one million remains constant over the 11 years of the CBS deal, then that is $128 million X 11 years of pay-outs. To figure that amount, multiply $128 mil X 11. It’s easier to multiply $128 million over 10 years then add the remaining 11th year. The total is 1 billion and 408 million ($1,408,000,000). Estimate that figure to be one and a half billion. Now, scratch you head again to figure out what the NCAA is doing with the remaining four and a half billion dollars from the CBS vault that never reaches Cleveland State’s athletic department as incentive paid monies.

Actually, each conference has unique policies to divvy up the tournament appearance monies in incentive formulas. The Horizon League pays out $45,000 to a member school for each tournament appearance (yes, Cleveland State finished with a whopping $90,000). The League also pays the school for a women’s tournament appearance at a rate of $10,000 which is amazing considering the unit price for an ESPN/NCAA women’s tournament is a big fat zero.

Speaking of the women’s tournament, a few people squawked when President Obama failed to mention the women when he masterfully completed his men’s team bracket for ESPN. He could have at least mentioned a few select favorites like the mighty lady UCONN Huskies even if he doesn’t follow the women’s game. Once again, politics and sports become strange bedfellows and Obama blew a perfect opportunity to publically promote gender equity. Come on, the man is raising two talented athletic daughters and he just posed with Lisa Leslie (WNBA) after signing an executive order to create a White House Council on Women and Girls. Come on! What team has beaten every single opponent by ten or more points every single time this year? That’s the UConn Lady Huskies!

Let me mention another somewhat political figure that is doing an admirable job promoting gender equity and diversity initiatives in college sports. Anyone who attended Tiffin University’s Good Morning World Breakfast this month was treated to an inspiring presentation by Dell Robinson, the first ethnic minority to be named commissioner of a non-Historically Black College or University conference in NCAA’s Division II. Robinson spoke of the model division II student-athlete which emphasizes balance in physical competition, academics, and community engagement.

The Tiffin University athletes who attended Robinson’s inaugural appearance in his new role picked up a great message from their soon to be new commissioner. Emphasizing the student-athlete experience that would be greatly enhanced by the construction of a new recreation center was part of the commissioner’s message that seemed to evoke some emotion among the participants. Emotion was also part of TU’s annual Green and Gold spring football game at Frost Kalnow stadium recently. In fact, one player’s emotions ran pretty high as he was flagged for “excessive celebration” after making an interception. One fan was overheard suggesting that the referees were being too critical during a spring game while another quickly responded by asking why the referees should let go of an opportunity to emphasize appropriate game behavior regardless of whether it was a regular season game, play-off game, or scrimmage. The banter among fans was great…yes…. fans in the stands for a spring scrimmage. Indeed, competitive sports are alive and well throughout Tiffin, Ohio.

Stay tune…there’s more sports to report next month.

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