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It’s year three of the OVC’s “Basketball Enhancement Plan,” meaning another $500,000 dollars has been doled out. WPSD Local 6 got a list of this year’s totals, and shared it with us:

  • Austin Peay: $21,862
  • Belmont: $61,211
  • Eastern Illinois: $29,573
  • Eastern Kentucky: $113,179
  • Jacksonville State: $39,228
  • Morehead State: $43,604
  • Murray State: $57,379
  • SE Missouri State: $46,772
  • SIU Edwardsville: $18,989
  • Tennessee State: $24,724
  • Tennessee Tech: $33,093
  • UT Martin: $10,386

Despite winning the conference title for the second straight year, Belmont earned than $50,000 less than Eastern Kentucky, the OVC Tournament champions. Why? It has to do with the criteria, which is more about “growth” than sustained success. Here’s the six criteria that go into the formula:

  • 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

Over the three years of this plan, the money has gone much more to the ‘haves’ than the ‘have nots.’

  • Murray State: $228,981
  • Eastern Kentucky: $216,028
  • Tennessee State: $157,296
  • SE Missouri State: $140,232
  • Belmont: $137,247 (Wasn’t a member of the OVC in 2011-12)
  • Jacksonville State: $135,108
  • Tennessee Tech: $115,117
  • Morehead State: $114,245
  • Eastern Illinois: $76,337
  • Austin Peay: $72,427
  • UT Martin: $49,408
  • SIU Edwardsville: $41,567

Looking at these totals, I’m not 100% sold that this plan is making a huge difference, although we’ve seen schools like Murray State buy home games the past two years, something that rarely happened in the past. At the bottom end, through, UT Martin and SIUE aren’t getting much out of it, and the OVC’s issue the past few years isn’t the teams at the top, it’s the five or so 300+ RPI teams.

The OVC says they’re dedicated to this program, and the conference has made enough money through NCAA Tournament appearances to support it for nine more years, if none of the money is going elsewhere.

I discuss the issue with WPSD’s Jeff Bidwell on Friday’s Jeff Bidwell Show on 99.5 The Fan. If you’re not in the Paducah, Kentucky area, you can listen live, or download the archive at on Friday.

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OVC Ball
Compiling all OVC non-conference games

2016 Football Standings

OVC Overall
Jacksonville State 7-0 10-2
UT Martin 6-2 7-5
Tennessee Tech 5-3 5-6
Tennessee State 4-3 7-4
Eastern Illinois 4-4 6-5
Murray State 4-4 4-7
SEMO 3-5 3-8
Eastern Kentucky 2-6 3-8
Austin Peay 0-8 0-11

2016-17 Basketball Standings

OVC Overall


Belmont 15-1 23-7
Morehead State 10-6 14-16
Jacksonville State 9-7 20-15
Tennessee State 8-8 17-13
Tennessee Tech 8-8 12-20
Eastern Kentucky 5-11 12-19


UT Martin 10-6 22-13
SEMO 9-7 15-18
Murray State 8-8 16-17
Austin Peay 7-9 11-19
Eastern Illinois 6-10 14-15
SIUE 1-15 6-24