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Southeastern Conference passes out record revenue to member schools

Photo: David E. Klutho/SI

The Southeastern Conference announced a record payout of $309.6 million to member schools.

DESTIN, Fla. (AP) - Southeastern Conference revenue remains on the rise. It should make a major jump next year following the launch of the SEC Network.

The SEC will distribute a record $309.6 million in revenue to its 14 member institutions for 2013-2014, commissioner Mike Slive announced Friday on the final day of the annual SEC meetings. The average amount received by each school, excluding $16.8 million of bowl revenue, was $20.9 million.

The revenue is generated from football and basketball television contracts, bowl games, the league's football championship game, the league's men's basketball tournament, NCAA championships and supplemental surplus. It has nearly doubled since 2009, when the league doled out $165.9 million to its schools.

It could rise significantly next year, with estimations ranging from $15 million to $20 million because of added television revenue.

''There are some numbers floating around out there, but everything is speculative,'' Slive said. ''We're optimistic. We believe the product is so good. We believe the network is so strong. We believe the network will be national. We believe it will generate revenue as it grows over the next decade, but to speculate as to how much that will add to the revenue through the conference to our institutions is really speculative.''

The SEC also passed five proposals Friday. The most significant change involved an automatic waiver for graduate-school transfers with less than two years of eligibility remaining, a move that should expedite the transfer process.

Previously, the SEC required a waiver for anyone to transfer with less than two years of eligibility remaining. The waiver had to be approved by the conference, essentially causing red tape that football and basketball coaches felt was putting them at a competitive disadvantage.

''I think it's been a factor - not the only factor - in the success of men's basketball and it's being addressed,'' Auburn basketball coach Bruce Pearl said.

Not everyone agreed. Florida president Bernie Machen called the graduate-transfer rule ''bad.''

''I just don't think that it's a rule that the NCAA ought to have at all,'' Machen said. ''If they really wanted to transfer somewhere else, then they should sit out a year. If you didn't have anything to do, you could track and see how many of them completed their grad program. It was put together under the banner of helping the athlete. It's really not. It's just a way for a school to fill a void at a very last moment or a player to get more playing time without sitting out.''

The league also:

- Allowed the use of artificial noisemakers - even music and sound controlled by the school - at any time during football games except from the time the center is over the football until the end of the play.

- Increased the roster size for tennis teams from eight to 10 during SEC championship play.

- Tweaked roster rules for soccer teams, allowing coaches to change his or her 22 available players from game to game instead of setting the roster before the SEC tournament begins.

STAPLES: Slive: If power leagues don't get more autonomy, next move would be Division IV

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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