Kentucky spent $434,095 on recruiting in fiscal 2010, easily the largest recruiting budget among teams from the six biggest conferences. Kansas was second with $419,228 and Florida third with $326,306.
The data from 53 teams was obtained from open-records requests by Bloomberg. Private schools such as Duke are not required to divulge the information.
"Kentucky basketball is one of the most important things in our state and we are going to direct resources to ensure that it stays that way," Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth of Kentucky is struggling to cover a $165 million shortfall for Medicaid, a federal-state program that provides health care to the needy. Perhaps a loan from the basketball program is in order. The Wildcats had an operating profit of $5.2 million in fiscal 2010 on $16.8 million in revenue.
Wisconsin spent the least ($57,397) among the 53 public universities. Of the Badgers' 17 players, 15 are from Wisconsin or a neighboring state.
"Most kids want to play where their family and friends can see them," Wisconsin assistant Greg Gard said. "So we recruit in our own backyard and have found a lot of great players who, with a little support, can turn into terrific players."