March 27 (UPI) -- The NCAA will distribute less than half of the $600 million it planned to give to Division I schools after the cancellation of its basketball tournaments and other sports championships amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The NCAA board of governors unanimously approved the move Thursday to distribute $225 million to the schools in June. College sports' governing body receives most of its revenue from Division I men's basketball championships TV and marketing rights and ticket sales.
That revenue is distributed to member conferences and schools and funds championships, national programs and other initiatives that support student athletes.
NCAA president Mark Emmert and the board of governors canceled the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, on March 12. The basketball tournaments were scheduled to begin a week later.
"We are living in unprecedented times not only for higher education, but for the entire nation and around the globe as we face the COVID-19 public health crisis," said Michael V. Drake, chair of the board and president of Ohio State University.
"As an association, we must acknowledge the uncertainties of our financial situation and continue to make thoughtful and prudent decisions on how we can assist conferences and campuses in supporting student-athletes now and into the future."
The NCAA will use $50 million from its reserves as part of the $225 million distribution. The NCAA also has a $270 million event cancellation insurance policy. The proceeds, when received, will be used to pay off a line of credit covering the remaining distribution within 12 months.
Drake also said the NCAA is considering a "variety of cost-cutting budget measures," which will be determined in the upcoming weeks.
"The association has prepared for a financial catastrophic event like the one we face now," Drake said. "While we certainly have challenges ahead, we would be in a far worse position had it not been for this long-standing, forward-focused planning."