The Ohio Valley Conference plans to implement an incentive based enhancement plan that will reward successful men’s basketball programs.
The league’s board of presidents agreed last week at its annual spring meetings to annually distribute revenue earned — up to $500,000 — from victories in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament to schools that meet one or more of six criteria.
Schools can earn the money based on overall RPI; improvement in RPI (3-year rolling average); increase in number of Division I wins from the previous year (3-year rolling average); Division I non-conference wins (3-year rolling average); OVC tournament or regular season championship in the last four years; and 40 percent of non-conference games being played at home or neutral sites.
The initial funds are based on this year’s distribution and will be available to schools at the end of the fiscal year, which ends June 30.
The plan was formulated by a sub-group that included athletic directors and coaches. The unique concept stemmed from OVC associate commissioner for operations, Brad Walker, who read about the Colonial Athletic Association using a similar plan that benefited VCU and its Final Four run in 2011.
OVC teams have won a game in each of the last four NCAA Tournaments — two each by Morehead State and Murray State. The OVC is just one of nine Division I conferences to win at least one game in each of the last four years.
Belmont, which has been to the NCAA tournament five times in the last seven years, joins the OVC on July 1 and will be eligible to participate in the program starting with the 2012-13 season.