Cost of Recruiting in FBS Football

Submitted by MFanWM on June 12th, 2012 at 10:50 PM
An interesting review of the costs of recruiting over the last two years by reporting institutions on how much is spent on recruiting players at D-1 Schools. Last year Alabama and Auburn both spent more $ recruiting than Michigan and OSU combined.…


Leaders And Best

June 12th, 2012 at 11:05 PM ^

Really surprised Tennessee was not talked about more in the article.  Some of the other schools and change between years is hard to really draw too many conclusions because of the small sample size, because as the article mentions, the budget can vary based on the size of recruiting class needed over a two year period.

Zone Left

June 12th, 2012 at 11:08 PM ^

Tennessee has always had an outsized recruiting budget. They're in a state that doesn't produce the greatest high school talent, so to compete, they typically need to have an outsized presence in Florida and the Atlantic Coast states, which is a really long, inconvenient drive. Additionally, Knoxville isn't near a major airport (Nashville is 180 miles away) and the result is that everything just costs more for them. Heck, Memphis, TN, which happens to be the state's best talent source, is actually a longer drive from Knoxville than the drive from Ann Arbor to Columbus. Memphis also happens to be approximately the same distance to the Universities of Alabama, Mississippi, and Mississippi State.

I'm pretty indifferent to Tennessee's budget because the football program is self-sustaining--and that pretty much goes for any other self-sustaining program as well.


June 13th, 2012 at 3:56 AM ^

Oxford, MS (Ole Miss) is about 80 miles from Memphis

Starkville, MS (Miss. State) is about 170 miles from Memphis

Tuscaloosa, AL (Alabama) is about 230 miles from Memphis

Fayetteville, AK (Arkansas) is about 320 miles from Memphis

Knoxville, TN (Tenn) is about 390 miles from Memphis

Memphis should and needs to be the major recruiting ground for Ole Miss, which is a lot closer to Memphis than the other SEC schools.


Knoxville is centrally located between Nashville, Atlanta, and Charlotte...about 200 miles give or take from all 3.



June 12th, 2012 at 11:04 PM ^

This is another reason it would be great to see the NCAA get rid of most of their rules and let players take money from whoever they want: boosters would foot a lot more of the bill.  Make it the "wild west" for everyone, instead of just schools like OSU, USC, and the SEC.  

The main argument is that the "rich would get richer," but the "rich" are already "richer."  It would definitely bring a few new and old faces back "into the game."  For example, a trip on T Boone PIckens' private jet and the promise of a cushy office job to a recruit when his playing career is over would probably help get OK St over the hump.  

Besides, players aren't really "amateurs" anymore, anyway.  It's a joke to pretend otherwise.  The NCAA just wants to keep all of the money "in house," and hope that the public is none the wiser.  

It's certainly worked for them so far.

Zone Left

June 12th, 2012 at 11:12 PM ^

That, or the top conferences could just leave the NCAA and create their own league for football. The NCAA doesn't really have a direct financial stake in football as it is. They make their money off of the basketball tournament. Frankly, we're already going down that road, it's just a question of whether or not the Big 10 et al decides they want to keep the loose umbrella of the NCAA on top of them.


June 12th, 2012 at 11:12 PM ^


School 2011 2010
Tennessee 1,479,099 1,135,211
Alabama 980,882 870,438
Auburn 950,378 678,936
Georgia Tech 883,430 511,494
Arkansas 666,419 693,486
Georgia 623,224 634,386
Texas Tech 611,910 812,217
Florida 602,929 466,145
Oregon 590,683 622,254
North Carolina 580,200 545,351
Texas 577,976 329,736
Michigan 577,663 489,412
Illinois 545,363 537,773
Army 511,840 476,439
Mississippi 495,233 340,670
Memphis 493,204 406,994
Clemson 490,305 469,003
Nebraska 478,554 344,471
Colorado 470,355 438,289
Iowa State 448,777 447,672
Kansas 442,911 366,331
Washington 440,931 313,631
Florida State 433,236 349,444
Purdue 428,805 528,095
UCLA 412,535 384,100
Arizona 411,785 410,202
California 394,298 319,203
Michigan St. 383,448 390,289
Missouri 363,545 349,734
Kansas State 361,196 363,172
Oklahoma 356,414 452,601
Rutgers 350,261 323,920
Minnesota 348,609 615,063
Kentucky 336,035 279,006
Air Force 335,986 335,986
Ohio State 320,938 297,342
Iowa 307,226 207,117
Mississippi St. 306,469 244,024
LSU 302,882 450,649



June 12th, 2012 at 11:52 PM ^

The Top 10 in 2011 (among those with publicized figures) include Six SEC  teams, 2 ACC teams, 1 Big 12 team and 1 Pac-12 team. Actually, the Big Ten doesn't show up until #12 by this sorting, and that of course would be Michigan. Illinois is #13 and Nebraska comes in at #18. 

With the exception of Mark Richt and Nick Saban, I believe everyone on this list was hired in 2009 or later, with North Carolina and Arkansas heading into this year with new  coaches and staffs altogether,  so I sort of see why they would spend more as a rule. A few of  the programs with newer regimes definitely ramped up the spending. 

However, some of those same programs have substantial numbers of recruits from literally all over the country (because of a perennial lack of local talent), which likely adds significantly to the costs as well. Several programs do the same thing and spend substantially less, so it's also about how you spend the money, but then it also matters what the financial state of your program is as well. All six SEC programs are extremely profitable and can likely devote the extra spend, but the 2 ACC programs do not generate the same sort of revenue. 

It seems like there are a few common themes - time of service for the current staff, general recruiting patterns, and even presence or absence of convenient transportation, among others. 




June 13th, 2012 at 7:18 AM ^

I probably should have specified that I was talking about the coaches associated with the Top 10 in the second paragraph, but that's rather what I was saying - Arkansas has John L. Smith as of this year and North Carolina has Larry Fedora. They would likely spend more on recruiting in those cases in particular  to try and ensure some manner of continuity as the extra sell might be needed - actually, it is interesting that one school there is entering and another is exiting an interim situation. Still, 8 out of the top 10 have coaches who are fairly new if not brand new. 

As for Tennessee, I could be wrong, but it rather boils down to the state not being a traditional factory of high-end talent and the fact that Knoxville is fairly disconnected as cities go - it would be much tougher (and not just from a monetary standpoint) naturally for Tennessee, in the SEC, to recruit at the same traditional level of Florida or LSU, for example. 


June 13th, 2012 at 1:17 AM ^

For a school that typically gets 90% of its players from its own state, they sure do spend a whole lot of money.  I will concede that Texas is a very large state, but it isn't particularly expensive to fly between the major airports there.  Also, note how their budget dramatically jumped between 2010 to 2011.  I think you can add this to the growing pile of evidence that Mack's monster advantage within the state of Texas has been slightly whittled away after the last two disappointing seasons.  I still wouldn't proclaim open season on Texas just yet, considering the talent they have in their 2013 class, but I certainly will suggest that it isn't quite as easy for them as it has been in years past. 


June 13th, 2012 at 8:06 AM ^

The military academies must throw a very wide recruiting net.  They go after borderline DI prospects and visit many many High Schools.  They also pull in huge classes as everyone gets a full ride even if they are not athletes.  Add in the need for a Senator's approval and you have classes of 50 or more kids per year.  


June 12th, 2012 at 11:24 PM ^

Sorry to threadjack but I am looking for advice or help.  My nephew takes after me and is a big M football fan in Badger territory.  On thursday he was in an atv accident and suffered some serious injuries.  That led to a helicopter ride to have emergency surgery where they resected his intestine due to a puncture wound.  Today he had facial surgery, getting screws and plates in his sinus area, in addition he had fracture around his eye and jaw and nose but those didn't require any hardware added.  On thursday he will have surgery on his L5 vertabra that he burst fractured.  So I am looking for any advice on keeping him in good spirits, he has been great so far, but I fear that he is going to get down.  Also any experience on having your jaw wired shut as they had to do that to set the face properly.  Then lastly, its his 17th bday in a few days.  Would anyone have a way to maybe get a card sent to him from some players?  It would make him happy and be unexpected.  Thanks for any and all help, mgolurker so cannot do a thread of my own!


June 13th, 2012 at 12:43 AM ^

It may sound simple, but get him a water pick. I couldn't brush my teeth for a month and it was the only think that kept my mouth from feeling disgusting. Make sure to use is on low though, as high pressure can mess up any stitching if he has some inside his mouth.

I was also 17 when I was wired shut, and between a teenage metabolism and a liquid diet I lost over thirty pounds. I tried to drink as many high calorie drinks, like eggnog, as I could; anything to help keep weight on is good.

One last thing off the top of my head: not everything blends well. Avoid stringy things and most meat. I had to have a splint across the bridge of my mouth so even the seeds from a banana shake would clog the gaps in my teeth, so I got a huge injection syringe and and a piece of tubing and routed it back to were my wisdom teeth use to be. That was the only way I could  eat even slightly string/lumpy food.

Tell your nephew best of luck, and here's to a speedy and full recovery.


June 13th, 2012 at 7:03 AM ^

Thank you for the first hand knowledge.  Since he had some intestine removed he hasn't ate or drank since the accident thursday, waiting for it to heal.  They added a picc line that is giving him some nutrition during surgery yesterday.  I have been googling recipes and top of the line blenders, so I will add the water pik to the shopping list.  I better wait a bit because all his stitching is inside his mouth.  He has no weight to lose, skinny athletic kid.  Had a six pack going till now, is mourning the loss of it a bit :)


June 13th, 2012 at 12:14 PM ^

other end of the spending spectrum.  They are spending less than Eastern Michigan and getting amazing results.  Idaho, Eastern Washington, Western Montana, and Northwest Wyoming are not exactly brimming with population or elite prep football programs.

snarling wolverine

June 13th, 2012 at 2:37 PM ^

I like how Air Force officially spent exactly the same amount of money ($335,986) both years.

Hawaii's budget  ($132,068) is surprisingly small when you consider that they've got to fly to the mainland for basically their whole team.