EDIT: BIG HAT TIP to WhiskeyJack, who put a lot of the FB Player and AA FB Player stats together here. Big Ups!
There are a lot of reasons to pick any school: academics, networking, fit, coaches, coaching style/scheme, depth chart, NFL prospects (although you can go to the League from almost any school now) location, weather, faith/spirituality, campus, dining hall, etc etc etc
And the importance of each of these is different for each recruit, and some consider all of these, and some consider very few of them. But there’s one area that tends to be a bit over-looked, and I am guessing that it’s largely because it hasn’t been quantified with regularity in the past.
I have no idea if the staff pushes this today, and I don’t know how important it is to any of our recruits, but I know it’s important to many people in the world. The one thing?
Cold, hard, cash.
MONEY MONEY MONEY MO-NEY. MAH-NEY!
Businessweek, in conjunction with PayScale, did their best to estimate the value of an undergraduate degree from a school, and then I looked at the #’s among Football Players and African American Football players by building in graduation rates (from NCAA calculations provided by WhiskeyJack). And you know what? ND is the BEST CHOICE among competitive programs for African American players, and a close #2 to Stanford overall.
Let’s take a look at it in detail.
OVERALL RANKINGS (all students)
1. Cal Tech
2. Harvey Mudd
10. Notre Dame
Notre Dame is #10 overall with a Net Return of $1.4 million. The rest of the Top 10 includes only 1 other competitive FBS program in Stanford (no, Duke isn’t competitive). The next ‘big name’ program on the list? Cal, at #18, with a return of <$1.2 million. So sure, a player can choose a school other than Stanford or ND, and it's going to cost that player, at minimum, $200,000 (on average). That is real money folks! And looking for the #4 competitive program shows an even bigger difference. That school is UVA (and are they even really competitive?), and they are ranked 44th with a return of <$1MM which will cost a player ~$400K vs going to ND or Stanford. And how about some of the top FBS programs out there today? What does a degree from one of the 'heavyweights' earn you over a career? Let's take a look at a few of those top programs, and how much attending one of those schools over ND is going to cost a student (opportunity cost), on average: USC - Rank 50. ROI: <$900K. Cost ($ lost by student) vs ND: $500K Michigan - Rank 63. ROI: <$900K. Cost vs ND: $500K Texas - Rank 104. ROI: $700K. Cost vs ND: $700K Wisconsin - Rank 117. ROI: $700K. Cost vs ND: $700K Florida - Rank 125. ROI: $700K. Cost vs ND: $700K ... Alabama - Rank 329. ROI: $400K. Cost vs ND: $1 million. GOING TO ALABAMA WILL COST A STUDENT, ON AVERAGE, $1 million dollars over a career. And this difference is even greater among players, driven by lower and lower graduation rates among ‘football factories’ vs ND.
Note: All numbers rounded to nearest $100K
Because of ND’s amazing graduation rate among players, ND ranks #1 on ROI among African American Football Players, and #2 among All Players.
Ranking Among Players:
2. Notre Dame
And among African American Players:
1. Notre Dame
ND is an African American player’s best chance to earn the most money. Period. ND and Stanford are 1 and 2 overall. Period..
And unlike almost every other school in the nation, African American Football players are actually projected to make MORE than the average player. So a player comes to ND, is much much more likely to earn a degree, and with that degree is much, much more likely to earn a bunch of money over a career when compared to what they would earn in a career with a degree from another school (if they were lucky enough to be one of those players that actually graduates from said school, which is not at all guaranteed).
So, every recruit should know this. I hope the staff is making this known. Money is important to many people in the world, and for a lot of kids coming from single income/struggling households, it’s even more important. And while it’s likely not (and should not) be the only factor, I think these stats are important to share with the community. Because let’s say you’re on the fence. You’re a blue chip kid and you’re looking at ND and you’re looking at, say, ‘Bama. Well, wouldn’t you want to know that going to ND comes with an extra million bucks over the course of a career (down the road of course)?
No, ND won’t pay you under the table right now to come to South Bend (unlike some other schools). But man, the degree is certainly worth a TON more than the average school, and the difference gets greater and greater when graduation rates are included in the discussion.
And this is something EVERY recruit should know.