Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Sports

Academic awards approved

The NCAA will distribute millions of dollars in March Madness revenue to member schools to reward academic performance by athletes, starting in 2019-20. It will be the first time member schools will receive a portion of Division I revenue based on the academic achievements of student-athletes, thanks to the NCAA's multimedia rights contract with CBS/Turner for the men's basketball tournament.

The NCAA agreed to an eight-year extension of its deal with CBS/Turner this year. The contract runs through 2032 and pays the NCAA about $1.1 billion per year, an increase of about $330 million annually. For the first six years of the new distribution, 75 percent of the increase in rights fees will be used to create academic distribution units similar to the units that are earned by conferences based on team performance in the NCAA Division I basketball tournament.

After the first six years, the NCAA said, the percentage of growth allocated to the academic unit will equal the percentage applied to all other distributions.

"The creation of an academic distribution unit underscores the NCAA's commitment to putting money where its mission is — with students," NCAA president Mark Emmert said.

Academic units will be awarded to schools that earn:

• An overall, single-year, all-sport Academic Progress Rate of 985 or higher.

• An overall all-sport graduation rate of 90 percent or higher.

• A federal graduation rate that is at least 13 percentage points higher than the federal graduation rate of the student body at that school.

The amount of money in an academic unit is impossible to precisely project because it will be determined by how many schools qualify. The NCAA projects about 66 percent of the 349 D-I schools will qualify for an academic unit. Based on that, the NCAA estimates a unit could be worth $55,678 in 2019-20 and $111,356 the next year. By 2031-32, the NCAA projects each academic unit could be worth $541,368.

NO. 25 VA. TECH 39, PITT 36: Jerod Evans shook off a right ankle injury to throw for a career-high 406 yards and two touchdowns as the Hokies (6-2, 4-1 ACC beat the Panthers (5-3, 2-2) on the road for the first time in 17 years. Joey Slye tied a school and ACC record with six field goals and Isaiah Ford's 10 receptions included his school-record 23rd receiving touchdown as Virginia Tech all but ended Pitt's hopes of a Coastal Division title. The Panthers next visit Miami on Nov. 5.

FSU RECEIVER OUT: Florida State will be without receiver Jesus Wilson in Saturday's game against Clemson. Wilson did not practice this week after injuring his foot two weeks ago. His 133 career receptions are 10th in school history, and he ranks third this season with 30 catches for 390 yards. Nyqwan Murray and Wharton High product Auden Tate will likely see more playing time.

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