The Financial and Competitive Value of NCAA Basketball Recruits

Journal of Sports Economics, Forthcoming

30 Pages Posted: 6 Oct 2015 Last revised: 1 May 2017

See all articles by Richard Borghesi

Richard Borghesi

University of South Florida-Sarasota

Date Written: August 27, 2015


In this paper we examine the value of high school basketball prospects and results indicate that each five-star (four-star) recruit generates $625,000 ($178,000) in marginal revenue for his university. Additionally, university academic donations are strongly related to basketball performance and five-star recruits bring in an additional $5,800,000 in funding on average as a result of their contribution to team success. Calculations indicate that if five-star players were to be fairly compensated, their earnings would be approximately $613,000. Four-star prospects would be paid roughly $166,000, three-star recruits $91,000, and two- and one-star players $50,000.

Keywords: NCAA Basketball, Recruiting, Financial Value, Competitive Performance

JEL Classification: J31, J41, J52

Suggested Citation

Borghesi, Richard, The Financial and Competitive Value of NCAA Basketball Recruits (August 27, 2015). Journal of Sports Economics, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Richard Borghesi (Contact Author)

University of South Florida-Sarasota ( email )

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Sarasota, FL 34243-2049
United States
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