FOS PM: NCAA’s Massive Spending Reveal

Through the first two rounds, the NBA Playoffs on ESPN and ABC have seen a 25% increase in viewership from 2021. Conference Finals begin tonight. 👀

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During the fiscal year ending in 2021, the NCAA spent millions of dollars on two less-than-successful investments: its legal efforts and its president, Mark Emmert.

The governing body Paid Emmert a total of $2.99 ​​million in 2020, according to new tax filings provided to Front Office Sports. That’s up 3% from the previous year.

  • The widely criticized Emmert will step down by the end of June 2023.
  • The NCAA paid almost $52.5 million in legal fees, less than the $68 million it reported in 2019-20.
  • Of course, $52.5 million is still a hefty price tag in the year that it lost the Supreme Court case NCAA v. Alston 9-0. The opinion found the NCAA is subject to antitrust scrutiny.

The NCAA spent $470,000 in lobbying as its interim NIL policy went into effect without a federal NIL law — something officials hoped to pass. The number is, however, about $30,000 less than the previous year.

The filings also showed total revenues of $1.1 billion and media rights revenues of $915.8 million — similar to those reported in its previously released financial statements.

Coach K’s Paycheck

Emmert wasn’t the only college sports official whose salary was revealed in 2020-21 tax returns.

Duke University’s forms, which Front Office Sports obtained, revealed that former men’s basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski earned about $12.5 millionwith total compensation topping $13.7 million.

USA Today first reported the findings for Coach K and the NCAA.

Sipa USA-USA TODAY Sports

Paris Saint-Germain superstar Lionel Messi had reportedly agreed to acquire a 35% stake in MLS club Inter Miami FC and join the team as a player in 2023, but the news is “completely false,” according to his agent.

Messi would have joined an ownership group that includes soccer legend David Beckham and Cuban American businessmen Jorge and Jose Mas.

But now Messi’s agent has told French daily newspaper Le Parisien that “Leo has not yet decided on his future,” despite a report by DirecTV’s Alex Candal.

Inter Miami was valued at between $600 million other $650 million in 2021 after the Mas brothers increased their stake by buying a 48% share from tech entrepreneur Marcelo Claure and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, per Sportico.

  • A 35% stake in Inter Miami is estimated to be worth more than $200 million.
  • Last month, the club received approval to build a new 25,000-seat stadium.

In May 2021, Inter Miami was found $2 million — an MLS record — for underreporting player salaries and attempting to circumvent roster restrictions. That year, the team had the highest player payroll in MLS at $17.8 million.

Moneymaker

Messi bringing his talents to Miami would follow the 34-year-old signing a two-year, $41 million deal with PSG in August 2021. The deal included bonuses, a third-year option, and a reported $30 million signing bonus.

Earlier this month, Forbes unveiled its annual ranking of the world’s highest-paid athletes and Messi claimed the top spot with a pre-tax income of $133 million over the past 12 months.

Chelsea FC’s temporary license to operate expires at the end of the month, and its $5.2 billion sale to a consortium led by US billionaire Todd Boehly might be hitting a roadblock.

Bloomberg reported Monday that outgoing owner Roman Abramovich has had disagreements with the UK government — which has to approve the sale — over treatment of a roughly $1.9 billion loan Chelsea’s parent company Fordstam Ltd owes to Camberley International Investments, a Jersey-based company that reportedly has links to Abramovich.

The discord is reportedly delaying the sale’s completion.

Abramovich, who purchased the team for $233 million in 2003, has agreed to waive the debt and contribute it to a charitable foundation. A spokesperson for Abramovich previously denied claims he wanted it to be repaid.

  • Abramovich was sanctioned earlier this year for his ties to Vladimir Putin.
  • The Russian oligarch has a say in the sale’s fine print despite not being able to profit from it.

But Sky News reported that Abramovich has not provided assurances that the money will go to charity, adding that he is refusing to accept a new sale structure proposed by ministers.

Abramovich Not Concerned

If Boehly’s purchase isn’t finalized by May 31 or the operating license isn’t renewed, the team risks not being able to play next season.

Sports Illustrated reported on Tuesday that the sale is still “on course” to be completed by that time, and a source close to Abramovich told PA Sport they are “not concerned about the situation.”

  • In The Leadoff, women are joining sports betting apps at a faster rate than men, McLaren is acquiring Mercedes’ Formula E team, “NBA 2K22” drives Take-Two Interactive to a $930 million quarter, and states back off as the NCAA threatens more NIL regulations. Click here to listen.
  • Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that Deandre Ayton doesn’t feel “valued” by the Phoenix Suns. The Suns passed on giving the 2018 no. 1 overall pick a five-year rookie max extension worth $207 million with incentives.
  • The New York Yankees’ pitching staff has been stellar, but the team’s hitters have led the way, specifically Anthony Rizzo, Aaron Judge, and Giancarlo Stanton. The Yankees have allotted a combined $56 million of their AL-leading $246.1 million payroll for their Big Three.
  • The Colorado Avalanche’s offense was one of the NHL’s most potent during the regular season, but its most most effective weapon in the playoffs has been a defenseman as they completed a first-round sweep of the Nashville Predators. Subscribe to Scoreboard for more.
(Note: All as of market close on 5/17/22)

The Boston Celtics face the Miami Heat on Tuesday at FTX Arena for Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

How to watch: 8:30pm ET on ESPN

Betting Odds: Heat -2 || ML-130 || O/U 204

peck: Expect the Celtics to build on Sunday’s Game 7 win. Take Boston to cover.

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