The Indianapolis Star recently ran a story comparing Butler Universities recruiting budget to, you guessed it, our Kentucky Wildcats. The story looks at the recent runners up in the NCAA tournament, and their new coaches attitude about recruiting. Even given the recent success of the Bulldogs program, the consensus is that they will continue to spend less than any major program, and even less than two competing programs in the Horizon League. For comparison, while Butler operated with a recruiting budget of $59,644 last year, Kentucky’s athletics board recently approved a budget of $575,000.
What does this mean? Outside of yet another news publication taking a thinly veiled jab at Kentucky, in the grand scheme of things it doesn’t mean much. Butler recruits who they recruit because they don’t have much of a shot at pulling players like John Wall and Michael Gilchrist. They succeed with said players. Tubby had specific players that fit into his system, and that’s who he recruited. Butler’s coach Brad Stevens feels the same way. John Calipari, would no doubt also tell you the same, the only difference is the players that fit into Cal’s system happen to be the best in the nation. So he goes out and gets them.
So good on Butler for being a runner up last year, despite only spending a tenth of what Kentucky does on recruiting. But would I trade our classes for theirs? Not for a million dollars, much less half of one.