Conference Recruiting Expense Series: Top-50 Spenders

Last Updated on January 23, 2012

Last week, showed readers just how much schools spend on recruiting.  The following is a list of the top-50 spenders in terms of total recruiting expenses for both men’s and women’s sports.  We’ll list numbers 50-100 tomorrow!

SchoolConferenceTotal Recruitment ExpensesMen’s Recruitment ExpensesWomen’s Recruitment Expenses
1.  TennesseeSEC$2,296,023$1,878,771$417,252
2.  AuburnSEC$2,117,645$1,530,917$586,728
3.  Notre DameBig East$2,070,316$1,612,608$457,708
4.  AlabamaSEC$1,694,202$1,339,537$354,665
5.  GeorgiaSEC$1,540,743$1,039,220$501,523
6.  FloridaSEC$1,501,899$1,065,716$436,183
7.  Georgia TechACC$1,489,599$1,173,904$315,695
8.  ArkansasSEC$1,480,557$1,060,500$420,057
9.  MichiganBig Ten$1,480,357$1,039,948$440,409
10.  TexasBig 12$1,470,389$989,370$481,019
11.  MarquetteBig East$1,461,373$1,289,560$171,813
12.  KansasBig 12$1,454,154$1,033,618$420,536
13.  North CarolinaACC$1,337,338$949,396$387,942
14.  IllinoisBig Ten$1,328,931$962,345$366,586
15.  DukeACC$1,313,378$967,282$346,096
16.  OklahomaBig 12$1,263,567$837,890$425,677
17.  KentuckySEC$1,260,065$865,254$394,811
18.  OregonPac-12$1,235,968$922,653$313,315
19.  NebraskaBig Ten$1,234,097$888,165$345,932
20.  Texas TechBig 12$1,184,799$892,436$292,363
21.  Florida StateACC$1,156,982$749,499$407,483
22.  BaylorBig 12$1,138,946$755,226$383,720
23.  Ohio StateBig Ten$1,134,013$782,735$351,278
24.  MinnesotaBig Ten$1,130,963$741,471$389,492
25.  LouisvilleBig East$1,128,645$786,574$342,071
26.  Penn StateBig Ten$1,128,129$681,284$446,845
27.  WashingtonPac-12$1,089,582$776,098$313,484
28.  ArizonaPac-12$1,080,250$733,394$346,856
29.  StanfordPac-12$1,079,437$771,567$307,870
30.  ClemsonACC$1,069,565$796,648$272,917
31.  North Carolina StateACC$1,069,192$722,995$346,197
32.  VanderbiltSEC$1,068,482$792,574$275,908
33.  VirginiaACC$1,045,893$730,358$315,535
34.  SyracuseBig East$1,045,212$655,055$390,157
35.  Iowa StateBig 12$1,022,016$769,272$252,744
36.  UCLAPac-12$993,663$711,415$282,248
37.  USCPac-12$992,414$680,645$311,769
38.  Ole MissSEC$982,959$694,038$288,921
39.  Virginia TechACC$981,067$650,651$330,416
40.  MemphisConference USA$961,150$759,844$201,306
41.  PurdueBig Ten$954,543$684,920$269,623
42.  Michigan StateBig Ten$941,157$653,640$287,517
43.  IowaBig Ten$931,989$592,776$339,213
44.  LSUSEC$927,990$574,182$353,808
45.  CaliforniaPac-12$919,410$630,158$289,252
46.  IndianaBig Ten$899,047$558,442$340,605
47.  MiamiACC$897,271$591,872$305,399
48.  ColoradoPac-12$885,421$633,190$252,231
49.  Kansas StateBig 12$882,902$648,599$234,303
50.  MissouriBig 12$861,859$621,949$239,910


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  • Jeff Roy
    January 23, 2012

    Love your lists because they always have their fare share of surprises.

    7. Georgia Tech – just two places behind their main rival in the same university system. They spend virtually the same amount, but Georgia gets better ROI. And the UGA fan base dwarfs GT.
    11. Marquette – a private school with no football program spending almost $1.3M to recruit men’s athletics. A poster child for the outsized role collegiate sports play today. Curious their main in-state competition, Wisconsin, not even in top 50.
    32. Vanderbilt – another private school spending seven figures with a football program that will never catch the No.1 spender.
    37. USC – with so much local talent, the travel portion of their expenses must be low.
    44. LSU – ditto USC, with the rich recruiting environment of Texas (specifically my hometown, Houston), Mississippi, and Louisiana, the state with the highest per capita rate of NFL players.
    47. Miami – They used to recruit Texas and Houston with some success. Now they are nowhere to be seen on the state’s Top 100 list. How the mighty have fallen.

  • Does this include both basketball and football

  • Alicia Jessop
    January 24, 2012

    The total expense is for all sports. Then there is a breakdown for men’s and women’s sports. Unfortunately, the schools do not have to break down how much they spend on a particular sport when they submit the data to the Department of Education.

  • M. Rahman
    January 24, 2012

    This is for the 2010-11 season. Correct.

  • Alicia Jessop
    January 24, 2012

    Yes, it is for 2010-11. The data for 2010-11 won’t be out until later this year, closer to the fall.

  • Alicia Jessop
    January 24, 2012

    Excuse me, I meant to say the data for 2011-12 won’t be out until later this year.

  • bobby seigle (@meandmyfro)
    January 24, 2012

    this is outrageous about marquette. unreal. they should have #1 basketball team in the country every year.

  • Alicia Jessop
    January 24, 2012

    The three freshmen this year on Marquette’s basketball team are from California, West Virginia and Alaska. They would’ve been recruited during the 2010-11 year. So, I’m guessing that because Marquette isn’t recruiting exclusively in Wisconsin, their expenses are proportionately higher than those schools who largely recruit in-state.

    • Damon
      January 25, 2012

      still a glaring stat considering the size of the school and they have no football program….investigation??????

      • Brian Childs
        March 31, 2014

        Investigation? Marquette is one of the few schools in the country that has never been on probation. Not one school in the Big 10, SEC, Big 12 and other conferences can make that statement. Marquette is clean as a whistle, they just waste a lot of money recruiting!

  • Jack Doub
    January 25, 2012

    The headline says the Aggies “lead the Big 12” yet they don’t appear in the top 50?

    • Gig 'Em
      January 25, 2012

      They lead by having a top 10 class and not having to spend as much as these other guys!

  • Joe
    January 27, 2012

    Wish you could break this down by sport too.

  • Tarawa
    January 27, 2012

    Under a bell curve a vast majority of these schools’ recruiting expenditures are normal. The geographic range (States) which they recruit and the repeated visits to undecided or vacillating HS athletes drive travel/per diem costs. Plus, a larger recruiting staff is costly if they are evaluating more players. Its an investment and the payoffs are better athletes, conference payouts, royalties, and nearly everyone loves a winner.