The Courier Journal and USA TODAY Network, in partnership with Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, has examined how much each public school in a Power Five conference has been spending to recruit athletes in football and men’s basketball.
Here are 10 things that stood out:
1. Most with the least: Wisconsin
Wisconsin ranked last among the 52 Power Five public schools in recruiting spending for both football and men’s basketball from the fiscal year 2013 through 2018.
In football, Wisconsin’s six-year total was roughly $1.63 million, which was about $500,000 less than any other Power Five public program. Meanwhile, Wisconsin collectively spent $439,566 in men’s basketball recruiting in the six years, a total that was surpassed by Indiana and Kentucky in each of the past six years alone.
Nonetheless, the Badgers’ football program has averaged more than 10 wins each of the past six years, during which the Badgers’ men’s basketball team reached two Final Fours.
Others who’ve done a lot with a little include (national ranking out of 52 Power Five public schools in parenthesis):
- Iowa (44), Washington State (48), Mississippi State (50) and Oklahoma State (51) in football.
- Michigan (29), Michigan State (31), Virginia (32), UCLA (45), North Carolina (48) and Maryland (49) in men’s basketball.
- Additionally, Ohio State’s football program has been a national powerhouse despite ranking 24th nationally and seventh (of 13) in the Big Ten for the six-year period.
2. SEC leads the way nationally
In football over the six-year period from 2013 to 2018, the nation’s top four public-school recruiting spenders — and eight of the top 15 — were in the Southeastern Conference.
The top three — Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee — each spent more than $9 million during the six-year period (no one else reached $7 million) and collectively spent about as much as the bottom 11 programs of the 52.