Recruiting Budget

According to the Department of Education, the average recruiting budget for FBS men’s sports programs is $700,000.00.

Think about that for a minute.  A major NCAA Division I athletic program will spend an average of $700,000.00 on the recruiting efforts for ALL of its men’s sports programs.

What’s rarely mentioned is that football and men’s basketball will consume about 50% or $350,000 of that budget. That leaves an average of only $50,000 for each of the remaining sports programs like baseball, golf, lacrosse, swimming/diving, tennis, soccer, track/field & cross country to secure recruits.

If a college or university funds additional men’s sports like water polo, wrestling, and hockey, the recruiting budgets are even further diminished. But each program is not evenly funded so many sports may receive much less than $50,000 to recruit high school student-athletes.

Important note: women’s sports programs usually average substantially less in recruiting budgets than men.

Here are the average men’s teams recruiting expenditures by the conference for 2013-2014 (take notice of all the number of programs in major conferences below the $700K average):


Given these figures, it’s easy to understand why college sports programs have a difficult time locating and evaluating all of the talented high school student-athletes in the U.S and abroad.  They simply do not have the resources to accomplish the task.  This is even more evident if you compete in a sport outside of football and basketball.

Here are 3 steps to overcome the limits of college recruiting budgets:

  1. Be properly evaluated and start targeting schools that match your athletic, academic, financial and geographic goals.
  2. Don’t wait to be contacted by college coaches. Create an appropriate game plan to begin personally introducing yourself to coaches at proper fit schools.
  3. Begin building and sustaining personal relationships with college coaches over an extended period of time in order to secure offers from best-fit schools.

Understanding the limitations of college programs to recruit high school student-athletes and executing a well thought out game plan may produce outstanding results in your goal of playing your sport in college.

Over the last five years, SportsForce has helped over 1,000 student-athletes and families successfully navigate the college recruiting and athletic scholarship process while saving families on average $50,000 in college expenses.

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