Another $1 million signing class; cost of recruiting has UT staying within budget for 2009-10

Travel expense reports by the Tennessee football coaching staff that were recently requested from the UT by
the News Sentinel.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess

Travel expense reports by the Tennessee football coaching staff that were recently requested from the UT by the News Sentinel.

Photo with no caption

The emphasis of Tennessee's new coaching staff on recruiting has come with a price tag.

UT's 2009 signing class has cost $1,099,513.16 so far, according to records obtained by the News Sentinel.

Recruiting expenses are most often associated with coaches' travel and hosting official visitors. With 22 commitments, UT spent almost $50,000 per signee.

"The new staff had to play some catchup and will have a lot of expenses," said Tyler Johnson, UT's associate athletic director for business and internal affairs, in an e-mail to the News Sentinel.

The spending has brought early returns for UT. The staff under first-year UT coach Lane Kiffin was widely praised for assembling a class ranked in the top 10 nationally. Kiffin had a late start, taking over Dec. 1 after coach Phillip Fulmer was fired in November and then painstakingly putting together an all-star staff. Schools in such transitions often struggle to assemble a respectable recruiting class.

Under Kiffin's direction, UT spent $835,908.47 from Dec. 1 to National Signing Day on Feb. 4.

UT spent $263,604.69 under Fulmer before he was fired in early November. Subsequently, he and his staff were told they would not be allowed to travel nor bring in prospects for official visits, essentially putting spending on hold until Kiffin was hired.

UT's recruiting expenditures for the 2008-09 fiscal year are incomplete pending the tabulation of travel costs for the spring evaluation period.

However, even the expenses tabulated thus far show UT has spent more this fiscal year than it spent in 2007-08 ($1,081,249.72) and almost as much as it spent in 2006-07 ($1,311,893.99).

UT signed 32 prospects in its 2007 class, which was considered one of the top five classes in the country.

With limited scholarships available in 2008, UT signed 18 prospects in what was widely considered the worst signing class in Fulmer's 17-year tenure.

The spring evaluation period is expected to be a major expense. As per NCAA rules, schools can have seven coaches on the road recruiting for four weeks.

Once those expenses are tabulated, UT's tally could rise dramatically.

According to Johnson, Kiffin will have tighter restraints in the future, beginning in 2009-10.

"Here is your recruiting budget dollar amount," Johnson said, outlining how Kiffin will be expected to handle expenses. "Make your spending work within this number."

In other words, work within a budget.

"If that means their staff chooses to stay in cheaper hotels and fly more on commercial flights (instead of using UT's private planes) to allow for allocations of funds to be used elsewhere in the recruiting process, then that is up to them," Johnson said.

Travel costs for recruiting trips in December and January can be expensive as coaches often have to book trips with little notice to adapt to the constantly changing demands of recruiting.

For instance, receipts for travel expenses over one week in January for offensive coordinator Jim Chaney cost UT $6,414.30, much of which went to cover airfare costs. Chaney was the lead recruiter in UT's pursuit of tailback Bryce Brown from Wichita, Kan., who Rivals.com rated as the best prospect in the country. Brown signed with UT on March 16.

UT's recruiting spending is part of its overall $87.5-million athletic department budget.

UT has to travel more than many of their competitors who have the luxury of relying more on in-state talent.

Of UT's 22 signees for the 2009 class, 16 are from outside Tennessee's borders.

In producing records of recruiting expenditures, UT provided the News Sentinel with documents that recorded spending on travel by each individual coach, such as airfare, car rentals, lodging and meals. However, pertinent information on destinations and prospects' names had been redacted in order to conceal the identities of recruits.

UT cited the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) as reason why it couldn't provide complete expense reports.

Johnson said the reports were redacted "out of respects and privacy for the prospects and their families."

UT is compiling more information on recruiting expenses for the News Sentinel including its final total for the 2008-09 fiscal year, which ends on June 30.

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Comments » 66

BhamVol writes:

Go Vols. FBAMA

billsatter#588212 writes:

When we start winning NCs with this new tallent these numbers won't matter

chaos001 writes:

well no s**t. you want to be the best? better be able to spend some $$$.

andy112382#209793 writes:

...yet still pocket change compared to that 'stimulus bill' in Washington.

kiffownsfla writes:

Dam hammy throwed a whole book of blank checks to the kiff didn't he and said now get to work and here's the keys to lmao!! FLOIDA RECORD BOOKS BLACKED OUT LMFAO!!

billsatter#588212 writes:

I don't care about the negative press that LK receives from the rest of the country because it has worked in our favor......but why is the hometown newspaper sticking it to him? I live in Georgia, so I'm a little out of the loop with the happenings in K-town; but it seems like the local media doesn't want LK to succeed. Am I off the mark with this?

kiffownsfla writes:

Anybody know how much fulmer spent in 08 for that wonderful class he got us? a benjamin maybe? Id say cpf recruited that class from dennys during belt busters sunday buffet from his trac phone!! Boys it's a black out in floridas record books!! BOOKER SAY CHEAT AND ASK WOLF WHERE'S SHEEP?!! MIX ONE !! GO VOLS!!

pkaplan writes:

UT has spent more this fiscal year than it spent in 2007-08 ($1,081,249.72) and almost as much as it spent in 2006-07 ($1,311,893.99)

billsatter#588212 writes:

I expect an immediate audit of the Knoxville News Sentinel's budget because I think they are over-budget and underperforming.

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to billsatter#588212:

I don't care about the negative press that LK receives from the rest of the country because it has worked in our favor......but why is the hometown newspaper sticking it to him? I live in Georgia, so I'm a little out of the loop with the happenings in K-town; but it seems like the local media doesn't want LK to succeed. Am I off the mark with this?

Most of the na sayers are just afraid to admit right now because he's young and has yet to coach a game in college. and that he has called out and jumped on some of the best coaches.But after the month of september that will change they will be what I call the ole band wagon fans.like alot we have here. GO VOLS!!!

pms151 writes:

The newspaper and most of you rednecks would be crying foul if this was county/ city government.

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to pkaplan:

UT has spent more this fiscal year than it spent in 2007-08 ($1,081,249.72) and almost as much as it spent in 2006-07 ($1,311,893.99)

Thanks kaplan! now if we can get a great qb lol!

whichdoctor writes:

Doesn't it seem reckless?

whichdoctor writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Foreign instructors are good--smarter than Americans.

dvols writes:

thats not even half of the concession take on a given saturday...

im just sayin

pms151 writes:

in response to Navalorange:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Really. What ship did you forget to depart?

tdforvols writes:

and worth every penny.

pms151 writes:

in response to FARRAGUT0406:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Check out the activities fee and the cost of student tickets. Then take a look at what we paid when we were there if you had the privilege to attend like my kids and I did.

Voluvr writes:

1/3 of one gate and concessions, souvenirs, donations...
that will be covered the first half of the Western game.

tripper writes:

in response to pkaplan:

UT has spent more this fiscal year than it spent in 2007-08 ($1,081,249.72) and almost as much as it spent in 2006-07 ($1,311,893.99)

So Kappy, does that number take into account adjusted gross inflation? Just saying.

old_number1 writes:

Let's see:
Vol fans want a great team.
To have a great team you have to have great players.
To get great players you have to recruit.
To recruit nationally you have to spend the money.
When you have a great team that team makes a 'profit'.
That 'profit' supports other sports programs at the school.
Some is also turned back to the university.
So what's the problem?

gmoneyvol writes:

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

tennezz writes:

Who cares what they spend as long as football is paying its own way! Go get them Kiff!!!

ect1983 writes:

NEVER has the KNS....Hooker....written a story like this before CLK. Your buddy Phil is gone. Just because you are out of the loop with the new staff...and always will be...doesn't mean you have to write worse drivel than before.

richvol writes:

This is the worst tabloid reporting...like you're trying to expose something hidden over at UT. UT has always had to spend more than other SEC schools in order to compete...duh.

KNS...what is your problem? Does it bother you to see UT succeed and have to spend some money to do so? I guess since newspapers are quickly becoming a non factor and cutting back there must be some unprofessional jealousy popping out. If you guys would report the things that your readers(that are still left) want to read instead of trying to embarrass the school you would be gaining readership verses losing it. If not for UT athletics the KNS would probably not even exist.

txvolsfan writes:

in response to old_number1:

Let's see:
Vol fans want a great team.
To have a great team you have to have great players.
To get great players you have to recruit.
To recruit nationally you have to spend the money.
When you have a great team that team makes a 'profit'.
That 'profit' supports other sports programs at the school.
Some is also turned back to the university.
So what's the problem?

A couple of BCS bowls will offset this expense. You are 100% correct Number 1.
We can control our own cost by winning and winning a lot.
In the past our talent was second to none, now that talent is down and the wins and the $$$$$$$$$$$$ are down.
GO VOLS
TXVOLSFAN

GREATVOLSAFIRE writes:

in response to TCHDWN10C:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

You are joking I hope! GO VOLS!!!!

Elkabong1940 writes:

How many scholarships do the Vols have for 2010?

TommyJack writes:

in response to whichdoctor:

Doesn't it seem reckless?

Posers blow.

blitzshoot writes:

Cost of doing business. Don't really understand the point of the story except for disclosure of public documents.
??

FLAVOLS writes:

in response to whichdoctor:

Foreign instructors are good--smarter than Americans.

And usually very little common sense :)

rynrem writes:

Just saw outside the lines and they said Kiffin may have committed another NCAA violation by allowing the media to film a recruiting meeting with recruits.

johnlg00 writes:

in response to richvol:

This is the worst tabloid reporting...like you're trying to expose something hidden over at UT. UT has always had to spend more than other SEC schools in order to compete...duh.

KNS...what is your problem? Does it bother you to see UT succeed and have to spend some money to do so? I guess since newspapers are quickly becoming a non factor and cutting back there must be some unprofessional jealousy popping out. If you guys would report the things that your readers(that are still left) want to read instead of trying to embarrass the school you would be gaining readership verses losing it. If not for UT athletics the KNS would probably not even exist.

What was there in this piece that you interpreted as negative about the football program? I read the article twice and found no suggestion that the expenses were excessive, or that the money was irresponsibly spent, or that anyone was illegally benefiting from it. I for one was interested to find out what our recruiting costs are, and pleased that the program is willing to spend what it takes to get the word out on our program to the national recruits. Some on here just reflexively criticize the KNS almost no matter what they write, which sometimes makes me wonder why such people spend so much time on here.

FLAVOLS writes:

in response to rynrem:

Just saw outside the lines and they said Kiffin may have committed another NCAA violation by allowing the media to film a recruiting meeting with recruits.

Who cares? A small or should I say minor infraction. Didn't the last regime commit over 20 "minor" infractions just last year. And what is the count now on arrests for our FLA friends? Ha!

FLAVOLS writes:

in response to TarHeelRulz:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Man Dude, it must have really hurt when Bruce stole your girlfriend and fired you from cutting his grass. It seems like a log in and check this site once a week and here you are with another boner for Bruce. It'll be OK there'll be another little Heel waiting on you somewhere down Tobacco Road.

hotrodvol writes:

in response to Elkabong1940:

How many scholarships do the Vols have for 2010?

EB good question, but with the players leaving, graduation, transfers, and players getting kicked off the team. They will sign 28. If Slive hadn't put a cap on the number of players to sign, UT would of gotten over 30. But UT can only give scollys to 25 in one year. My question if anyone knows, does mid-term enrollies count toward this years total or next years?

dvhill100 writes:

The Outside the Lines segement did not do LK or TN any favors. I am not sure, but I believe Al Davis is holding just a little bit of a grudge against LK. Funny how he can say anything he wants and publicly insults LK along with leveling baseless allegations, but LK can't say anything back. Probably for the best.

As far as ESPN's filming the recruits, then pointing out it may be a violation; that is without a doubt the most disgusting, self serving, "make news, not report it" nonsense I have seen in a while.

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

We could do like bama and cut out the middle man. We could probably save a lot by following their example and just giving the money to the kids or their high school coaches.

pammyvol1000 writes:

Let's hope all this effort and money pays off on in Sept.!!
If you don't have the talent at your back door then you gotta do what you gotta do.. Right?

Vol_fan_in_Tampa writes:

in response to pkaplan:

UT has spent more this fiscal year than it spent in 2007-08 ($1,081,249.72) and almost as much as it spent in 2006-07 ($1,311,893.99)

and look at the results

wagee12 writes:

Looks like a real bargain to me. By my calculations, and counting the buyout, Phil Fulmer earned a cool 1.8 million dollars per victory last year. Frankly, as long as the atletics department is generating its own revenue, I could care less if they spend two friggin million on recruiting. I wish I had a subscription I could cancel right now to a certain publication!

SCarolinaVols writes:

The "Home Town" coverage is weak at best. They are trying to capitalize on Coach Kiffin and his staff like other news agencys, With the negative slant. Solution...The coaching staff should "freeze out" any news pertaining to team. If home town news wants info, make them pay for every freaking document they request.Get the point.Number 2 the Vol fans need to quit coming to the site (as I have) and supporting it.Find another news source for the Vols.
Go Big Orange!!!!!!
Lane Train is Coming...Get On....Or Get Run Over

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

in response to RollTide987:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

What planet you been on?? You don't know obviously that Memphis is in Mississippi.

Speakin of Mempho, today's paper reported that there have been 66 secondary violations reported by all the Memphis programs since 2005.

This info. is for you Bama and Fla. interlopers that whine every time UT reports a secondary violation about once every 5 months.

kiffownsfla writes:

Those who missed it clk espn2 its 12 now its GOOD LOL MIX ONE GO VOLS

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to MOUNTAINofOKEMO:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Good dam a secondary he did that on purpose lmao and Im lovin it lmfao! MIX 2!

kiffownsfla writes:

in response to DCflorida3:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Dc your full of SHIOT you stayed up all night waitn on this made popcorn and put on a pink pair of T bows just for the event quit lyin dude you gonna stay in the closet your whole life! ROTF!

dvols writes:

oh yeah, oakland raiders can kiss my a.., a.., a..

ha,ha

anytime they want to come cross the mississippi!

im just sayin

RollTideJoe writes:

in response to billsatter#588212:

When we start winning NCs with this new tallent these numbers won't matter

You talk like Tennessee is going to start winning natl'l championships (plural). Don't think for a minute that Florida, Alabama, So Cal, Texas, Oklahoma, and so many others are rolling over now that you're new staff is in town.

sameolvolalum writes:

in response to SCarolinaVols:

The "Home Town" coverage is weak at best. They are trying to capitalize on Coach Kiffin and his staff like other news agencys, With the negative slant. Solution...The coaching staff should "freeze out" any news pertaining to team. If home town news wants info, make them pay for every freaking document they request.Get the point.Number 2 the Vol fans need to quit coming to the site (as I have) and supporting it.Find another news source for the Vols.
Go Big Orange!!!!!!
Lane Train is Coming...Get On....Or Get Run Over

I most definitely agree, and I also live in SC. In spite of their average-at-best athletic program, the gamecock media hangs tough with their teams and staffs. I laugh at the way they bash Kiffin on 107.5 (Columbia), but at least they're not espn clones. I'm looking forward to the chicken slaughter in K-town this fall when Spurrier gets to swallow that attitude.

sameolvolalum writes:

in response to TCHDWN10C:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

From your perspective, I can understand. What hick, who couldn't possibly understand anyone from New York or LA, expect to comprehend an even more faraway accent? Try taking a vacation--------like maybe just another state for a change. There's a big ol' world out there------Bubba.

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