Report: Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany due $20 million bonus

Jim Delany has been the Big Ten’s commissioner since 1989. (Getty)
Jim Delany has been the Big Ten’s commissioner since 1989. (Getty)

Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany’s bank account looks like it’s going to get a lot richer this summer.

According to USA Today, Delany is due a $20 million bonus based off the way his contract with the conference is structured.

The new return — which the conference provided Friday in response to a request from USA TODAY Sports — states that in July 2015, Delany “became fully eligible for future bonus payments pursuant to his employment contract.”

As a result, the document said, the conference had to record the full amount of those future payments as an expense and a liability on the return covering its 2016 fiscal year, which ran from July 1 through June 30.

A comparison of the Big Ten’s new expense and liability amounts to those on prior years’ returns reveals the $20 million estimate.

Delany’s salary in 2015 was $2.4 million.

The Big Ten’s overall revenue for the 2015 fiscal year was over $480 million, per the report. At that number, Delany’s $20 million bonus is well worth it. The commissioner has helped the Big Ten form the Big Ten Network in his time with the conference and television revenue has been a primary driver of the explosion of riches in college sports.

But the large numbers also make it more and more ridiculous that players — especially those who are helping drive the revenue — aren’t being paid. Yes, college sports have taken a big step by adding cost of attendance stipends into scholarships, but there are more things the NCAA can do to loosen the restrictions on paying players. And it seems like we’re still a long time before there will be sweeping reforms to payment structures.

– – – – – – –

Nick Bromberg is the editor of Dr. Saturday and From the Marbles on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

What to Read Next