Recruiting is the lifeblood of college football programs. But just how much is a five-star recruit really worth? According to researchers, six-figures worth.
A study from Ohio State attempted to put a number on just what all those stars in recruiting rankings mean to the bottom line of major programs across the country. Their findings, presented as some of the first in the field, go to show just how valuable those signings are in February for teams like the Buckeyes are come the fall.
“There have been a lot of numbers put out there about how much college athletes should get under various compensation proposals,” said Trevon Logan, co-author of the study and an OSU economics professor. “The best recruits had a significant impact on team performance and their ability to appear in the most lucrative postseason bowls.”
Using Rivals recruiting rankings and data from the BCS era, the researchers found that a five-star recruit is worth an average of $650,000 a year for a major program. Four-stars net $350,000 while they said that two-stars “actually reduced revenue by about $13,000 a year.”
The study also found that adding a five-star had little impact on making a bowl game in general (because of the ease of qualifying and state of most powerhouses) but did improve the chance of making a BCS bowl by some four percent. Interestingly, those in charge of the research also accounted for programs like Ohio State and Alabama getting a larger share of the top recruits each year and found that even at those regular BCS contenders, “each five-star recruit still increased revenue by nearly $200,000 a year.”
Such numbers are bound to be brought up by critics and supporters alike as NCAA leaders continue to debate changes regarding name/image/likeness legislation. It’s expected there will be some concrete details regarding some of the proposals in the coming weeks but the eye-popping numbers figure to only enhance the case that some of those big names you hear about every December and February are worth a lot more than just a scholarship.