19.Apr.2011 The Cost of a Missed Prospect Evaluation

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At Oregon State University, the annual cost for an out-of-state student is now $35,169.

For interested persons, the following is a categorical breakdown, directly from the OSU admissions department, of 2011-2012 tuition and fees:

2011-2012 Additional Expenses (Estimates Only)

Undergraduate Tuition and Fees

Resident                                  $7,518

Non-Resident                         $21,294

Books and Supplies $1,854

Room and Board $9,444

Miscellaneous and Personal $2,577

Loan Fee Allowance $48

Estimated Undergraduate Totals 

Resident: $21,393           Non-resident: $35,169

A cursory glance at the football roster shows approximately 20 student-athletes from Oregon. That leaves 65 scholarship players from other states. Therefore, the cost for out of state recruits is approximately $2,285,985 ($35,169 x 65), while the cost of in-state players is $427,860.

Am I suggesting the staff only recruit Oregon players? Certainly not. While good values, the pool is thin.

What I'd like to point out is the cost of a missed recruit.

Let's examine Rory Ross, who quit the football team last week. Before doing so, let me iterate that 2011 dollars and tuition are not exactly equal to 2007 dollars, but 2007 tuition data is unavailable. For the purpose of this article the figures should be sufficient to make the point.

Ross was signed in 2007 and grey-shirted. He was a lanky–one might say "gangly"–227lbs, and OSU projected him as an offensive lineman. He had no other D1 offers, and Rivals ranked him a 2-star prospect. At the time, he was a clear miss in my opinion. Ross never played a down for OSU, yet was on scholarship for 3 years, costing OSU approximately $105,507. Keep in mind that the figure does not include plane fares, rental cars, hotels, phone calls, and other expenses involved in recruiting a player.

If you look at the 2007 class, it is littered with misses. David Ross, Michael Cole, and Kevin Pankey, to name a few. Also approximately 50% of the players from that class either never qualified, never contributed, or are no longer on the roster. That is a tremendous financial loss.

Something else that should be considered is the opportunity cost, or, the "next best option" to the signed player. By this, I mean instead of signing someone like Keith Pankey, the staff could have signed an equally rated 3-star recruit who was actually a 3-star talent. A perfect example is someone like Spencer Paysinger of Oregon. He was actually a 2-star recruit in 2006. Or Casey Mathews, a legit 3-star. These two guys were clear football players who led Oregon's defense to BCS games. They were not projects or hidden gems who needed two years (i.e. ~$70,000) of coaching before playing in meaningful games. Keep that in mind. Even if a player is productive by his senior year, the school has still invested 3 years @ $35,000 to get to that point. If you want to claim that OSU goes after such players, but they simply don't want to come to OSU, I'll bring up Kellen Moore, who was dying for an OSU offer, ready to sign, and yet the offer never came. Would OSU have gone to BCS games with Moore behind center? That will never be known. What we know is Moore went to a BSC game with BSU, and that Lyle Moevao was OSU's opportunity cost, or next best option.

Mike Riley says, "the stars of a guy coming in don't matter, it's how many stars they have going out."

This is simply not true, and the reason is obvious: a recruit who is ready to play right away represents a much lower cost, opportunity cost, and return on investment. Every year of beefing up, coaching up, etc costs $35,000.

Our AD cries poverty, yet our head coach outwardly admits he enjoys recruiting projects, or as he calls them, "good stories." There is a disconnect there, fellows, and I want you to see and understand it.

I know a counter argument will be that every school has misses. Granted, they do, and nobody can be right 100% of the time, but being wrong 50% of the time is unacceptable given our University's finances. Also, I am not interested in other schools, nor are you. We are not blessed with their financial resources; the value of an OSU dollar is more than an Oregon, USC, Stanford, or Washington dollar.

The bottom line is that the AD and head coach need to first understand how much money their mistakes cost the university, and then come up with a  way to fix the problem. Instead of investing 4 years @ $35,000 in a recruit who might play by his red-shirt senior season, invest that money in technology and staff so they can target recruits who will contribute by their first or second year. When I plead with the administration to model themselves after savvy teams like the Minnesota Twins, this is the kind of efficiency about which I am talking.

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  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Agree, wtih following contributory point. You said that a project player that contributes his senior year has cost the school over $105K (3 years at $35K/year) before playing a meaningful down.

    Projects redshirt. Tack on another $35K.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    Well, the answer for all this is simple Angry. BDC spends OSU’s dollars like its monopoly money and as a kid he always thought Baltic Avenue was just as valuable as Boardwalk.

    • angry says:
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      Haha, nice one.
      I sent this to Bob D asking him to address it. Who the hell is accountable? Does anyone go back and reevaluate classes to find out what went wrong? 2007 was atrocious. That might have been the worst recruiting class in the entire NCAA for that year.

      • Beavocalypse says:
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        I really admire that you write BDC about these things, Angry. Your hope in humanity pulling itself from its mental handicaps is an example to us all. If you get a response, PLLLLEASE post it. I would love to see if he actually says anything for himself.

  • helmsley says:
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    I’m always intrigued at the cafeteria for thought in the angry blog. This one had too many numbers for me to slog through, but I got the gist. What stood out: Kellen Moore wanted to come to OSU? Has anyone ever heard Kellen Moore say anything about OSU after the Boise State victories over OSU? He’d have to be an angel not to say something spiteful. Casey Matthews? Jeeze!

    As I understand it, Rory Ross had his education paid for by going to football practice, And he needn’t even do that his senior year.

    Does the football team truly need 85 players?

    • Beavocalypse says:
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      No, but that’s apparently the reasonable number (plus 20 or so) of players that get to hang around and get an “education”.

    • angry says:
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      A school used to have unlimited scholarships until 1992. They reduced the amount a team could sign in order to disperse talent.

      Also realize that grey-shirting allows a way around that limit. Meaning, if you keep tacking scholarships against future allowed allocations you could have ~95+ each year, if not more. I read the NCAA was cracking down on grey shirting for that reason, but I’m not sure where I read it.

  • Beavocalypse says:
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    http://cliffkirkpatrick.mvourtown.com/2011/04/18/spring-practice-day-10-2/

    According to Cliff, they backed off tackling in lieu of having a “teaching” day….of course. Here’s another thing that drove me crazy. According to a blog by Buker a few days ago, Riley was quoted that we were “woefully thin” at WR. WHAT!?!?!?!?!?! You do know wide receivers are lack half your fucking team (oh no’s I said fuck, someone will say I didn’t make my point), right? How about you coach your legion of receivers?

    I think this is the beginning of the pussy-fying stage of OSU’s pre-season camps. I wonder which 3-4 players they keep out of practice during the summer camp for worry of injury.

    Cliff K seems more critical than usual. I wish Pom Poms Buker would do the same.

    I hope the next practices get back to the hitting and crushing. I don’t want to see us get whacked in non-cons again this year.

    End of rant.

    • brownale9000 says:
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      There aren’t that many WR on the roster right now. The freshmen aren’t here yet, so we have by my count, 7 or 8 sort of healthy to healthy wide receivers.

      Ackerman, Brett - healthy
      Bedbury, Jeff – (who?) healthy
      Bishop, Jordan - injured
      Catchings, Darrell – has been shockingly sort of healthy
      Cummings, Kevin – concussion, but back now I guess?
      Evans, Danny – healthy
      Gwacham, Obum – healthy
      Hall, Garett – healthy
      Hatfield, Micah – hurt
      Munoz, Geno – hurt, then okay, then hurt again
      Rodgers, James – hurt
      Singler, Mitch – hurt
      Wheaton, Markus – healthy

      • Beavocalypse says:
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        Huh, I guess your count was better than mine. Still- it seems pretty drastic to call us woefully thin when we have some athletes that used to play that position. And when the freshmen arrive we’ll probably never be thin in that position, ever.

        But well played, man, well played.

  • UofDuck says:
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    On a side note, dang your baseball team is smoking. Pisses me off how we have slide backwards, but props are due to you all so “congrats”. I so hate saying that to you bunch of scallywags. I guess the only hope I have left at this point in baseball is for the Ducks to pull of an upset over the Biebers in a series.

    Petty? You bet it is, but you all understand the feeling I’m sure. Even if an upset won’t happen this year, a boy can always dream, right?

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    Angry: I agree with much of what you say (as usual) but want to quibble with one point, concerning “costs” of in-state vs out-of-state scholarships.

    The numbers you are quoting are not really “cost” numbers. They are, instead, the “price” of a year at OSU for in-state students vs out-of-state-students. The “price” is what students pay to attend OSU. The “cost” is what the university lays out to provide a student with a year at OSU. Two different things.

    Does it “cost” OSU $14,000 more to educate an out-of-state student instead of an in-state student? No, it doesn’t. The underlying “costs” are pretty much the same for housing and educating a student, regardless of where he went to high school, and where he lives when not attending OSU.

    So why is the “price” so much higher for out-of-state students? Because OSU wants to make it more affordable for in-state residents to attend OSU, that’s why. Just like most state schools around the country do for their in-state residents.

    One could argue, I suppose, that every scholarship given to an out-of-state student-athlete means that OSU foregoes out-of-state tuition for that student-athlete. But that’s not correct, either. If OSU did not award a scholarship to any particular out-of-state student-athlete, it is likely that particular student-athlete would go elsewhere, rather than paying full out-of-state fees and attending OSU. Nor does it follow that a scholarship denied to a particular out-of-state student-athlete would make room for an out-of-state non-athlete to attend OSU.

    Let me hasten to say, again, that none of this undercuts your fundamental point. Wasting a scholarship on a poor player is a very costly mistake for OSU (as it is for any program at any university). OSU needs to do a better job with this, and waste fewer scholarships on “projects” that never pan out.

    But there is not a big difference, in terms of cost, between a wasted scholarship on an in-state kid vs an out-of-state kid. It’s more or less the same — a wasted scholarship is a wasted scholarship, period.

    • angry says:
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      Does it “cost” OSU $14,000 more to educate an out-of-state student instead of an in-state student?

      Yes, missed revenue is a cost. That latent, missed revenue could negate tangible costs.

      You make good points, but I can speak from personal experience about out of state rates, etc. I found myself at OSU by chance, and paid out of state rates because of it. There are plenty of people who find themselves in the area under similar circumstances. I know because I met many. Luckily I qualified for academic scholarships that bridged the gap.

      It doesn’t cost OSU more for an in-state vs out of state scholarship since both are free, but the scholarship does have more value to an out of state student (i.e. 14k more), and OSU also loses out on a potential out of state student, non-scholarship rate.

      But, my point isn’t that OSU should avoid California. Obviously that would be stupid. My point is that when you dip into California, Texas, etc, there should be a greater accountability to “hit” on the prospect. Also, across the board this should be the goal. As we both agree on, a wasted scholarship is equally detrimental no matter where the player is from.

      Think about people who believe players should be paid. Look at the costs and complexity of the issue now. Imagine it if “stipends” were involved?

      • brownale9000 says:
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        “Yes, missed revenue is a cost.”

        That makes sense if there is a chance that a player would attend OSU without the scholarship offer, but it’s far more likely that somebody without a single D1 offer would walk on somewhere within their own state, rather than walking on out of state.

        • angry says:
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          There have been quite a few out of state walk-ons just in the past couple years.

          Tom Black (Winnipeg, Manitoba)
          Devo Kell (Hilo, HI)
          Tyler Bills (Mission Viejo, CA)
          Garett Hall (Olympia, WA)
          Dylan Parsons (Olympia, WA)
          Reggie Williams (Rialto, CA)
          Josh Parish (Pasadena, CA)
          Brett Ackerman (Venice, CA)
          Charlie Gilmur (University Place, WA)
          Troy Whalen (Concord, CA)
          Tyler Anderson (Concord, CA)

          Just a few since 2009

  • VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
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    Angry:

    I should add that there is another aspect of “cost” to consider — the cost accounting involved in the football program’s budget. Although the cost to the university is the same to educate an in-state resident vs an out-of-state resident, that’s not necessarily how the accounting works for the football program’s budget. The university can (and probably does) charge the football program (in terms of accounting) more for a scholarship to an out-of-state student. So, if the football program were working with a fixed budget provided by the university, the football program would have more money to spend by providing fewer scholarships to out-of-state students. In that sense (in terms of accounting and budgets) the cost of an out-of-state scholarship could be considered higher….

  • sparkyd73 says:
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    There are other ways to pay for these athletes as well. Some are very good students and are able to get academic scholarships or financial assistance through grants. Scholarships are only given after all other payment options are explored and then the scholarship makes up the difference.

    I agree with silverstream that this is not an argument against your main premise that all misses have a cost and we should do what we can to minimize them as much as possible.

    I don’t think though that you will ever eliminate misses because we are dealing with 18 year olds that the coaches must project how they will work, grow and act as 20-21 year olds. Interesting topic though.

  • CastorNation says:
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    Isn’t the difference in tuition based on paying instate taxes? I think as in elementary through high school, the state kicks in money for each resident student. So if someone comes from out of state there is no state money and the tuition is higher. So possibly Angry is right about increased cost and a reason to be more accurate with the picks.

  • JackBeav says:
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    Slightly off topic:
    http://oregonstate.edu/senate/agen/2009/0905_Athletics.pdf

  • JackBeav says:
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    I’m assuming this is where you got the numbers:
    http://oregonstate.edu/financialaid/cost-attendance

    The note on these numbers is that they are for three full terms. The actual cost should be expanded to a fourth term per year for many football players. A lot of them are using summer term to bolster their transcripts and train in the summer.

  • CraigBeav says:
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    Angry: I think this might qualify as a good letter to the editor in the Oregonian…

  • blakesgotanewface says:
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    Look at this Maynard Keynes

  • OS_Beaver says:
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    Possible new Okie St uniform leak? I like the look. I always thought we should use black with orange numbers like the Giant Killers. It makes the most sense. I think Okie St is trying to beat us to the punch.

    http://i837.photobucket.com/albums/zz299/kawasaki151/169087_1797541024828_1428825308_1984955_7058727_n.jpg

    What do you think Angry and others?

    • JackBeav says:
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      It’s a ruse. It’s too simple to be anything Nike. Their real unis will have lassos and spurs in silhouettes on the jerseys and socks… and real chaps for pants. And the new school logo and number fonts will look like a cattle brand:
      http://www.nailheadspur.com/index.php?main_page=popup_image&pID=10

      oSu will be known from here forward as the Circle SU.

      They will have alternate helmets which are blue, and road jerseys which are slightly pink… because Nike finally convinced some poor sucker that “real men” don’t care what color their jerseys are.

      Actually, it’s been the standing bet at Nike to get some idiot school to wear pink since the last bet was won when some idiot school wore bras.

    • JackBeav says:
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      Here’s the full leak:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/65516705@N00/sets/72157626536160078/detail/

      They’re not absolutely horrible and being defended as cool by those emotionally and financially invested in them. So I wouldn’t count on these being the real thing.

      • JackBeav says:
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        As with every Nike uni out there, here are the year-long critiques wrapped up in 15 seconds:

      • OS_Beaver says:
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        Here are the official new Okie St. jerseys. Notice Okie St. was smart and there are 7 official combos. You want atleast 7 and different pant/jersey/helmet combos that you ACTUALLY will wear. Oregon State and too many other schools don’t use certain combos. But if you design them in a way where the look is pretty good regardless you make it more interesting and spice it up for the fans. Oregon State right now (minus the Giant Killers) is just using four combos. (This gets too repetitive and stale. With 7 or so you could highlight a couple combos or an alternate helmet more in a certain year if you wanted)

        http://www.seaoforange.com/uniforms/uniform-history/

        I am not a huge fan of gray but Oregon St. used to be the Aggies and be gray way back in the day. If we wanted it for a pant possibility I would be OK with it. I saw Rafael Nadal in a Black headband, orange shirt and gray shorts and it looked good and interesting. With WSU using it and now Okie St, we should keep its usage on the low side but I don’t think we should rule it out completely as it actually goes with our history.

        I give the Okie St. efforts a 8.4 out of 10. I gave ASU a 7.6 and WSU a 6.35.

    • JackBeav says:
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      For contrast, June Jones was threatening to take SMU into black jersey land as he did in the bowl game last year. But this was shared recently:
      http://www.ponyfans.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=52777

      Now THAT’S a nice uni. And it’s only a subtle change from what they’ve been doing for the last two years. Can you remember the crap unis SMU fans were forced to accept as recently as 2008?

  • beavers4life says:
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    I’m still waiting for the notes of last weeks practice. lol Also, where’s the write up for tonight’s baseball game Angry?!

    • angry says:
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      Seriously, Afghan what the hell?
      I forgot the game was tonight…

      • beavers4life says:
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        lol I think Afghan pulled a fast one on us when it came to taking notes for us….he just wanted attention and he got it….so now he’s on hiatus from the site cause he knows he screwed up in putting school before football….shame!! shame!!! lol

    • beavers4life says:
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      WHAT THE?! How accurate is that?! that would leave 25 Million per team!!! That’s about 5 million more than projected! That would be SICK!

      • JackBeav says:
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        I’m thinking it was a negotiation point. Fox would start at $180m. Scott would start at $300m. would meet in the middle.

        Still, it takes some brass to ask with a straight face. I guess you never know what you’re negotiating partner might do. Fox could have gone all Obama on the negotiation and said, “We want $180m. You want $300m. How about $310m and we call it a day?”

    • beavers4life says:
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      not sure how credible this site is, but it has the word “news” in it…so it must be true.

      http://blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports/2011/04/20/pac-12-tv-negotiations-the-fox-deal-the-timeline-expansion-benefits-and-what-comcast-nhl-means-to-everyone/

      • JackBeav says:
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        Wilner has heavy ties to the East Bay and has A LOT of contacts in the league office.

        • beavers4life says:
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          so then what you’re saying is that Wilner has the inside scoop? I’m all for the money over the network. Otherwise, the network better not require a subscription unless you are out of the state the league is in. What I mean is the 6 states that make up the Pac-12 should get the network in their regular programming and in basic and HD channels. Outside of the 6 states, there should be a package fee just like the big-10 network.

          If there is no network, then who cares because games will be on Fox 12, FX, ROOT Sports, and I imagine Fox college sports as well(which currently requires you to buy the package.

  • beavers4life says:
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    WHAT THE?! How accurate is that?! that would leave 25 Million per team!!! That’s about 5 million more than projected! That would be SICK!

  • brownale9000 says:
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    Speaking recruiting, we just landed a CB.

    He claims a 4.3 40. Holy balls if that’s true. JUCO kid who will be a part of the 2011 class. Appears to be a 4 to play 3 situation, which is nice.

    • angry says:
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      Well, based on his film you can see he isn’t a 4.30 (unless the other 21 guys are 4.40). He looks 4.45-ish.

      I like that he’s part of last year’s class. The thing I dislike is he tackles high/goes for the big hit. I’d say this is an average pick up. He looks serviceable at a position of need.

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