Georgetown and Maryland each will receive about $200,000 for playing in the NCAA East Regional basketball tournament this week in the highest payoffs in the history of the national collegiate basketball championship.
The added revenues this year are as a result of a $3 million increase in the television-rights fee paid by NBC, according to Tom Jernstedt, assistant executive director of the NCAA.
To gain additional money, a team must advance to the final four on March 22 in Indianapolis. The participants there will take home approximately $320,000 each.
Losers of first- or second-round games last weekend will receive approximately $80,000 each, whether they played one game or two. Last year teams that received first-round byes were penalized, because teams playing twice received $60,000, against $40,000 for a team with a bye that then lost.
The payoffs last year were $120,000 to participants in the regional semifinals and $275,000 to those who advanced to the final four.
Jernstedt said the basketball committee decided to award most of the additional revenue in the regionals in order to reward the most teams, not just the final four, and to discourage Division II teams from going Division I just for a shot at a big purse.
For Georgetown, the $200,000 payoff, according to sources, represents more than the Hoyas' entire operating budget, not including scholarship costs. The money will go onto the school's general fund.