Louisville's self-imposed postseason ban will potentially lead to a lighter NCAA punishment, experts said. Louisville is under NCAA investigation of allegations that a former basketball employee organized parties for recruits with dancers and prostitutes.
This week, Louisville head coach Rick Pitino told ESPN the situation remains "puzzling," saying he hopes the NCAA "comes up with the right answers."
If more severe punishment comes down on Louisville, it could damage college basketball's most financially successful program. Louisville basketball took in more than $45 million in 2015, the highest in Division I, according to Vrooman.
Louisville said it did not see an immediate financial effect from the ban. Five of the school's six-largest crowds this year came after the ban was announced, noted Kenny Klein, senior associate athletic director for media relations.
However, if the NCAA levies additional punishment, it could hit the program's on-court and financial success over time, Tripathi said. Scholarship losses, weaker recruiting and worse performance may reduce ticket and merchandise revenue, he said.
"But if this scandal only has an impact on the team for this year, then I don't see much of a financial effect," he added.
Officials at SMU declined to comment on its finances.
Correction: This story has been updated to correct that the NCAA awards units based on tournament games played.