Home Analysis: UVA dramatically behind its ACC, Power 5 peers in football spending

Analysis: UVA dramatically behind its ACC, Power 5 peers in football spending

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Photo: UVA Athletics

UVA ranks eighth among the eight ACC public universities that have to report their athletics spending in its annual spending on its football program, and 46th among the 52 Power 5 public schools.

Editorial comment: you get what you pay for.

The data is from Sportico, which maintains a database that tracks the official balance sheets of public university athletic departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision.

According to the Sportico database, in the 2022-2023 fiscal year, Virginia reported $31.1 million in spending on football program operations.

The next lowest operations spending in the ACC came at Virginia Tech, which reported $32.4 million in football-related spending in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.

Leading the way among the ACC schools was Florida State, which also ranked second nationally, spending $75.6 million on its football program in 2022-2023.

Clemson was second in the ACC and eighth nationally at $66.8 million.

There’s an old saw out there about how you’ve gotta be willing to spend money to make money that would seem to apply here.

The schools that spend money seem to do well.

Those that don’t, don’t.

I’ve heard the complaint about the lack of resources from folks around the football program at UVA for years now.

The Sportico numbers back their story up.

Diving into the subcategories, Virginia was seventh among the eight public schools in the ACC in overall coaching-staff compensation, at $9.9 million (Clemson was first, at $17.4 million), and sixth in support staff compensation, at $3.3 million (Clemson, again, was first, at $9.6 million).

One other biggie: recruiting, where Virginia ranked seventh in the ACC subgroup, at $1.2 million (yawn, Clemson was at the top, at $3.5 million).

Not only do you have to spend money to make money, in general, but in football, in specific, you need to be willing to spend money to beat the roads to find kids to come play football for you.

We even go cheap on student-athlete meals at Virginia, ranking seventh in spending there, at $592,159 (Clemson, flush with money, spent $3.4 million on meals), in what we spend on travel, ranking sixth there, at $1.5 million (finally, someone other than Clemson led in this one, that someone being UNC, at $3.8 million), and what spend on equipment, uniforms and supplies, ranking fifth there, at $873,326 (Clemson spent $2.6 million).

UVA Athletics, to its credit, is wrapping up work on a new $80 million football ops center and a new $13 million oversized scoreboard for Scott Stadium, which is all well and good.

How about putting more money into coaches, analysts and recruiting, and into feeding the kids, getting them to road games in decent fashion, and getting decent equipment hanging in their lockers?

Buildings and graphics don’t win games; coaches and players do.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham, the king of "fringe media," is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].