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What is the Relationship Between Money Spent on Recruitment and Recruiting Class Rank?

Last Updated on July 25, 2012 by Kristi Dosh

Have you ever wondered if a relationship exists between the money spent on football recruitment and the subsequent recruiting class rank? In this post, we look at the top 25 public schools in both recruiting expenditures and recruiting class rank, as reported by Rivals.com. These numbers are from 2010-2011 NCAA financial disclosures and 2011 recruiting classes.

This first chart shows the top 25 public schools in recruiting expenditures for the year 2011. As you can see, the expenditures range from $1,135,211 to $433, 236, yet the class ranks range from 1st in the county to 118th.

SchoolRecruitingClass Rank
Tennessee$1,135,21113
Alabama-Tuscaloosa$980,8821
Auburn$950,3787
Georgia Tech$883,43041
Arkansas$666,41924
Georgia$623,2245
Texas Tech$611,91020
Florida$602,92912
Oregon$590,6839
Boise State$589,77353
UNC$580,20016
Texas$577,9763
Michigan$577,66321
New Mexico$545,86781
Illinois$545,36342
Army$511,840118
Mississippi$495,23319
Memphis$493,20465
Clemson$490,3058
Nebraska$478,55415
Colorado$470,35574
Iowa State$448,77751
Kansas$442,91134
Washington$440,93123
Florida State$433,2362

This second chart shows the top 25 class ranks, with their respective recruiting expenses.

SchoolClass Rank*Recruiting Expense
Alabama-Tuscaloosa1$980,882
Florida State2$433,236
Texas3$577,976
Georgia5$623,224
Louisiana State6$302,882
Auburn7$950,378
Clemson8$490,305
Oregon9$590,683
Ohio State11$320,938
Florida12$602,929
Tennessee13$1,135,211
Oklahoma14$356,414
Nebraska15$478,554
Berkeley17$394,298
South Carolina18$132,758
Mississippi19$495,233
Texas Tech20$611,910
Michigan21$577,663
Washington23$440,931
Arkansas24$666,419
Virginia25$276,806

Both charts show that, at present, there is no real relationship between how much a school spends on recruitment, and how high their recruiting class ranks. For instance, even though Florida State had the 2nd best recruiting class in the nation, they were only ranked 25th in recruiting expenditures.  Yet, Army, which only had the 118th best recruiting class amongst public schools,  actually spent about 1.18 times more on recruiting than Florida State did.

*Omitted Class Ranks belong to Private Schools (USC-4, Notre Dame-10, Stanford-22)

Editor’s Note: There has been some confusion over why these numbers differ from previous posts, which used Department of Education data filed by each school. Those reports show recruiting in two categories: male and female. The numbers in this post are football-specific and obtained from NCAA disclosures filed by each school and obtained through public records requests.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jeff Roy

    July 25, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Alicia Jessop has stated, on several occasions, this is Dept. of Education data and the accounting “standards” used by the athletic departments may be anything but. So while this makes for interesting reading, Lauren, they do not tell the whole story.

  2. bcsguestwriter

    July 25, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Editors note: These are not numbers from Department of Education (EADA) reports. These are from NCAA disclosures filed by each school. EADA reports only show recruiting expenses as male and female totals. NCAA disclosures have it broken down by sport, so these numbers are football only and considered the most accurate available.

  3. Dr. Darin White

    July 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Actually the data does show some correlation. I ran a bivariate correlation analysis on the data and found a -.296 pearson correlation which is significant at the .15 level. @Sports_Biz_Prof

  4. D.A.

    August 2, 2012 at 7:48 pm

    Comparing money spent on recruiting compared to a Rivals ranking seems to be an incorrect metric. The success of the recruiting class is not immediately seen, but is well known within four or five seasons after said recruiting class enrolls and plays so one can measure W/L.

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