Are HBCUs Treated Fairly in NCAA Tournament?

Jordan Gilliam #11 and John Jones #12 of the Texas Southern Tigers celebrate after defeating the Texas A&M-CC Islanders 76-67 in the First Four game of the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at UD Arena on March 15, 2022, in Dayton, Ohio. | Source: Emilee Chinn / Getty

The NCAA tournament is arguably the biggest event in all of college athletics.

The craziness of this tournament on both the men’s and women’s sides has led to heartbreak, joy and unforgettable moments for everyone involved. It also brings a sizable payday for many conferences. Some more than others.

HBCU conferences like the SWAC and the MEAC find themselves on the lower end of the spectrum. According to USA Today, from 1997 through 2018, the Big Ten Conference has been paid the most at $340.4 million, while the SWAC got only $25 million which is nearly the minimum amount that a conference can receive during that time.

The reasoning for this can get very complicated for people who are unfamiliar with the intricacies of the tournament. But to make things plain and simple, the more games the teams in your athletic conference win the more money the conference receives.

Teams get paid for making the tournament and for winning games while they are there. These payments are called units. The 2021 units were valued at $337,141 according to the NCAA. Usually, that number increases about 3% annually. The value of the units in 2022 will be applied to units earned by conferences over the previous six tournaments. So basically every time a team in the SWAC or MEAC has made the tournament or won a tournament game in the last six years the conference will get paid the unit value that’s designated for the current year.

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SOURCE: NewsOne, Donovan Dooley