A coach’s success on the recruiting trail is often chalked up to hard work and graft, as if it was a coaching equivalent of an inside linebacker stuffing the run against a bulky power back. Yet those top classes have another, quite literal cost, too, and at some powers it may be escalating at an alarming clip.
Such is the case in the state of South Carolina, where the in-state Gamecocks and Clemson Tigers both reportedly topped $900,000, with Clemson racking up receipts topping $1 million for a second consecutive season.
The budgetary information was gained by South Carolina NBC affiliate WYFF, which backed each school’s recruiting expenditure out, dating back to 2013. The exercise highlighted both schools’ dizzying rise in recruiting costs, with Clemson’s $1.065M 2017 budget and South Carolina’s $917,514 highlighting a growing arms race in an area not known for developing enough in-state talent to spur a major revival. It’s why Clemson coach Dabo Swinney finds himself jetting around the nation chasing the best prospects across the board … and often landing them.
Here’s how WYFF described the steady increase in funding by the two South Carolina institutions:
The gap in spending between Clemson and South Carolina was nearly the same in 2015, when the Tigers spent $884,961 and the Gamecocks spent $359,824.
Coastal Carolina had the narrowest gap with South Carolina in 2013. The Chanticleers spent $236,520 compared to South Carolina’s $302,249. CCU was still an FCS program at the time.
It goes without saying that Clemson and South Carolina are hardly alone, with both programs willingly increasing expenses in the hope that they can cut into other programs’ home state advantages.
So far, so good.