I have dug into the expense reports of the 12 SEC schools from the last athletic year (because my hot girlfriend asked me to of course), and I have to be honest: Kentucky spends it’s money in the most unique way of any school in the conference. I understand this is likely the only TRUE basketball school (sorry Vandy) in the conference, but Kentucky nearly spends as much on its 12 guys on the basketball team as it does on its 85 guys on the football team.
Yesterday, I mentioned how important it was Kentucky to find a long-tenured head coach to continue to improve the football program. I think I was wrong. The school just frankly does not spend the money to compete. Plain and simple. And most of you, I would guess, are fine with that. You couldn’t care less if Kentucky ever had a competitive football program. I can’t say that I care that much, but when studying it a little harder, I don’t think it’s out of the realm to make this happen. But Kentucky will either have to take money out of basketball or cut back in each of the minor sports. Mitch Barnhart has dedicated to make the minor sports great at Kentucky, so that is unlikely to happen.
Here is my question: Would you support a 2-3 million dollar shift of yearly funds from men’s basketball into football? Would it help? It would still mean that Kentucky would spend more on basketball than any other SEC school, and it make UK 9th on the football spending list, ahead of the Mississippi’s and Vanderbilt.
How about another question: As the school’s athletic budget rises, would you support that increase to go exclusively into football for the near future? Mitch Barnhart has done a great job of inserting more money into the athletic programs at Kentucky. But, he has divided those funds among the many sports. What if he put a large majority of that money into football for the next few years? Will an increase in money help the UK football program, which has some difficulties, such as recruting base, that other schools don’t deal with.
Here are the expenses for each of the SEC schools during last years athletic season, as well as how much each school spent on it’s two major sports. In parentheses, I put the percentage of total expenses spent on both basketball and football.
Florida ($105.24 million)
Football: $24.56 million (23.3%)
Basketball: $7.91 million (7.5%)
LSU ($102.27 million)
Football: $25.57 million (25.0%)
Basketball: $4.20 million (4.1%)
Tennessee ($96.67 million)
Football: $17.36 million (18.0%)
Basketball: $6.48 million (6.7%)
Auburn ($90.89 million)
Football: $27.91 million (30.7%)
Basketball: $7.23 million (8.0%)
Alabama ($85.30 million)
Football: $31.12 million (36.5%)
Basketball: $6.41 million (7.5%)
South Carolina ($78.30 million)
Football: $22.79 million (29.1%)
Basketball: $4.02 million (5.1%)
Georgia ($76.27 million)
Football: $18.31 million (24.0%)
Basketball: $4.51 million (5.9%)
Kentucky ($76.26 million)
Football: $13.90 million (18.2%)
Basketball: $11.57 million (15.2%)
Arkansas ($71.80 million)
Football: $22.00 million (30.6%)
Basketball: $6.84 million (9.5%)
Vanderbilt ($45.73 million)
Football: $14.15 million (30.9%)
Basketball: $6.93 million (15.1%)
Mississippi ($43.92 million)
Football: $11.92 million (27.1%)
Basketball: $3.30 million (7.5%)
Mississippi State ($36.26 million)
Football: $9.95 million (27.4%)
Basketball: $4.22 million (11.6%)