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Money March Madness: Can Money Predict The Next National Champion?

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It is post Selection Sunday and copiers across America are working overdrive printing NCAA brackets. Die-hard basketball fans and novices are making their picks and joining pools.

Some are making their picks strictly based on their basketball IQ and wins and losses. Others are picking their alma mater and favorite teams. And we all have that one friend who manages to predict upset after upset using the good old fashioned coin toss.

While I consider myself very knowledgeable when it comes to college hoops, I never seem to come out on top. This year I am trying a little experiment; my selections will be based solely on money!

Here’s how it works.

I compiled the following data from the US Department of Education’s (DOE) Equity & Athletics for each team in the field of 68. It is important to note that this data is from the July 2010 – June 2011 reporting year, so the data reflect last season’s budgets. While the exact figures for this season won’t be available until later this year, the available data provides a general indication of what an institution spent and will earn from its basketball team.

1. Participants per team and the number of Full-time Undergraduates.

First, I located the the number of athletes on each team and the number of students on each schools’ campus. Why? It is very important to distinguish the Davids from the Goliaths in the tournament. Here are the four largest and smallest schools.

  • Four Largest Schools – (1) Ohio State – 38,300; (2) Texas – 35,267; (3) Michigan State – 32,720; (4) Indiana University – 30,888
  • Four Smallest Schools – (1) Davidson – 1,738; (2) St. Bonaventure – 1,919; (3) Mississippi Valley – 1,973; (4) Detroit – 2,315

2. Average Annual Institutional Salary per Head Coach

Next, I wanted to see how much each school was spending on its head coach. The DOE does not disclose individual salaries, but it does list the average institutional salaries for men’s sports. Specifically, this is defined as all of the wages and bonuses an institution pays a head coach as compensation attributable to coaching. The following are the schools that spend the most on its men’s sports coaches and the schools that spend the least.

  • Four Largest Average Salaries – (1) Kansas – $1,832,594; (2) Florida – $1,546,853; (3) Texas – $1,380,268; (4) Alabama – $1,059,830
  • Four Smallest Average Salaries – (1) Mississippi Valley – $40,453; (2) UNC-Asheville – $44,110; (3) Lehigh – $61,867; (4) St. Bonaventure – $63,856

3. Operating (Game Day) Expenses

Then I identified what each team was spending on its game day expenses. How does a gourmet meal and fresh new pair of kicks measure up against fast-food meals and long bus rides? This is how the DOE defines operating (game day) expenses, and here are the four schools that spend the most and the least.

All expenses an institution incurs attributable to home, away, and neutral-site intercollegiate athletic contests (commonly known as game-day expenses), for (A) Lodging, meals, transportation, uniforms, and equipment for coaches, team members, support staff (including, but not limited to team managers and trainers), and others; and (B) Officials.

 

  • Four Largest Operating (Game Day) Expenses – (1) Kentucky – $2,829,245; (2) UConn – $2,604,114; (3) Duke –$ 2,337,291; (4) Texas – $ 2,152,790
  • Four Smallest Operating (Game Day) Expenses – (1) Norfolk St. – $185,855; (2) Belmont – $201,844; (3) Vermont – $215,765; (4) LIU – $$226,126

4. Expenses

Also, I examined at how much money was being spent overall for each program. Here the DOE had exact figures for each team, but again these are last years figures. I took a look at schools with large recruiting budgets and operating expenses, and compared those to the teams surviving on a dime. Here’s how the DOE defines “expenses” and these are the teams that overall are spending the most and least.

All expenses attributable to intercollegiate athletic activities. This includes appearance guarantees and options, athletically related student aid, contract services, equipment, fundraising activities, operating expenses, promotional activities, recruiting expenses, salaries and benefits, supplies, travel, and any other expenses attributable to intercollegiate athletic activities.

  • Four Largest Expenders – (1) Duke – $13, 819,529; (2) Louisville – $13,336,649; (3) Kentucky – $12,355,375; (4) Marquette – $10,348,303
  • Four Smallest Expenders – (1) Mississippi Valley – $682,468; (2) South Dakota St – $756,437; (3) UNC Asheville – $760,777; (4) $883,224

5. Revenues

Finally, I wanted to see which teams are showing their schools “the money.” The following is the DOE’s definition of revenue, and here are the four largest and smallest revenue producers.

All revenues attributable to intercollegiate athletic activities. This includes revenues from appearance guarantees and options, contributions from alumni and others, institutional royalties, signage and other sponsorships, sport camps, state or other government support, student activity fees, ticket and luxury box sales, and any other revenues attributable to intercollegiate athletic activities.

  • Four Largest Revenue Producers – (1) Louisville – $40,887,938; (2) Duke – $28,917,329; (3) University of North Carolina – $19,672,012; (4) Syracuse – $19,017,231
  • Four Smallest Revenue Producers – (1) Mississippi Valley -$683,468; (2) South Dakota St – $756,437; (3) Harvard – $989,106; (4) Norfolk St – $945,562

6. Let the Selections Begin

Last, I compiled all of the data and plugged it into the tables below. Each table represents one of the four regions of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. I listed each school by their seed and placed them in order of their first round match-ups. This provides an easy side-by-side comparison to quickly determine how the numbers compare.

WEST Region (Phoenix)

Team Avg Salary per Head Coach Participants/  Undergrads Operating Expenses    per Participant Game-Day   Expenses Total Expenses Total Revenue
1. Michigan State $626,481 17/32,720 $100,027 $1,700,462 $9,263,945 $16,479,208
16. LIU Brooklyn $65,466 15/3,885 $15,075 $226,126 $1,078,956 $1,078,956
8. Memphis $322,920 17/12,833 $98,202 $1,669,442 $6,739,131 $6,739,131
9. St. Louis $161,180 16/6,974 $25,519 $408,297 $2,951,352 $3,136,638
5. New Mexico $316,204 15/6,693 $53,416 $801,238 $3,825,760 $4,573,517
12. Long Beach St. $123,784 17/22,505 $19,740 $335,585 $1,779,407 $1,779,407
4. Louisville $778,113 15/12,038 $70,977 $1,064,659 $13,336,649 $40,887,938
13. Davidson $82,546 16/1,738 $19,373 $309,973 $1,604,190 $1,542,837
6. Murray St. $83,220 16/6,730 $14,289 $228,629 $1,599,334 $1,707,332
11.Colorado St. $308,150 17/19,617 $24,529 $416,999 $2,342,597 $2,342,597
3. Marquette $416,556 15/7,695 $187,984 $2,819,760 $10,348,303 $15,568,569
14. BYU $232,357 17/27,852 $51,100 $868,704 $4,926,689 $4,843,476
14. Iona $68,800 15/3,152 $17,171 $257,559 $1,547,268 $1,547,268
7. Florida $1,546,853 14/30,210 $103,906 $1,454,685 $9,068,107 $9,930,796
10. Virginia $516,141 15/23,184 $63,747 $956,203 $4,782,477 $7,858,609
2. Missouri $673,691 14/23,369 $77,997 $1,091,959 $5,391,400 $11,084,210
15. Norfolk St. $82,863 14/4,977 $13,275 $185,855 $833,224 $945,562

MIDWEST Region (St. Louis)

Team Avg Salary per Head Coach Participants/  Undergrads Operating Expenses       per Participant Game-Day Expenses Total Expenses Total   Revenue
1. North Carolina $387,102 18/17,457 $71,870 $1,293,657 $6,510,94 $19,672,012
16. Lamar $102,296 15/6,985 $16,950 $254,254 $1,394,579 $1,394,579
16. Vermont $150,219 14/10,125 $15,412 $215,765 $1,380,788 $1,671,155
8. Creighton $195,086 18/3,927 $33,007 $594,124 $4,771,088 $4,771,088
9. Alabama $1,054,830 17/22,587 $61,967 $1,053,440 $6,819,080 $11,016,184
5. Temple $172,516 14/24,501 $49,713 $695,977 $3,089,270 $3,089,270
12. California $380,134 15/24,929 $60,538 $908,066 $4,892,366 $6,417,866
12. South Florida $422,761 14/23,189 $63,694 $891,712 $3,588,144 $4,653,209
4. Michigan $509,903 16/26,096 $64,489 $1,031,831 $5,102,129 $9,154,689
13. Ohio $149,430 17/17,100 $22,966 $390,426 $2,162,046 $2,702,733
6. San Diego St. $384,166 14/20,874 $41,834 $585,677 $3,638,042 $4,721,603
11. NC State $215,590 14/21,974 $49,964 $699,490 $3,947,120 $10,490,494
3. Georgetown $294,161 14/6,996 $113,304 $1,586,254 $8,610,967 $9,519,159
14. Belmont $109,417 16/4,258 $12,615 $201,844 $1,862,820 $1,862,820
7. Saint Mary $122,428 2,559 $20,205 $323,276 $2,191,961 $2,191,961
10. Purdue $429,070 15/30,118 $81,504 $1,222,564 $5,204,365 $9,396,189
2. Kansas $1,832,594 17/18,137 $114,827 $1,952,057 $9,513,243 $11,535,922
15. Detroit $70,572 13/2,315 $34,795 $452,331 $2,307,818 $2,428,379

EAST Region (Boston)

Team Avg Salary per Head Coach Participants/  Undergrads Operating Expenses         per Participant Game-Day Expenses Total Expenses Total     Revenue
1. Syracuse $261,016 18/13,224 $55,111 $991,993 $7,532,455 $19,017,231
16. UNC Asheville $44,110 16/3,107 $11,112 $177,785 $760,777 $1,102,666
8. Kansas St. $590,460 16/16,941 $64,515 $1,032,244 $4,971,590 $7,563,285
9. Southern Miss $245,658 15/11,016 $22,901 $343,521 $1,806,789 $1,806,789
5. Vanderbilt $959,572 16/6,813 $67,053 $1,072,851 $7,411,745 $8,732,026
12. Harvard $95,999 14/6,909 $13,272 $185,803 $989,106 $989,106
4. Wisconsin $444,800 17/27,374 $83,789 $1,424,407 $6,394,547 $16,353,313
13. Montana $122,205 14/10,965 $26,209 $366,926 $1,499,077 $1,212,593
6. Cincinnati $128,175 16/18,628 $110,671 $1,770,729 $4,916,719 $5,943,205
11. Texas $1,380,268 14/35,267 $153,771 $2,152,790 $8,195,360 $16,437,705
3. Florida St. $731,723 16/28,006 $108,985 $1,743,757 $5,959,659 $5,959,659
14. St. Bonaventure $63,856 14/1,919 $17,460 $244,440 $1,592,420 $1,905,562
7. Gonzaga $157,216 16/4,661 $57,657 $922,507 $5,344,461 $6,128,191
10. West Virginia $514,406 17/20,809 $93,678 $1,592,518 $5,333,891 $7,968,819
2. Ohio State $488,098 12/38,300 $160,622 $1,927,465 $5,251,724 $17,020,807
15. Loyola (MD) $74,424 15/3,745 $15,882 $238,223 $1,707,214 $1,707,214

SOUTH Region (Atlanta)

Team Avg Salary per Head Coach Participants/  Undergrads Operating Expenses per Participant Game-Day Expenses Total   Expenses Total   Revenue
1. Kentucky $861,419 13/18,216 $217,634 $2,829,245 $12,355,375 $18,557,243
16. Mississippi Valley $40,453 15/1,973 $18,434 $276,515 $682,468 $682,468
16. W. Kentucky $148,924 13,890 $27,262 $381,664 $2,463,934 $2,463,934
8. Iowa State $475,500 16/21,674 $60,082 $961,315 $4,616,643 $6,587,115
9. UConn $600,849 22/16,496 $118,369 $2,604,114 $8,341,406 $7,924,225
5. Wichita ST $277,716 17/8,017 $51,539 $876,168 $3,798,648 $5,157,481
12. VCU $200,412 14/19,219 $27,263 $381,680 $3,221,519 $3,221,519
4. Indiana $405,149 16/30,888 $94,739 $1,515,816 $7,945,102 $17,804,586
13.New Mexico St. $155,803 14/12,619 $60,790 $851,063 $2,281,193 $2,281,193
6. UNLV $263,027 16/16,443 $47,765 $764,238 $3,806,508 $10,123,168
11. Colorado $356,768 15/24,014 $77,197 $1,157,951 $4,250,474 $4,386,631
3. Baylor $828,342 13/12,188 $81,654 $1,061,503 $5,923,372 $5,923,372
14. South Dakota St. $55,412 12/8,841 $26,443 $317,316 $756,437 $756,437
7. Notre Dame $237,561 13/8,411 $99,973 $1,299,651 $4,420,406 $3,977,728
10. Xavier $96,288 16/3,827 $83,047 $1,328,751 $3,929,624 $11,205,384
2. Duke $738,645 13/6,538 $179,945 $2,339,291 $13,819,529 $28,917,329
15. Lehigh $61,567 17/4,712 $9,748 $165,712 $1,188,018 $1,188,018

Ultimately, the question remains, “can money alone predict the next national champion?” Sports fans, good luck with your picks.

Good Night Sports Fans, 

Alana


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ESPN’s Jimmy V Week For Cancer Research

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“Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.” – Jimmy V

If you’ve been watching ESPN during the last few days, you’ve probably noticed that it’s Jimmy V Week For Cancer Research.

Just who was Jimmy V and what is the Jimmy V Foundation? 

Jimmy V was a dynamic men’s basketball coach. In 1983, his NC State team shocked the basketball world (and the University of Houston) by winning the NCAA Men’s Championship. Most people don’t remember Jimmy V for his coaching, but for his 1993 ESPY award speech when he inspired the audience to support cancer research.

Today, there are 28 million cancer survivors around the world. The Jimmy V Foundations strives each and everyday to raise money and find a cure for cancer. Donating is easy and every little bit helps. Visit www.JimmyV.org 

Good Night Sports Fans, 

Alana 

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