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Thoughts Regarding Recruiting Budgets

December 9, 2009
You probably saw this story from The Triangle Business Journal’s Chris Baysden (friend and Technician alum) outlining the recruiting budgets of the local colleges.

If you have a subscription to TBJ you can read the full article (I don’t), but the folks at SFN have shared the numbers of interest:

In 2008 NC State’s recruiting budget was $275k on football and $125 on men’s basketball.

UNC’s budget expenses totaled $629k on football and $175k on men’s basketball.

The league averages, according to an anonymous survey, were $350k (FB) and $133k (MBB).

When asked, Duke reported that it spends more than the league average on football.

Since Butch Davis has been in Chapel Hill, UNC’s budget for football recruiting has increased 24% up from $506k in 2006-07. The really sad part? Reports indicate that our trend is heading in the opposite direction. TOB’s budget was $325k last year, but has been decreased to $275k for 2009-10.

If you read on at SFN you can tell the folks are rather peased at the situation, and there is cause for concern, but my take is not as dire.

Yes, State should be spending more on its recruiting budget. There’s no reason we should be below the league average and there certainly should be no reason why the number should ever decrease moving forward.

However, there’s no reason we should ever spend $629K for football, either. After all, that $304K difference has to come from somewhere. How many football scholarships could you endow forever with that money? Five? Ten?

The article states that the vast majority of these expenses are travel and lodging; if Butch and his staff insist on flying first class and staying in five-star spots while Tom flies Southwest and kicks it at the Holiday Inn, who am I to argue? If at the end of the day it’s about getting in the door of a recruit’s home or attending a game in person, what difference does it make where the coach stays or how he got there?

Now, you want to ensure that the budget never limits a coach’s means to get in front of a recruit. If the budget ever stands in the way of coach O’Brien flying out to see a player on the west coast or keeps him from bringing along a position coach, then that’s a major problem and entirely unacceptable. And with the numbers as low as they are, maybe the budget is hamstringing the coach a bit. It’s worth mentioning that Sidney Lowe offered up comments saying it’s no big deal, but Tom wasn’t quoted at all.

But assuming there’s nothing holding coach O’Brien back in his recruiting efforts, monetarily, I don’t have a huge problem with it. Let Butch wave his blank checks in front of our face…to me, I just see a coach wasting valuable athletic dollars.

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