When the Syracuse Orange left the Big East, the primary reason we were fine with it was the potential to rake in millions more as members of the ACC. We’ve enjoyed that windfall for years now, but the number just keeps climbing and it’s allowed SU to quickly rise to a competitive level in nearly every sport.
That should continue after the most recent publicly-available payouts — when Syracuse and every other full ACC member (so not Notre Dame) each took home $29.5 million, according to USA Today’s Steve Berkowitz. As Berkowitz notes, total revenues (largely driven by TV rights) were up 11% for 2017-18. The $29.5 million figure puts the ACC in a virtual tie for fourth among FBS conferences in terms of per-school payouts.
All Power 5's have now released FY 18 tax returns.— Steve Berkowitz (@ByBerkowitz) May 24, 2019
Per-school distributions for the year, according to the docs:
-Big Ten: $54M to 12 longest-standing schools
-SEC: $43.7M to all except Mississippi (postseason ban)
-Big 12: $34.7M
-Pac-12 and ACC: $29.5M each
Obviously no one’s catching the Big Ten or SEC, but the ACC being tied for fourth without its own network launched yet is important. We don’t necessarily know how much the ACC Network will net for schools, though high-end estimates are coming in at $8-10 million. That probably needs more carriers signed on than the current list — though DirecTV is a big fish right off the bat. Even a lift of $5-6 million would put the ACC at parity with the Big 12 (which can’t have a channel as long as the Longhorn Network is around).
Those revenues wind up funding a number of items in athletics, but you have to think the continual increases eventually lead to some sort of surplus. That could potentially be spent on new facilities, as well as upgrades to fan experiences and maybe new sports. Syracuse, which sponsors 20 varsity sports, hasn’t added one since women’s ice hockey in 2008. The Orange also dropped swimming and diving in 2011.
There have been no public conversations about sports being added, nevermind which ones. But if I had to state a preference or two: Men’s ice hockey and/or men’s and women’s fencing are some good options. Any others?