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How Tennessee’s Recruiting Spending Compared to Top SEC Programs in 2022

Tennessee Football
Tennessee Football’s Neyland Stadium. Photo by Ric Butler/RTI.

College football is an expensive sport. And rightfully so.

As we know, you’ve got to spend money to make money in this world.

In early February, SEC commissioner Greg Sankey announced that $721.8 million in 2021-2022 fiscal revenue was to be split up among the 14 teams in the conference. The 2022 fiscal year ended on August 31, 2022.

As that number was announced, USA Today’s Marc Weiszer and Steve Berkowitz compiled the top recruiting spending numbers from around the college football world for that 2022 fiscal year.

According to Weiszer and Berkowitz via an NCAA financial report obtained from an open-records request, the Georgia Bulldogs and head coach Kirby Smart are at the top of the list. USA Today’s report states that the Georgia Bulldogs spent “just over $4.5 million on football recruiting” during the 2022 fiscal year, which is more than $1.5 million more than the second-place program on the list.

It clearly takes a lot of money to keep the back-to-back National Champion train rolling. But over a million and a half more dollars? That’s an interesting number seeing how close No. 2-5 are on the list.

Behind Georgia is Texas A&M, a team that was in the news quite a bit last season due to their disastrous 5-7 record. The report states that A&M comes in at No. 2 with $2.98 million in spending.

The Tennessee Volunteers, according to the USA Today report, lands at No. 3 on the list with $2.92 million dished out on football recruiting during the 2022 fiscal year.

More from RTI: Tennessee OC Joey Halzle Discusses the Idea to Bring in Another Quarterback

The Texas Longhorns, a team that will likely be entering the SEC in the summer of 2024, comes in at No. 4 with $2.44 million in spending, with Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide rounding out the Top 5 at $2.32 million in recruiting spending.

So, with all of that being said, what exactly is recruiting spending?

“The recruiting expense totals in the latest NCAA reports cover transportation, lodging and meals for recruits and school personnel on official and unofficial visits for a period that, for most schools, covered July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022,” Wieszer and Berkowitz wrote for USA Today. “It also accounts for phone charges and postage for pursuing recruits and the value of school’s vehicles and planes or those used by the school for recruiting.”

This isn’t the first time that Georgia has been at the top of the list, though. It’s not the second or the third either. According to the report, Georgia has spent the most money on recruiting “in each of the last four non-COVID-impacted recruiting cycles.”

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