The Big 12 Conference had almost $268 million in total revenue for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015, a record sum for the league but one that trails at least one Power Five conference peer.
The Big 12’s revenue represents a $40 million increase (more than 17%) over the conference’s revenue for its 2014 fiscal year. (Under IRS rules, a non-profit must report its revenue and expense data based on its fiscal year; but it must report compensation data based on the calendar year completed during its fiscal year).
The $268 million in total revenue is nearly 70% greater than the revenue the conference reported having during its 2012 fiscal year.
The Big 12’s income was boosted most by the nearly $32 million increase it reported in revenue from bowl games. That’s a nearly 75% jump, and likely due largely to its share of money from the first year of the College Football Playoff.
The conference’s television revenue rose by about $8 milllion, or nearly 6%.
On the expense side, the Big 12 reported that its spending with Kansas City, Mo.-based law firm Polsinelli Shugart PC was more than $1.4 million during its 2015 fiscal year. The conference’s spending with the firm in fiscal 2014 was just under $400,000 and in fiscal 2013 it was just over $1 million.
Although the 10-team Big 12 prospered during its 2015 fiscal year, its total revenue and per-school revenue lagged far behind that of the 14-team Southeastern Conference, which has reported more than $527 million in total revenue for fiscal year ending Aug. 31, 2015.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby’s basic compensation remained unchanged at $1.8 million during the 2014 calendar year, according to the conference’s new federal tax return.
Bowlsby was credited with just under $2.6 million in total compensation for the year on the new return, including a $450,000 bonus — identical to the one he received in 2013. However, the return also stated that $167,000 of the total had been reported as deferred compensation on prior years’ returns.
Big 12 spokesman Bob Burda declined comment regarding the period of time over which the previously reported amounts had accrued or the rates at which they accrued.
The SEC reported then-commissioner Mike Slive’s base compensation for the 2014 calendar year at nearly $3.6 million.
Though Bowlsby’s compensation did not change, the new tax return was the conference’s first showing him as having received a loan from the conference. The loan original principal amount was $500,000, and its balance due as of the end of the conference’s fiscal year was $400,000. There was no further detail concerning when the loan was made.
The return indicates that the loan was in relation to Bowlsby’s residence. Burda declined to provide further detail on the nature of the loan.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott, for several years, has had the benefit of a nearly $1.9 million loan from the conference, according to the Pac-12’s returns.
As a private, non-profit organization, the Big 12 is not required to make public its employment contracts.
The Big 12’s eight member schools other than relative newcomers West Virginia and Texas Christian received revenue shares ranging from $22.9 million to $23.8 million, according to the return.
TCU received $20.4 million, West Virginia $20.3 million. During the conference’s 2014 fiscal year, TCU got $14.3 million, West Virginia $14.2 million.