Shockers’, Panthers’ success a victory for all Valley teams

By Thomas Donley, @TdonleyDE

Love or hate Wichita State and Northern Iowa, Saluki fans had a reason to cheer for their team’s Missouri Valley Conference rivals in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. 

The Shockers and Panthers earned the MVC about $8 million by advancing in the tournament. Northern Iowa advanced to Round of 32, and Wichita State made a Sweet 16 appearance. 

MVC commissioner Doug Elgin said in an email the NCAA will pay each conference $1.6 million over six years for each game its teams played in the tournament. The MVC divides that money amongst its 10 men’s basketball schools. 

Advertisement

Each April, the MVC receives payments for one-sixth of the total shares the conference has earned during the past six years. This year, the conference will receive $4,341,443 based on 17 tournament games Valley teams played in from 2009 to 2014. 

The NCAA pays for each team’s travel and lodging for every location it travels to for the tournament. On top of that, each MVC team in the tournament receives half a share per site from the conference to cover any expenses on top of what the NCAA pays. The remaining money is divided evenly among the 10 men’s basketball teams in the MVC.

Once Wichita State and Northern Iowa’s travel stipends have been distributed, each school will receive about $395,800. 

The NCAA receives more than $776 million yearly from its broadcast deal with CBS. 

The money SIU receives goes into the overall athletic budget. Interim athletic director Harold Bardo said the success of Valley teams in the tournament this year could be helpful in the wake of possible budget cuts by the state government. 

“In sports, any amount of money helps,” Bardo said. “The fact that Northern Iowa and Wichita State [were] in the NCAA tournament, and they earn a share for participating in the tournament that will be shared among the conference schools, it will help.”

During the past 13 years, SIU has received an average of almost $250,000 per year. The Salukis’ share for the 2008 fiscal year was $467,201 on the heels of their 2007 Sweet 16 run. 

UNI assistant coach Erik Crawford said he was pulling for Wichita State after the Panthers lost, in part because of the extra money it would earn the Panther program. 

“Extra money allows us extra opportunities for our program, whether it’s charter flights or upgrades to our facilities,” Crawford said. “All of that stuff is huge, so the more teams we can get going deeper in the tournament, the better.”

 Thomas Donley can be reached at [email protected] or at 536-3311 ext. 269

Advertisement