Back in December I wrote an article on EADA data, which is basically the published data for how much schools spend on each sport. We learned that in 2016 the University of Texas spent the most on women’s volleyball at a little less than 4 million dollars. We learned that Washington-St. Louis was the top spending program in DIII coming in at $323,501 and that Colorado College was the big spender from the West Region. Well, I just checked back with the EADA website and the 2017 data has been uploaded. They actually seem to have 2018 numbers but not for DIII, yet. It’s only been a few months since we last checked in but it’s also been an entire year, which I’m sure Star Trek has told me isn’t possible. Regardless, let’s do some looking!
Total expenses are the costs of the program. It includes, in theory, everything. Here are the five DIII programs that spent the most on women’s volleyball in the nation back in 2017:
- UW-Oshkosh at $360,248
- Washington-St. Louis at $293,643
- Colorado College at $291,415
- Benedictine University at $289,480
- Emory University at $283,631
That’s a big jump for Oshkosh as they moved from the 3rd spot in 2016 with an increase of over $63,000. We established last year that most of the money at Oshkosh went to their Assistant Sports Information Director and now it appears Ricky Nelson got quite a raise over the summer. WUSTL drops down a spot although their spending only decreased around $5000. Colorado College moved from 4th to 3rd after an increase of around $34,000. Benedictine increased their spending over $77,000 to secure the 4th spot and Emory increased their spending a whopping $111,000 to secure the 5th spot. Both New York University and California Lutheran dropped out of the top 5 in 2017.
Looking at just the West Region top 5 programs in total expense:
- Colorado College at $291,415
- Trinity University at $245,626
- California Lutheran at $219,038
- Pacific University at $196,661
- UT-Dallas at $194,200
That’s a big jump for Trinity with an increase of spending of at least $50,000. They pushed Cal Lu down a spot as they decreased spending by $32,000. Pacific moved up a spot while UT-Dallas dropped two spots. Southwestern University was the #4 school in 2016 but decreased spending by over $45,000 and now sit between UMHB and Puget Sound down the list.
Taking a look at the flip side and which schools spend the least in the nation on volleyball (DIII):
- University of Valley Forge at $15,006
- Cairn University – Langhorne at $15,498
- Green Mountain College at $17,125
- Rosemont College at $17,588
- Clarks Summit University at $17,898
Obviously, these are some seriously low outlays for an entire volleyball program.
For what it is worth, Green Mountain College left DIII for financial reasons after 2017 and will actually close its doors after this academic year. In a somewhat weird way this circles back to me. Prescott College (in Arizona) will allow Green Mountain students to complete their degree. I went to school in Prescott, Arizona at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where during my four-years I never knew there was a Prescott College. This makes perfect sense because I’m assuming none of you have ever heard of ERAU. Go Eagles!
For the West Region, here are the bottom 5 spending schools on volleyball:
- Schreiner University at $36,977
- Centenary College at $71,470
- Sul Ross State at $74,930
- Whittier College at $80,442
- LeTourneau University at $85,173
I don’t know what to say about Schreiner. They decreased spending by over $32,000 from 2016 and took this unfortunate spot by a huge margin. Keep in mind that Schreiner spends $1,187,445 across all of their sports but could only find this embarrassing small amount for their volleyball program. These are actually the same five schools that finished last in spending in 2016 although in a different order. Sul Ross State added about $15,000 and moved out of last place. The other 3 schools spent about the same as 2016 plus or minus $10,000 or so.
I will take this moment to mention that for whatever reason, Mills College is again missing from the EADA database.
The other big number that we looked at with the 2016 data was operating expense. This is the cost to play the matches and includes travel and is a subset of the total expense number. Looking at just the West Region this time, here are the top 5 schools in operating expense:
- Colorado College at $117,221 (tops in DIII)
- Trinity University at $76,007
- California Lutheran at $73,771
- Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at $73,726
- Mary Hardin Baylor at $67,382
The top three were in the top three last year but in a different order. Colorado College makes perfect sense due to their isolation and their desire to play a top-class schedule. Dropping out of the Top 5 was Southwestern University who cut $30,000. I should note that their 2016 season included a trip to the Final 4 and I’m assuming extra costs were absorbed for that purpose. We see CMS move into the Top 5 and 2017 was their national championship year so it does appear making it into the Final 8 comes with a cost. Austin College was the 5th team from 2016 and they shed around $13,000 in 2017. UMHB at #5 is a bit perplexing as they didn’t take any flights in 2017. In fact I criticized them for their schedule and felt it cost them an at-large bid in the tournament. Really not sure how they spent all of that money.
I think I mentioned last time I looked at the EADA data that I wish I had known that this existed during my daughter’s recruitment. I think it’s a valid line of questioning to bring this up to the coaches as to how well the school supports the volleyball program. I actually think the coaches would appreciate being able to go to their AD and say that their spending is being questioned by recruits. I think these numbers also show how amazing our coaches are for having to overcome lack of finances in a lot of cases and still they make this the best region in DIII volleyball. As a whole, DIII coaches are not well paid and this just shows you the love they have to have for the sport.