Athletic departments at the state's Division I colleges will cash checks for more than $5.3 million from the NCAA in April. But they will have to be careful about how they spend the windfall.
The payments, ranging from $855,940 for South Carolina to $312,861 for USC Upstate, are part of a one-time supplemental distribution of $200 million from the NCAA to all Division I programs.
The money is to be spent only for the "direct benefit of the student-athlete and their academic success, life skills, career success, health and safety and student-athlete focused diversity and inclusion initiatives," according to the NCAA.
Schools must present a plan for how they will spend the money within three months of receiving the funds, and that plan must be approved by NCAA staff before money is spent. The money cannot go toward items such as coaches' salaries, strength equipment or stadium and arena improvements aimed at fans, according to a report in USA Today.
For example, College of Charleston athletic director Matt Roberts says his school's $381,910 will go toward enhancing nutrition for student-athletes.
"It will come in very handy," Roberts said. "Our plan is to reinvest back into our student-athletes' experience in the form of nutrition. We will hire a sports nutritionist to contract and serve on our staff and enhance the budget on sports nutrition."
Roberts said that was a prime area for concern in conversations with staff and athletes. Student-athletes currently receive a school meal plan as part of their scholarships.
"But we really don't have anybody on staff focused on nutrition in coordination with our strength and conditioning program," he said. "Based on my experience, this money can take care of one year and a couple of more to come, and get that program up and running so we can develop resources to support it down the road."
The amounts are based on the number of athletic scholarships each school offered as of the 2013-14 academic year, at the rate of $3,291 per scholarship. For example, with a total of 242.76 scholarship units, Clemson will receive $798,969.
Amounts for other state schools:
• Coastal Carolina $689,022 (209 scholarships)
• Furman $595,706 (181)
• The Citadel $490,190 (149)
• Presbyterian $429,237 (130)
• Charleston Southern $398,596 (121)
• College of Charleston $381,910 (116)
• Wofford $368,712 (112)
Nationally, Ohio State will receive the most money from the one-time payment: $1.3 million based on almost 404 scholarships. Four other Big Ten schools — Michigan, Penn State, Michigan State, Wisconsin and Minnesota — will receive more than $1 million.
Other schools receiving more than $1 million are Stanford, Virginia and North Carolina.
Davidson, with just 50 scholarships, will receive the smallest amount in Division I at $165,357.
Schools that don't award athletic scholarships, such as the Ivy League and service academies, will receive funds based on the average amounts distributed to FCS schools, according to a report in USA Today. That figure is $520,337, based on an average of about 158 scholarships.
The $200 million came from liquidation of an NCAA endowment fund. And the NCAA says schools should not count on a windfall like this again.
"We encourage schools not to budget this money as you do your normal NCAA distributions," the organization says in a Q&A document. "This disbursement should be treated as one-time cash that has a finite life."