If Money Could Buy a Championship

The saying goes “you get what you give.” Can the same phrase be applied to sports though? In recent years, schools that have won championships are the ones who have invested more money into their programs. Our very own Kristi Dosh, ESPN’s sports business reporter and founder of BusinessofCollegeSports.com, has a piece on schools with the highest revenue that have made it into the tournament, but what about the schools who have the highest expenses?

If it were to come down to spending, who would win it all? Here’s a look at all 64 teams including their overall expenses for their basketball program. All 32 games are broken down by region. The information below is from the Office of Postsecondary Education of the U.S. Department of Education.

South

Kansas

$12,740,720

vs

Western Kentucky

$2,708,422

North Carolina

$7,157,618

vs

Villanova

$6,398,678

VCU

$3,803,913

vs

Akron

$1,967,989

Michigan

$5,933,437

vs

S. Dakota St.

$913,067

UCLA

$7,216,738

vs

Minnesota

$5,071,500

Florida

$8,474,783

vs

Northwestern St

$1,000,408

San Diego St.

$4,432,238

vs

Oklahoma

$6,813,149

Georgetown

$10,015,207

vs

Fla. Gulf Coast

$1,089,569

Winner of South: Kansas

 

West

Gonzaga

$6,138,269

vs

Southern U

$534,595

Pittsburgh

$7,344,213

vs

Wichita St

$4,644,724

Wisconsin

$6,839,111

vs

Ole Miss

$2,510,418

Kansas St

$4,347,318

vs

La Salle

$2,046,119

Arizona

$7,959,652

vs

Belmont

2,213,543

New Mexico

$4,448,245

vs

Harvard

$1,225,999

Notre Dame

$4,622,255

vs

Iowa St

$4,402,362

Ohio St

$5,956,288

vs

Iona

$1,691,344

Winner of West Arizona

East

Indiana

$9,264,091

vs

James Madison

$2,273,522

NC State

$5,444,127

vs

Temple

$4,080,845

UNLV

$3,760,187

vs

California

$6,406,523

Syracuse

$14,214,993

vs

Montana

$1,532,926

Butler

$3,924,026

vs

Bucknell

$1,860,056

Marquette

$9,941,583

vs

Davidson

$1,727,330

Illinois

$6,584,190

vs

Colorado

$4,490,779

Miami (Fla.)

$5,795,451

vs

Pacific

$1,836,357

Winner of East Syarcuse

Midwest

Louisville

$15,119,088

vs

North Carolina A&T

$223,483

Colorado St

$3,638,042

vs

Missouri

$6,112,025

Oklahoma St

$13,745,832

vs

Oregon

$5,897,791

Saint Louis

$3,101,169

vs

New Mexico St

$2,534,542

Memphis

$7,515,987

vs

Saint Marys

$2,533,902

Michigan St

$9,837,886

vs

Valparaiso

$1,781,911

Creighton

$4,404,350

vs

Cincinnati

$5,995,336

Duke

$15,901,099

vs

Albany (N.Y)

$1,384,377

Winner of Midwest Duke

Before one makes an argument about Kentucky (the reigning champs, whose total expenses came to $15,119,088, about $300,000 less than Louisville), unfortunately money doesn’t buy a new recruiting class or guarantee a win.

Duke for example beats out Louisville by $411,145; and Louisville is the number one seed in the tournament.

If the Final Four were to come down to the biggest spenders of each region it would be Kansas, Arizona, Syracuse and Duke.

Taking a look at the winners of each region, could there be a connection between spending more and winning a national championship?

As you will see in this years bracket the winner would be Duke. Interestingly enough, Duke has the most National Championships compared to the other three remaining schools.

Final Four

# of Championships
Kansas

$12,740,720

3 (’52, ’88, ’08)
Arizona

$7,959,652

1 (’97)
Syracuse

$14,214,993

1 (’03)
Duke

$15,901,099

4 (’91, ’92, ’01, ’10)

What makes up a team’s expenses is a multitude of disbursements that can include athletes room and board, equipment, and travel expenses, but a big part of team spending is used to pay the head coach.

Without quality coaching a team won’t even make it as far as The Big Dance, and the better the coach, the more a school is willing to spend to keep them. How much of the overall expenses are paid to the coaches? The information is from USA Today and the Arizona Star.

Head Coach School Pay Other Pay Total Pay %  Used for Coach Salary
Bill Self (Kansas) 3.4 million $258,000 3.7 million 29.13%
Sean Miller (Arizona) 1.1 million 1.1 million 2.2 million 27.50%
Jim Boeheim (Syracuse) 1.5 million N/A 1.5 million 10.70%
Mike Krzyewski (Duke) 4.7 million N/A 4.7 million 29.30%

The coaches whose teams that have made it to our predicted Final Four aren’t doing too bad for themselves. Coach Boeheim of Syracuse might want to look into asking for more money though, since he’s the only coach who isn’t getting paid at least a quarter of what is being spent.

Louisville, who was just short of Duke in expenditures, was the highest not only in revenue, but also net revenue. Just trailing slightly behind Louisville is Syracuse and Duke. As mentioned earlier, Louisville is the number one seed in the tournament, and is also favored to win by many.

All in all, could money be a beneficial factor in winning a championship? Only the next few weeks will tell.

Follow Mackenzie on Twitter: @KenzieThirkill 

Editor’s Note: Creighton’s expenses were incorrectly listed as $404,350 in the original post. The error has been resolved.

One thought on “If Money Could Buy a Championship”

  1. It will be interesting to see how FGCU compares in next year’s tournament, or the next time they make it back into the tournament. It looks like their current success in the tournament is going to pay off well for them financially (via http://espn.go.com/blog/playbook/dollars/post/_/id/3187/fgcus-wins-helping-schools-budget). Money may not be able to buy a championship, but a championship or even a successful run can do wonders for increasing a team’s budget.

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