Despite not appearing in the NCAA tournament this season, BYU made out with a nice pay day thanks to Gonzaga’s (and St. Mary’s) NCAA tournament success.
Each game by a team in the NCAA tournament (up to the final 4), nets its conference approximately $1.7 million. Each one of these appearances is referred to as a “unit;” Gonzaga (5 units) and St Mary’s (2 units) netted the WCC 7 total units this season, a record for the conference.
Those 7 units made the WCC $11.9 million. That money is distributed over a six-year timeframe. While the WCC has not publicly disclosed how it distributes that money to its 10 schools, the NCAA strongly encourages that the money is evenly distributed among its members, and all conferences seem to do it this way.
For BYU, that would mean the Cougars get $1.19 over the next 6 years ($186,000/year). So, a big shoutout to St Mary’s and Gonzaga, who made BYU over a million bucks without BYU having to play a single game!
While some BYU fans like to tweet out the hashtag #BackTheWCC to poke fun at the Pac 12 — and specifically Utah — for its #BackThePac hashtag, it does financially benefit BYU for WCC schools to perform well in the NCAA tournament.
With Gonzaga and St. Mary’s likely to win some games again in next year’s tournament, hopefully BYU can help itself and the WCC earn some more cash with an appearance of its own.