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KU ranks at bottom of Forbes football cost efficiency list

We're back here at Heard on the Hill after a brief Christmas hiatus, and we'll have a few more KU tidbits this week to tide you over until the new year.

First we'll catch you up on an item that perhaps you missed amid pre-holiday hustle and bustle: Forbes magazine last week released a report on the business of college football, and part of that was an analysis of which college athletics departments got the most bang for its buck out of their football programs, in terms of victories per dollar spent.

In that category, KU ranked at the very bottom — by a lot. Forbes added up athletic departments' spending on college football, according to U.S. Department of Education figures, from the 2009-10 school year through 2011-12, then divided that by the number of football victories from the 2010-2012 seasons. (The idea is that spending during one school year will contribute to the performance of the football team the next fall.) KU's total spending per win was about $8 million, more than $2 million more than the next least cost-efficient program, Indiana.

The three-year period was a rather inopportune one for such a study of KU football expenses. During the three years from which Forbes examined spending, two head football coaches departed with millions of dollars left on their contracts. (KU's total football spending during those three years, $48 million, was still below average for a big-conference program, though.) And, not coincidentally, the football seasons included were lean ones for KU, with a total of six victories.

Oh, and the program at the top of that Forbes list? Kansas State University. Forbes calculated its cost per win at just less than $1.5 million.

We hope our readers are having a wonderful holiday season, but if you need an excuse to peel yourself away from a family conversation that's grown testy, why not send a KU news tip to merickson@ljworld.com?

Reply 3 comments from Roedapple Roger Tarbutton