The first half a million dollars of the “Basketball Enhancement Plan” has been distributed, and simply put, the rich get richer.
Despite the money being split among 12 teams, more than $100,000 goes to a single program: Murray State.According to WPSD Local 6, the first payment was split as follows:
- Murray State $106,214
- Tennessee State $70,874
- Tennessee Tech $64,657
- Morehead State $47,536
- SE Missouri State $43,211
- Jacksonville State $37,710
- Eastern Kentucky $35,269
- Austin Peay $28,703
- Eastern Illinois $21,047
- UT Martin $15,735
- SIU-Edwardsville $13,037
That $93,137 between 1st and last may seen dramatic, but in reality, it’s essentially the difference between one money game. (You may remember, Murray State was paid $90,000 to play at Memphis last year)
It again goes to the point previously mentioned, that the money simply isn’t enough to make a long-term impact. Is any of this money really enough to help the OVC become an “elite” mid-major conference?
And the little money that is there goes away if the conference goes on another losing streak in the NCAA tournament. (Which it was on for many, many years before Morehead State won a “first round” game 4 years ago)
Under this plan, teams will split up to $500,000 annually (depending on how much money is made in the tournament) based on their standing in 6 areas:
- Overall RPI
- Improvement in RPI (three-year rolling average)
- Increase in Division I wins from the previous year (three-year rolling average)
- Division I non-conference wins (three-year rolling average)
- OVC tournament or regular season championships in the last four years
- 40% of non-conference games being played at home or neutral sites
The idea is solid…entice teams to play home games against solid competition if possible. But money from “money games” is certain, hence the term. Even if you put together a solid schedule, wins aren’t certain. Sure, losing money games will cost you a few wins, and a few thousand under the distribution. But you earn the money back, and possibly then some, by playing and likely losing against Big 6 competition. Which one do you think teams will (continue to) choose?