In the latest edition of the Indianapolis Star the paper takes a look at the costs associated with each athletics department. The majority of the piece does focus on IU, who would've thought, but they do link to the Purdue expenses. All the major universities in Indiana, that are public, are listed. You can certainly take a deep dive and compare Purdue to IPFW or IUPUI to Indiana State but we won't be doing that here. Here we are concerned with Purdue and will be using IU as a measuring stick.
Let's get one thing out of the way right off the bat. For people who respect Morgan Burke and think he's done a good job as Purdue's AD this will enforce that view because it shows he isn't spending out of control. For those that hate Morgan Burke this will serve as yet another arrow in their quiver about how the man is cheap and basically robbing Purdue fans of the glory they so obviously deserve. You know where I stand on the issue. Also, these numbers are from the 2013-2014 academic year. Now that the formalities are out of the way I want to take a look at a couple numbers that stand out to me.
First, and foremost, are the recruiting costs for Matt Painter versus the recruiting costs of Tom Crean. Ask any IU fan out there and they will tell you that IU basketball is a national brand! They can recruit anywhere! They can go into a small town in Russia and half the population will be wearing candy striped pants. That's just one of the justifications used in the article to explain the bloated cost of Tom Crean's recruiting. Crean travels the country looking for the best and brightest wing players in the country. Tom accrued costs of $716,888 dollars during the year. Compare that with the recruiting costs Matt Painter incurred, $197,206, and you see quite a difference. Tom Crean spent roughly 3.6 times as much as Matt Painter.
There are some among you who will look at those numbers and argue that Painter is getting screwed yet again by the penny pinching ways of Morgan Burke. I see it otherwise. To me those numbers say that Tom Crean is spending far too much money. The results on the court this season, when the players recruited during this time would be playing, speaks volumes. Purdue beat IU twice on the court this year. Purdue won more games than IU. Purdue is in a much better place at the end of the season than IU. Throwing money at a problem isn't a solution. Well, I suppose it is a solution, but not a very good one. It's the non-thinking man's solution. Rather than simply throwing good money after bad why not try and create efficiencies? There has to be a way for Crean to trim that number. The guy casts a wide net each season while Painter seems more narrowly focused on a smaller number of recruits. I can't say which strategy is right. What I do know is that Crean gets big flashy names while Painter often gets players that aren't quite as highly touted. Is that better or worse? The results are the only thing that truly matters and, for this season at least, Purdue came out on top.
The other numbers that pop out at me are the ticket revenues. If you compare the revenue for IU basketball and Purdue football without looking you'd assume Purdue football, even in a down year, would generate more but that would be incorrect. Both programs made over $9.5 million in sales but IU basketball actually comes out on top by about $137,000. There are two things I want to mention here. First, I have no Earthly idea how IU made that much money off of basketball. Purdue basketball by comparison generated just under $4 million in ticket revenue. Second, there are a couple things to keep in mind with these numbers. Purdue football is in a downward spiral with regard to ticket sales but the 2013-2014 academic year actually saw an increase in sales from the year prior. Assembly Hall also seats a much larger contingent of fans than Mackey Arena does. There are 2,000+ additional seats in Assembly Hall. You multiply that by 20 homes games plus inflated ticket prices and there's your answer fishbulb.
What this says to me is that IU's revenues for basketball have probably peaked. With the recent job Crean has done and the fans apparent hatred for the guy I expect that number to slowly go down until something is done. For Purdue the revenue for basketball should rise with the excitement from this seasons carrying over into next year's ticket sales. For both schools though football revenue remains the issue. IU has always struggled to get the cash cow of football going and I don't expect that to change anytime soon. For our beloved Boilermakers though it's possible to turn things around. You can argue about the plan in place all you want. My point is that the decrease in revenue's for the department seems to be weathered. Hopefully, these next couple of years see an increase in revenue and a grander outcome for Purdue Athletics.
It really is an interesting bit of information. You can see all the numbers for Purdue by following the link above. I would urge you to click around a bit as it gives you a much better idea of the state of the program. It also lets you know where the money comes from and where it goes. Take the numbers with a grain of salt though because the differing accounting practices each school uses. Also, keep in mind that any seat licensing fees or legacy fees are not included in ticket revenue. Since ticket revenue is shared throughout the conference while legacy fees go directly into the school coffers. The hard raw numbers show that men's basketball and football both made money while women's basketball and "other sports" were net losers. That shouldn't really come as a surprise to anyone but it's interesting to see the numbers spelled out regardless. Take a look and enjoy praising/bashing Morgan Burke in the comments.