Former SEC commissioner Mike Slive received $4.3 million in compensation during his final year on the job, and new SEC commissioner Greg Sankey made $1.2 million in base pay, according to the conference’s 2015-16 tax return obtained Thursday by CBS Sports.

For the first time in 2015-16, some SEC schools received more than $40 million from the conference. The average payout was $40.4 million, ranging from $41.9 million (Georgia) to $39.1 million (Alabama). That’s up from the SEC average payout of $32.7 million in 2014-15.

SEC revenue over the years
Year Total Revenue Avg. Payout to Schools
2015-16 $639.0 million $40.4 million
2014-15 $527.4 million $32.7 million
2013-14 $325.9 million $21.0 million
2012-13 $314.5 million $20.8 million
2011-12 $271.8 million $20.4 million
2010-11 $261.1 million $19.5 million
2009-10 $244.4 million $18.3 million
2008-09 $148.0 million $13.1 million
2007-08 $161.6 million $11.3 million
2006-07 $149.2 million $11.0 million

The SEC’s latest tax form comprises the 2015-16 fiscal year through Aug. 31, 2016. Salaries are reported for just the 2015 calendar year. Slive was commissioner for half of 2015 until Sankey took over on June 1, 2015.

Slive’s base compensation was listed as $4,177,678 plus $140,877 in reportable benefits. Compensation for Slive included his salary for the portion he was commissioner, a one-time compensation payment for his departure, and a consulting fee for his current work with league, SEC spokesman Herb Vincent said. The tax return showed Slive received a $250,000 consulting fee after he was no longer commissioner.

The SEC is the first Power Five conference to release its tax returns this year. In 2014-15, Slive had the highest base compensation among the commissioners at $3.6 million. When factoring in other benefits, Slive’s total compensation ($3.7 million) trailed the Pac-12’s Larry Scott ($4 million).

Sankey was listed at $1,173,750 in base compensation, plus $70,512 in other reportable benefits, for his dual work in 2015-16 as executive associate commissioner and commissioner. He made $409,002 in 2014-15.

The SEC reported 639 millionin revenue during 2015-16, up from $527.4 million the previous year. That’s a 21-percent increase, compared to a 62-percent spike in 2014-15, when there were two new major revenue sources from the College Football Playoff and the SEC Network. SEC revenue has increased 286 percent when factoring inflation since 2008-09.

The SEC reported $420.1 million TV/radio rights fees, up from $311.9 million a year earlier. Postseason revenue for the SEC increased from $162.8 million in 2014-15 to $180.6 million last year.

The SEC listed $83.9 million in net assets by August 2016, up from $66.7 million and $49.5 million the previous two years. The SEC finished the 2016 fiscal year with a $17.2 million annual operating surplus, roughly the same as a year earlier.

Executive associate commissioner Mark Womack was the third-highest paid SEC employee at $443,517 in total pay, a 4-percent increase from a year earlier.

The SEC paid $1.2 million in legal feels to its Charlotte law firm, Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson. That was up from $967,320 in 2014-15. Legal fees for the SEChave increased in each of the past six years.

Back in 2010-11, the SEC spent $248,814 on legal fees. Many conferences are spending significantly more money on lawyers due to various lawsuits challenging the NCAA’s amateurism rules, which don’t allow college athletes to be paid.


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