About $2 million of $6 million payout goes for travel and other expenses and the Pac-12 will distribute the other $4 million among member schools. The Huskies will, however, see innumerable benefits from national exposure.

Share story

The payoff for its first College Football Playoff appearance likely will not be an immediate financial windfall for the Washington athletic department.

The CFP payout is $6 million to the conferences of the four participating teams, plus an addition $2 million for expenses.

In the Huskies’ case, the CFP payout goes to the Pac-12 Conference to distribute among its member schools, as it does with all bowl-game revenue.


Certainly, playing in the national semifinal against No. 1 Alabama on Dec. 31 in Atlanta should provide other benefits for the No. 4 Huskies. The added visibility, for example, should help with fundraising, merchandise sales and, not least of all, in recruiting.

The Huskies’ rise to national relevance came at an opportune time for an athletic department that entered the football season with an overall operating deficit of about $7.6 million in fiscal-year 2016.

Boosted by two home-game sellouts, revenue surpassed expectations this season, UW athletic director Jennifer Cohen said earlier this month. Immediate financial figures were not available, but after three consecutive seasons of declining ticket sales the Huskies had a 9 percent increase in attendance this season, drawing on average 65,474 for their seven home games — up from 61,919 in 2015. (Husky Stadium has a capacity of 70,083.)

Coaches bonuses adding up

One new expense for the athletic department is the extra contractual bonuses owed to head coach Chris Petersen and his assistant coaches.

Petersen has already triggered $675,000 in bonus earnings for the Huskies’ Academic Progress Rate score of 974 ($125,000), their Pac-12 championship ($150,000) and their CFP berth ($400,000). If the Huskies win the national championship, Petersen would be due another $500,000 bonus.

UW’s nine assistant coaches have each earned $66,000 in bonuses for the team’s success. That includes $5,000 for the APR score, $16,000 for the Pac-12 championship ($6,000 for reaching the conference championship game, and $10,000 for winning it), and $40,000 for the CFP berth.

Combined, all the coaches’ bonuses total $1.269 million.

Petersen and Cohen have discussed a long-term contract extension that could make Petersen the Pac-12’s highest-paid coach. That new deal will likely be announced in January.

“Obviously, we’re extremely proud to have him as our coach,” Cohen said. “We want him here for a long time. We’re working out some details, and we hope to announce that sooner rather than later.”

Gifts galore

UW players will get bonuses of their own — sort of — for playing in the Peach Bowl.

According to the Sports Business Journal, the Peach Bowl this year is handing out a $300 Vanilla Visa gift card by InComm; a JBL Bluetooth speaker; a Fossil watch; and a football.

The NCAA permits bowl games to spend $550 apiece on 125 participants from each participating school.

Correction: This story has been updated to correct the total payout from the College Football Playoff. The conferences from each participating team receive $6 million from the CFP plus an additional $2 million for expenses.