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Kentucky leads pack in recruiting spending

NCAA Tournament Round of 16

Region semifinals and finals Semifinals Championship Semifinals Region semifinals and finals
EAST: Newark, N.J. 1. Ohio State 60 1. Kansas 77 SOUTHWEST: San Antonio, Texas
4. Kentucky FINAL FOUR:



1. Kansas
4. Kentucky 62 12. Richmond 57
5:05 Sunday, Ch. 10 2:20 Sun., Ch. 10
11. Marquette 63 11. VCU 72 (overtime)
2. North Carolina 11. VCU
2. North Carolina 81 April 2, Ch. 10 10. Florida State 71
April 4, Ch. 10 April 2, Ch. 10
WEST: Anaheim, Calif. 1. Duke 77 8. Butler 61 SOUTHEAST: New Orleans
5. Arizona 8. Butler
5. Arizona 93 4. Wisconsin 54
7:05 tonight, Ch. 10 4:30 today, Ch. 10
3. Connecticut 74 3. BYU 74
3. Connecticut 2. Florida
2. San Diego State 67 2. Florida 83 (overtime)

Kentucky spent more on basketball recruiting last year than any public university in the six biggest conferences — ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC — according to a Bloomberg study.

According to reports from 53 schools obtained through open-records requests, Kentucky spent $434,095 in the season leading up to this one. Kansas was second ($419,228) followed by Florida ($326,306), Arkansas ($322,517) and Oklahoma ($316,755).

Private schools such as Duke and Vanderbilt aren't required to divulge their data.

Kentucky's spending comes as the state government is struggling to find a way to cover a $165 million shortfall for Medicaid, which provides health care to the needy. But in its most recent filing, the program had an operating profit of $5.2 million on $16.8 million in revenue.

"Kentucky basketball is one of the most important things in our state," Wildcats athletic director Mitch Barnhart said. "And we are going to direct resources to ensure that it stays that way."

Kentucky's recruiting budget includes accommodations for visits, scouting, communications and traveling expenses, Barnhart said. There is no major airport in Lexington, Ky., and coaches traveled to Oregon, Florida, New York and Europe to recruit.

Barnhart said the team's success compels the athletic department to dedicate resources to recruiting.

"There is an expectation that we continue to be in that group of schools that talks about championship performance," he said. "We've got to match resources to expectations."

Wisconsin spent the least on recruiting, $57,397. Of its 17 players, 15 come from Wisconsin or a neighboring state.

USF was 29th at $148,778, and Florida State was 47th at $93,119.

Dual roles: G Ronald Nored's focus these days is leading Butler. But when the season's over, he picks up a clipboard. The junior already has started practices in his second year of coaching Team Truth, an AAU team filled with high school juniors in Indianapolis.

Nored said it's sometimes hard to keep his players focused at practice. They want to know what's happening with the Bulldogs. That was especially true for last Saturday's game against Pitt, when Shelvin Mack almost cost them a victory by committing a foul with 1.4 seconds left.

"That's the first conversation at practice before we get started. I tell them about what's going on," Nored said. "I told them … that the first thing we're going to work on is not fouling at the end of games."

Bye-bye? San Antonio's Alamodome has hosted several NCAA Tournaments, including Kansas' title game in 2008 and last season's women's Final Four. But its days as a favored site appear to be waning.

Friday's and Sunday's games are the last tournament ones scheduled for the 18-year-old stadium. The opening of Houston's Reliant Stadium, site of this season's Final Four, and Arlington's Cowboys Stadium have created stiff competition in Texas.

Lynn Hickey, tournament director and Texas-San Antonio athletic director, said area officials are exploring ways to reconfigure the Alamodome to lure bigger games.

Draft: Southern Cal F Nikola Vucevic, an all-Pac-10 pick, will skip his senior season.

South Carolina: F Murphy Holloway plans to transfer back to Mississippi. Holloway played his first two seasons for the Rebels but transferred to be closer to his family. Holloway, who averaged 10.1 points and 7.6 rebounds in his sophomore season at Mississippi, sat out this season as required by NCAA transfer rules.

Kentucky leads pack in recruiting spending 03/25/11 [Last modified: Saturday, March 26, 2011 1:03am]
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