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By the grace of the NCAA, the rich get richer, and Rutgers gains, too

Yes, boys and girls, there is actually good news for Rutgers involving...wait for!

Rutgers v Minnesota Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Here’s something you don’t see every day. The NCAA handing out money for no other reason than they have it.

From the photo that the tweeter used above, you can probably guess who is getting the most money.

And that’s because the distribution is based on the number of full time equivalent scholarships you gave out in 2013-14. So, by not having the full allotment of athletic scholarships - as well as a smaller overall program - Rutgers hurt itself....sort of.

The monies “will be restricted to uses that directly benefit athlete academic and welfare initiatives”. Which means....?

According to a Q & A Document issued by the NCAA, the monies are intended to be used very specifically:

For the direct benefit of the student-athlete and their academic success, life skills, career success, health and safety and student-athlete focused diversity and inclusion initiatives. Schools have discretion in using funds among these areas.

In what is probably no surprise, five additional schools of the eleven in the Big Ten (in 2013-14, remember) are among the top money recipients with over $1 million each: Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Rutgers was in the American Athletic Conference that year, and among the AAC schools, Rutgers is actually receiving the second most: $915,017. That was based on 278.02 grants-in-aid. Louisville, with 295.85 grants received the most, $973,699.

Interestingly, Rutgers will be earning more than five current Big Ten members: Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska, Northwestern, and Purdue.

And much to our Dave White’s chagrin, football does seem to be driving the bus. Steve Berkowitz, the article’s author notes:

Though these [non-football] schools’ shares from the $200 million distribution are being driven by their athletic scholarship numbers, schools that don’t award athletic scholarships — those in the Ivy League and the service academies — are getting money based on the average amounts being distributed to Football Championship Subdivision schools: $520,337, which would be from having awarded the equivalent of about 158 scholarships.

In addition, some programs - and conferences - with a smaller number of sports or fewer scholarships, are being penalized. The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference is one of them and its commissioner, Rich Ensor, is not happy about that:

“Our issue is why is football getting such weight in the formula” for the $200 million distribution. Ensor pointed out that football results in the awarding of many scholarships, and is driving schools’ shares of the distribution, but “no funding goes to the NCAA from football operations” because conferences control TV contracts for football and the bowl system. Nearly all of the NCAA’s revenue comes from its media and marketing rights contract with CBS and Turner for the men’s basketball tournament.

All of that may be true. But for those of us “on the banks”, we can actually be happy about a money situation. The NCAA is giving us almost a million bucks. Just for being Rutgers.

Comparative Totals

American Athletic - Grants-in-Aid: 2,425.16 $ 7,981,664

Rutgers - Grants-in-Aid: 278.02 $ 915,017

Atlantic Coast - Grants-in-Aid: 3,865.66 $ 12,722,624

University of Maryland - Grants-in-Aid: 269.32 $ 886,383

Big Ten - Grants-in-Aid: 3,738.08 $ 12,302,734

University of Illinois - Grants-in-Aid: 263.86 $ 868,414

University of Iowa - Grants-in-Aid: 296.02 $ 974,258

Indiana University - Grants-in-Aid: 302.23 $ 994,697

University of Michigan - Grants-in-Aid: 353.18 $ 1,162,383

Michigan State University - Grants-in-Aid: 332.97 $ 1,095,868

University of Minnesota - Grants-in-Aid: 320.77 $ 1,055,715

University of Nebraska - Grants-in-Aid: 277.81 $ 914,326

Northwestern University - Grants-in-Aid: 255.58 $ 841,163

Pennsylvania State University - Grants-in-Aid: 349.71 $ 1,150,962

Purdue University - Grants-in-Aid: 255.12 $ 839,649

The Ohio State University - Grants-in-Aid: 403.98 $ 1,329,575

University of Wisconsin - 326.85 $ 1,075,726