Year one in the ACC was a mixed bag for football and basketball. The teams finished about where they were expected before the season began. How they ended up there, made it feel like it could have been better.
What isn’t in dispute is that the money was a lot better right from the start.
Pitt’s annual share is about $17 million.
After almost a full year in the new conference, where has that money gone? Pitt athletic director Steve Pederson said he decided to put it in the hands of the people who knew best what various sports needed to be successful.
“Basically, what we did at this point with additional revenue is we’ve let the coaches put that into their recruiting budgets and their travel and competition budgets,” Pederson said in a meeting with reporters earlier this month.
“We tried to make sure that our coaches had enough money to recruit the way they felt they needed to recruit, and so they got significant increases in their recruiting budgets — some cases more than others — then also in their travel and competition budgets so that they could go to meets and games that they needed to play or bring teams in here that they wanted to play.”
The money also has, at least partially, allowed Pitt to make capital improvements to facilities for its flagship sports. This summer, the men’s and women’s basketball team areas in Petersen Events Center are undergoing a renovation. The football weight room at Pitt’s South Side facility also is getting a significant expansion.
And I’m sure some is being set aside for the eventual increase in the total cost of scholarships if the stipend or other methods are passed for the major conferences.