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Money the talk at SEC spring meetings

Arkansas
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The SEC’s new television deals with ESPN and CBS, which will generate about $17 million more for each of the 12 schools in the league, doesn’t necessarily mean the conference is recession-proof, says commissioner Mike Slive.

Robbie Andreu of the Gainesville Sun has more on Slive’s comments, which hint that some schools need to cut back on expenses. Could media guides be a casualty of reduced costs? Michigan and Ohio State announced yesterday its intentions to stop printing media guides to save more than $250,000 a year.

Remember when the UA athletic department donated $1 million to the UA for the use of academics? Well, Arkansas is not alone, according to Georgia president Michael Adams. Each SEC school is donating between $1 million and $6 million for academic use to their respective universities this year.

Slive will announce what is expected to be another record year for shared revenues in the SEC in today’s final gathering of coaches and athletic directors at the spring meetings. Last year, schools shared $127.2 million, or about $10.6 million for each school, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Tony Barnhart reports. Next year, it seems, that revenue could bump up drastically to more than $25 million per school because of the new TV deals with CBS and ESPN.

It’ll be interesting to see what the shared revenue numbers are this afternoon for the final year without the new, $3 billion combined deals with CBS and ESPN over the next 15 years factored in.

Speaking of TV, Barnhart says ESPN will clear the picture of where you can find SEC broadcasts later this summer with a presentation at SEC Media Days. Under the new TV deals, CBS will get first selection and ESPN will gobble up the the majority of the remaining games on its slew of networks and online at ESPN360. Still, some SEC teams may be left out in the cold, making it possible for Fox Sports or CSS to pick up games, Barnhart reports.

Until SEC Media Days crank up July 22 in Birmingham, Ala., the TV schedule is pretty unclear.

What we do know is that Arkansas’ annual battle with LSU on the Friday after Thanksgiving is not happening. Auburn and Alabama will take the slot. The Hogs and Tigers’ game set for a season-ending Saturday will probably get picked up by ESPN.

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Brandon Marcello
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