The Cost of Recruiting

Well, it is June and there is not much to talk about right now. The Mids are doing summer cruises, Marine Corps training (hoorah!), taking some leave or taking summer classes. So news out of “The Yard” is pretty slow. Even Scott Strasemeier, Navy’s Sports Information Director, was rumored to have been pacing Ricketts Hall muttering “I hope something happens this month or else I’ll be forced to take leave!” Unfortunately, there still isn’t much happening. But we do have an ESPN article that is sort of related to our world.

Yesterday, Mitch Sherman posted an ESPN article on the Cost of Recruiting. It’s a short piece but it’s worth reading. Overall, it’s pretty much what you’d expect. With a few exceptions (e.g., Boise State), the biggest baddest FBS schools generally spend the most on recruiting. No shock there.

What might shock the average college football fan is the amount Army ($512,000) and Air Force ($336,000) spent on recruiting. Navy did not provide a number. That’s some pretty hefty spending on first glance. Of course, what many people don’t realize is that the service academies are recruiting nationwide. Take a look at the big school on any given Saturday and you’ll see that their teams are stocked with local kids. Georgia has a lot of kids from Georgia; LSU has a lot of kids from Louisiana; Florida has a lot of kids from Florida. You get the point. The service academies don’t have a regional focus and they shouldn’t; but nationwide recruiting costs a lot of money if you want to do a good job and fight for a limited pool of athletes that are interested in playing FBS football and also serve as military officers. Travel expenses are a major factor. Many service members who read this blog know that a two week cross country temporary additional duty (TAD) trip can cost $5,000 when you include airfare, hotels, rental car, per diem, et al. Now, start applying these costs to multiple football coaches and multiple trips and you can see how costly recruiting can get.  That’s just the travel budget.  We’re not even talking about all the other expenses like those shiny brochures.

Two other things jumped out at me:

-Tennessee is spending almost $1.5 million on recruiting. That’s $500K more than Alabama and it leads all other programs that submitted data. Wow. That’s saying something. What that’s saying is anyone’s guess. Tennessee has had a difficult time since Phil Fulmer stepped down as head coach in 2008. So you’d expect some type of recruiting emphasis, but I don’t know how you justify that recruiting budget given that Tennessee’s season ticket sales are slumping along with the football team.

-Georgia Tech is spending $883K on recruiting, which is $260K more than its arch rival Georgia. I have no idea what accounts for this, but I have a feeling Coach Paul Johnson is spending more money to look for the type of players that fit his spread option offense. Perhaps our Rambling Wreck readers can comment below.

9 thoughts on “The Cost of Recruiting

  1. Dave69

    I’m sure a large number of civilians (and a few military personnel) think the service academies simply use military aircraft, stay at local military bases, or use local enlistment recruiters and/or read the article and say, “What a waste of taxpayer money!.”

  2. JimBearNJ

    The price differential also has to do with the number of recruits. Most schoo’ls scholarship limits are about 15 a year plus walk ons. The SA’s bring in 60-70 to the prep schools and direct nationwide. All those visits can’t be cheap.

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