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July 30, 2022

Executive Compensation at the NCAA (2020)

by Anne Paddock

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) is a non-profit, tax-exempt 501 (c) (3) organization focused on college sports in the US. With 1,100 member colleges and universities in 102 athletic conferences across the country that participate in 90 championships in 24 sports in 3 divisions, the NCAA is a powerful and well financed organization.

There are 24 independent board members of the governing party,   17 of the 25 (68%) board members are male while 7 of the 25 (32%) are female.

In 2020, the NCAA appears to have been greatly affected by the pandemic due to the cancellation of sporting events.  In 2019, the organization raised about $1.1 billion, most of which came from television rights and championships/tournaments.  But in 2020, total revenue was $521 million (more than $500 million less than the year before).  Most revenue came from television rights ($165 million) and insurance recovery revenue ($274 million) in 2020.

Expenses were $572 million (meaning the NCAA spent $50 million more than they raised) with the 4 largest expenses reported to be scholarships and grants ($270 million), championship event expenses ($71 million), fees for services – primarily legal – ($87 million), and compensation ($79 million).

In 2020, 657 employees of the NCAA received $79 million in compensation, which equates to an average compensation of $120,000.  However, only 124 employees received more than $100,000 in compensation. The 16 most highly compensated employees were:

  • $2,908,114:  Mark Emmert, President
  • $1,697,971:  Donald Remy, EVP
  • $1,372,706:  Stanley Wilcox, EVP
  • $  857,797:  Brian Hainline, Chief Medical Officer
  • $  698,960:  Kathleen McNeely, SVP of Admin and CFO
  • $  626,577:  Joni Comstock, SVP
  • $  615,057:  Daniel Gavitt, SVP
  • $  610,190:  Katrice Albert, EVP
  • $  555,158:  Jonathan Duncan, VP
  • $  551,039:  Kevin Lennon, VP
  • $  472,043:  Robert Williams, SVP
  • $  435,768:  Scott Bearby, Managing Director
  • $  406,857:  David Schnase, VP
  • $  400,814:  Lynn Holzman, VP
  • $  383,615:  Theresa Gronau, VP
  • $  364,325:  Felica Martin, VP

The 16 employees listed above received $13 million in compensation. 10 of the 16 (63%) of the most highly compensated employees are male while 6 (37%) are female. 7 of the 10 most highly compensated employees are male while 3 are female.

The most highly compensated employee was Mark Emmert, the President who has received $14 million in compensation over the past 5 years:

  • 2020:  $2,908,114
  • 2019:  $2,719,779
  • 2018:  $3,890,497
  • 2017:  $2,433,207
  • 2016:  $1,944,729

The NCAA paid for first class or charter travel. Specifically, the NCAA paid for chartered business travel, when necessary due to scheduling for the President, COO, EVP’s (2), SVP’s (3), VP’s (3), and highly compensated employees (1). This was a non-taxable business expense.

The NCAA paid for companion travel. Specifically, the NCAA paid for companion travel for the President.

The NCAA provided tax indemnification and gross up payments.

The NCAA paid for gift cards (amount not specified) for 16 of the officers, key employees and highly compensated employees.

The NCA paid for social club dues for the president.

62 independent contractors received more than $100,000 in compensation with the five highest reported to be:

  • $8.2 million:  BWD Group, of Plainview, NY for insurance
  • $7.7 million:  Go Ground Options, of Woodbridge, IL for transportation services
  • $2.9 million:  Latham and Watkins, of Los Angeles, CA for legal services
  • $2.8 million:  Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe, of San Francisco, CA for legal services
  • $2.6 million:  Wilmerhale, of Boston, MA for legal services

To read the Form 990 (2019 for the year ending August 31, 2020) click here.

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