Photo: Flickr via Hector Alejandro
North Carolina’s could lose money on its media contract if the team is hit by NCAA sanctions, according to files obtained by ESPN.Learfield Communications is locked into a $6.5 million annual agreement with UNC that increases incrementally to $7.5 million by 2021.
However, the contract stipulates that Learfield can negotiate a reduction in its payments under two conditions: if the school’s football or basketball teams either suffer penalties that exclude them from championship games, or face a reduction in the scholarships they can offer.
That amounts to more bad news in a season full of it for the Tar Heels. Their once promising season got off to a disappointing 0-2 start. Now, not only is their football squad further harmed by the loss of three key players–with six more still under investigation–for improper contact with an agent, but a major revenue source could also take a big hit.
The $6.5 million accounts for 11 per cent of the athletic department’s revenue, and helps fund smaller sports, like field hockey and track and field, that don’t generate revenue. And it’s not like state university athletic departments are flush with cash these days, so they could certainly use that income.
Head football coach Butch Davis has already apologized for trusting associate coach John Blake (who was mentioned in an ex-NFL agent’s recent tell-all) and has taken responsibility for the “football-related issues.” Now, it appears, he’ll need to take responsibility for an issue directly affecting the university’s cash flow. And that’s usually a bad sign for one’s job security.
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