Ever wonder how much money an individual player was worth to a university? So did Robert Brown, a professor at Cal State-San Marcos who has spent 15 years studying the value of college athletes. He put together a formula to estimate how much members of last year's North Carolina and Illinois basketball teams meant to their schools.
You can read about how he calculated things in the article, but he figures that a player with an NBA future is worth between $900,000 and $1.2 million per year* to their athletic department. Raymond Felton was worth $1.18 million, followed by Sean May at $1.02 mil. For Illinois, Deron Williams, Luther Head, and Dee Brown all checked in between $940,000 and $975,000.
Now, consider those figures, and then the amount that UNC spent on players' scholarships: $318,097. Not a bad little racket they have going. So maybe the next time a shady coach promises a high school player an Escalade to come to his school, it won't be seen as a shady recruiting practice, but rather, a shrewd investment on behalf of an institution of higher learning.
* Note: Calcuations include only basketball contributions, and not any potential proceeds from make-you-want-to-sew-your-ear-holes-closed rap songs, such as the one recorded by UConn's Ed Nelson.