With the release of the US Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics report for the 2008-09 school year, a writer over at fanhouse has put together an in-depth story on the dollars behind NCAA sports. His three part series delves into the correlation between winning and spending (for example: Of the top 12 basketball spenders in the NCAA, only Kentucky and Virginia haven’t been to a final four.) Some of the big spenders may seem obvious (did anyone doubt UK and Duke would be near the top), though some may surprise you (Marquette surprised me until I remembered they don’t have a football team and Louisville can afford to spend a lot on their mediocre team since they bring in so much revenue).
Even more interesting to me was his take on the disparity between football and basketball spending. For example, the % of total basketball expenditures as compared to football expenditures looks like this:
|School||%||Basketball Expenses (in millions)|
Every team in the SEC except Kentucky spent half as much money on basketball than football. Overall, Duke is the closest to being even in the two sports, with their basketball spending at 88% of their football (doesn’t take much money to be horrible).
Where it gets interesting is when they compare the records of each FBS team against schools who spent less money on football than they did. Kentucky comes out at 16-6, about the middle of the pack of the SEC and above South Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi St., and Auburn. And against teams spending more money on their football team than us? UK comes out with a record of 17-21, good enough for fourth in the SEC, behind Florida, Georgia, and LSU. The writer declares Tennessee to be the most financially irresponsible football team in the SEC, though obviously their irresponsibility has spread to off the field too.
Anyway, it’s a good read if you have time on your hands or are interested in the incredible amount of money being poured into college athletics today. And here is the government’s website, where you can look up virtually anything about any school’s spending.