I have been asked before what the recruiting budgets are for the various Big Sky schools and how they compare to the Montana schools. To be honest I really did know what the actual budgets were, but my usual answer was that I was pretty sure that the Montana programs budgets were on par with most Big Sky schools- if not in the top half-, but that $10,000 dollars goes a lot further in Portland than it does in Bozeman, simply because in Portland you are only 20 miles away from a boat load of recruits and in Bozeman you have to travel 500-1500 miles to see almost any recruits.
A couple weeks ago someone was complaining about how little Montana Lady Griz basketball coach Robin Selvig recruiting budget is, and how it is the lowest in the Big Sky. That was the second time this year that I have heard that complaint. Now in the past I have heard complaint from my Griz friends about the lack of recruiting resources compared to the Griz men, I have a very hard time believing that Selvig’s recruiting budget is not at least on par if not greater than the rest of the Big Sky schools.
The lady Griz basketball program has the highest ticket sales and highest ticket prices in the league. Further more the Grizzly Athletic Department, thanks to football, by far generates the most money through ticket sales, concessions and other sources, than any of the other Big Sky program. So how could the Lady Griz basketball program have the lowest recruiting budget in the Big Sky conference?
I decided I had to look into this.
I actually managed to find quite a bit of information concerning the budget of the Montana basketball programs as well as quite a few of the other in the Big Sky. You know what, thought, those who claim Montana has the lowest recruiting budget in the Sky are correct. According to the information, I got a hold of, the Lady Griz only have a fraction of the money for recruiting that the other Big Sky schools. I have posted some of the info that I found below.
- A few notes about the spread sheet.
- The info is based on what was actually spent not necessarily budgeted.
- The info is about 3-4 years old, but I believe the proportions are still correct.
- This is not the complete break down, of the program budget, but areas that I was of interest.
- I have included all of the Big Sky schools women’s programs that I could find, a couple other local college women’s programs as well as the Bobcat and Grizzly men’s programs in the spread sheet for comparisons.
While the Lady Griz by far have the largest budget of any of the Big Sky schools at over $1 million as compared to $500,000 -700,000 for the rest of the Big Sky teams, their recruiting budget- at least for this year – was only $9,000 as compared $15,000 – 32,000 for the rest of Big Sky.
Now that blew me away so I did some further digging. Here is what I am told is that all of the Lady Griz travel (including recruit travel) is included in the team travel budget so that may or may not skew the recruiting budget.
Some other things I found very interesting.
- The Lady Griz more than triples the entire ticket sales dollars than the entire Big Sky conference the year this info was generated with $293,000 in ticket sales. Montana State was a distant second at $39,500. I am told, though, as of now they only double the rest of the Big Sky.
- The Lady Griz salaries (coaches and staff pay) are also the highest in the conference at a total at $280,000 while the rest of the league is around $200,000. This though is not all that unexpected given Selvig has been at UM since the late 70’s and his assistant coach have been their some where between 12-20 years also.
- The line item games expenses is and interesting number to look at. While most of the league charges their own programs a fixed fee for use of the athletic facilities of around $50,000 per year, the U. of Montana charges a fee (at close to the same rate they would charge a non-university entity) per event. As I understand it this started after the recent fieldhouse renovation. When you take into account this cost to the Lady Griz program it brings their overall Budget closer to being inline with the other Big Sky programs.
I will admit that according to the numbers I have found the Lady Griz DO have the lowest recruiting budget/ expenditure in the Big Sky Conference if for nothing else for that year. You have to ask the question though, is that because that is all the money Robin needed that year or is that a budget number forced on Selvig by the Athletic department. Given the success on the court and the amount of money the program generates (almost as much as the men’s) it would be hard to imagine that if Robins wanted to spend/budget more money to recruiting that he would not be allowed to rearrange the budget to do so. In my opinion the discrepancy between the Lady Griz recruiting budget and the rest of the Big Sky has to be explained in that is what Selvig wants and he feels he can get it done for that, and he uses his remaining funds in different ways.
Now if I am wrong about this and it is totally true that the Athletic department is forcing Selvig to run his D-1 program on a D-2 recruiting budget, you Griz boosters need to do something about it. I am dead serious. If Selvig, is who has runs the premier Women’s program over the past 30 years, truly wants his recruiting budget to be on par (or even better) with his fellow Big Sky programs, and the administration is holding to roughly 1/3 the amount the other programs are it is time to raise hell!