“We can talk, but money talks, so talk ‘mo bucks” – Jay-Z, “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)”
This isn’t the first time in my life that I’ve tried to find a way for Jay-Z’s lyrics to correlate to my life and I promise you that this won’t be the last, but it seems as if Jigga might have been onto something when he uttered the above line in 2001. In the world of college athletics, it seems that money talks – whether under the table or out in the open – and big programs are spending more and more in an effort to get a bigger piece of the cash cow that is TV deals and endorsements.
So, it came as no surprise that when the Chronicle of Higher Education released a report of school’s recruiting spending for the 2006-2007 that almost half of the programs in the country had doubled or tripled their budgets in the past decade. Kentucky found themselves ranked 20th overall in spending and the orange-clad inbreds from the south finished first. It should be noted that these figures are for all sports, both men’s and women’s, but you can assume the majority of the funding went to football and men’s basketball. Here are the exact figures and the top 20 rankings:
1. Tennessee – $2,005,700
2. Notre Dame – $1,758,300
3. Florida – $1,451,400
4. Auburn – $1,374,900
5. Kansas State – $1,316,700
6. Georgia – $1,284,000
7. Nebraska – $1,275,000
8. Arkansas – $1,259,700
9. Duke – $1,245,300
10. Ohio State – $1,236,800
11. Illinois – $1,203,500
12. Texas – $1,156,800
13. Syracuse – $1,121,200
14. Oklahoma – $1,120,800
15. Virginia – $1,112,000
16. Georgia Tech – $1,111,900
17. Michigan State – $1,098,800
18. West Virginia – $1,094,200
19. Oregon – $1,077,300
20. Kentucky – $1,056,100
You can argue all you want about whether or not Tennessee validated itself in spending that sort of money, but you have to admit that with a top football team, a basketball team that rapidly rose in stature and a women’s team that recruits all over the country, that their spending might be justified. Feel free to debate that statement below. But, I’m a little surprised that Kentucky isn’t ranked higher because of their cross-country basketball recruiting and their need to spend in hopes of competing with the SEC football powers. It’s all just water cooler conjecture really. But, I thought it might be interesting to see what Tennessee could have purchased with that chunk of change instead of targeting recruits. Here is what they could have spent their money on:
– 80,388 boxes of TrimSpa chocolates for Phil Fulmer
– Bruce Pearl could have purchased 100,335 copies of Girls Gone Wild: Dorm Room Fantasies
– They could have bailed out roughly 573 players arrested for misdemeanors. About 133 for felonies.
– Pat Summitt could have had surgery to turn into a man. Then back to a woman. Then back to a man. Woman. Man. Woman. Man. Woman. Man. Woman. And so on….for about 20 times. I’ll save you the counting on your fingers. She ends as a woman.
– The managers could have stocked up on 286,938 sticks of Gillette Clinical Strength Advanced Solid Anti-Perspirant for Pearl
– According to WikiAnswers, Duke Crews and Ramar Smith could have purchased 8,022 ounces of weed
– They could get 9 more years of the Buzz Peterson era
– Bruce Pearl could have purchased 45,594 Olympus WS-100 digital voice recorders for the next time he wanted to record conversations with a recruit to bring down an opposing coach
All in all, the Vols did ok I guess with what they spent. But, I think next time around they might want to church it up a bit and make things interesting. I know I would. Or, at least get some of that prescription anti-perspirant. Dude sweats WAY too much.