When things are bad in a program, it is understandable that those who want to see it better latch on to any possible explanation for the program’s problems. There is no doubt that UK football right now is a trainwreck and substantial changes need to, and likely will, be made very soon. But thanks to some misleading tweets from a UK website today, one factor that isn’t a part of UK’s problem is getting national attention. Today Deadspin.com made a post comparing Big Blue Madness and UK football recruiting spending. Upon news that Kentucky spent between $250,000-$300,000 on the light show for BBM (money well spent in my view), Deadspin essentially said, “why spend so much for that and only spend $336,000 for Football recruiting?” Complainers have latched onto that and are now raising cane. But if we are going to raise cane, lets at least do it about the correct things. If you will remember, back in June we found out that these were the budgets for football recruiting in the SEC:
Mississippi State: $306K
South Carolina: $248K
Texas A&M: $240K
Looking at that list, it becomes clear to see high discrepancies between teams and what they spend on recruiting. However as we can see, there seems to be no correlation between wins and spending. Tennessee spends the most by $500,000 and is in a program free fall, while LSU is one of the three best programs in America for recruiting and spends less than Kentucky. Why is this the case? Simple, what one school deems as a “football recruiting cost”, another school might deem as an “Administrative cost.” So for instance, the use of a private plane at Tennessee might go under “football recruiting”, while the use of such a plane at Texas A&M is “administrative.” Plus, if a booster donates the use of such a plane (which happens all the time), that might not even be put in the budget…a fact that probably explains a lot of the lower numbers.
Point being, that without more information and an entity taking the time to compare actual cost, these numbers really don’t mean anything. UK coaches are able to fly and see whatever player they need to see at any time. There are MAJOR INVESTMENTS that are needed for recruiting, but they are structural and must be done through state bonding or large private donations. The yearly budgetary cost of recruiting is a drop in the bucket and has nothing to do with whatsoever problems UK football has.
So enjoy the light show at Big Blue Madness and try to figure out why things aren’t good for football. But don’t compare one to the other, as they actually have virtually nothing in common.