Tennessee Football: Recruiting Budget Suggests Vols Aren't Spending Wisely

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterJune 12, 2012

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley
Tennessee head coach Derek DooleyStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

Derek Dooley's tenure at Tennessee hasn't been what Vols fans were expecting when he was hired prior to the 2010 season. The lack of success isn't due to a lack of effort.

According to a report by Dave Hooker of ESPN.com, Tennessee was the only school in the country to report recruiting expenses over the $1 million mark ($1.4 million) during the 2011 fiscal year. It was the second straight season that the Vols spent more than $1 million in recruiting.

What did that buy them?

An average SEC recruiting ranking of 6.3 over the last three years, according to 247Sports.com's rankings, an 11-14 (4-12 SEC) record over the last two seasons and a coach who's on one of the hottest seats in America.

Those numbers suggest that the coaching staff isn't getting the return on its investment on the recruiting trail, and the records indicate that the coaching staff is not developing the talent that it does get on campus.

So is it worth it?

It certainly doesn't appear to be.

Tennessee's problems last year stem from the loss of wide receiver Justin Hunter early in the season and quarterback Tyler Bray midway through the season more than anything else, but the bottom line doesn't lie.

On top of the woes with its recruiting budget, David Climer of The Tennessean reported in May that Tennessee's season ticket sales are down for the third straight year.

Dooley's record isn't going to buy him much more time on Rocky Top, and the fact that his staff hasn't returned Tennessee's investment on the recruiting trail can only accelerate that process.