John Calipari and the Kentucky coaching staff have been on a recruiting tear over the course of the last year, grinding on a week-to-week basis to earn the No. 1 overall spot in the 2020 recruiting rankings after picking up six signatures in the fall signing period from the likes of five-star guards Terrence Clarke, BJ Boston, Devin Askew, five-star forwards Isaiah Jackson and Lance Ware, and four-star forward Cam’Ron Fletcher.
And according to Kentucky’s latest financial report submitted to the NCAA, those countless hours on the road added up in total recruiting spending.
In a report published by the Courier-Journal, the UK basketball program spent $1.07 million on recruiting in 2018-19, a 66% jump – roughly $429,000 more – from the 2017-18 recruiting season in which they spent roughly $641,000.
According to the report, Kentucky has never spent more than $664,157 in a single year on recruiting, with the program spending anywhere between $600,000 and $665,000 on recruiting in each of the previous four years.
Kentucky’s mark of $1.07 million last year reportedly “blew past the previous leader in men’s basketball spending among public Power 5 conference programs.”
Previous reporting from the USA TODAY in partnership with Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications revealed Kentucky was one of just two Power 5 conference programs to spend at least $3 million on men’s basketball recruiting from 2013 to 2018.
Indiana topped that list at more than $3.5 million over the six-year period and spent more than any other men’s basketball program on recruiting in 2017-18 at $739,722. The Hoosiers’ spending increased to $782,757 in 2018-19, according to that school’s financial report filed with the NCAA.
The financial report covers the period between July 2018 and June 2019, meaning this number is a direct reflection of the 2019 recruiting class featuring the likes of Tyrese Maxey, Kahlil Whitney, Keion Brooks Jr., Johnny Juzang, Dontaie Allen, and Nate Sestina, to go with laying the groundwork this past summer for the program’s No. 1-ranked class in 2020.
According to the Courier-Journal, a UK spokesman “declined to point to specific reasons the recruiting spending increased so much between fiscal year 2018 and 2019 but confirmed the number reflected an actual increase in spending, not a change in the way previous expenses were accounted for in the financial report.”
“We want to be responsible and I think we’ll look to limit where possible, but at the same time we don’t want to restrict ourselves and cost ourselves chances at the kind of guys that we need,” said Guy Ramsey, UK’s director of strategic communication, via the Courier-Journal.
In the same report, it was also noted that the Kentucky football program also saw its recruiting spending increased by 30.7% ($243,354) from $791,863 in 2017-18 to $1.035 million in 2018-19.
For the entire report, head over to the Courier-Journal right here.