Big Ten finances might get boost

More money and travel may result in an academic liability.

AMinnesota Daily project on Thursday presented an analysis of Big Ten finances for recent years and how the conference’s revenues are projected to grow with the addition of two new teams —  Rutgers and Maryland.

Tapping into the large East Coast markets around Rutgers and Maryland is expected to increase teams’ revenue via advertising and subscriptions to the Big Ten Network. Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill projected the per-team revenue growth to be as high as $40 million over four years, although the University of Minnesota athletics department could not confirm that estimate.

The University’s athletics revenue and spending have both increased steadily throughout the past decade.

It’s a safe bet that as Big Ten TV contracts become more valuable, the University will put those dollars back into athletics. With the possibility of sending teams to conference games in Maryland and New Jersey, travel costs may be higher than ever before.

As these college teams’ revenues and travel distances continue to grow, it will be increasingly important for athletics officials to consider the athletes’ academic responsibilities.

With the increased revenue from a larger Big Ten, we hope the University will take some of that money to help ensure the academic well-being of its student-athletes as they embark on lengthier road trips than in past years.