Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kentucky's Final Four trip cost nearly a half million dollars

The University of Kentucky Wildcats won their eighth national title in school history back in April, but it didn't come without a cost. UK reportedly racked up quite a tab during their stay in New Orleans for the 2012 NCAA Final Four - a bill upwards of $370,000 to be exact - and that's not even including the $350,000 bonus head coach John Calipari received for winning the championship game.

Some of the notable expenditures include:

+ Nearly $40,000 extra to charter an additional flight to The Big Easy, for extra passengers
+ $500 to $700 a day for deep tissue massages given to players by therapists
+ $52,000 for a week's worth of food for the team
+ $154,818.92 for 117 rooms at the Crown Plaza Hotel
+ Tens of thousands of dollars for security, rental cars, buses, parking, and equipment
+ $350,000 to Calipari for winning the championship
+ An additional $42,000 for extra rings, jackets, caps, and printed photos of the team after the title game, most of which went to major donors as gifts

Add everything up and you've got a total cost of nearly $1 million.

Credit goes to Duane Pohlman of WLKY for being the one who not only scoured over the expense reports, but for putting UK Executive Associates Athletic Director DeWayne Peevey on the hot seat as well. Some of the answers given by Peevey were strictly textbook while others were simply humorous. Here are a few examples:

"That was something the guys say really helped rejuvenate them," said Peevey regarding the legitimacy of paying out nearly $5k for massages. Yeah, I bet.

And then there was this little gem by Peevey later on in the interview, "We're used to a certain level of accommodation. It was a little sub-par to our liking for some of our kids," said Peevey on the reason why UK chose another restaurant for its players after spending about $30k on another.

Peevy would later add this remark regarding the reason for the eatery change, "It wasn't something a normal person would go in there and understand the difference."

Yeah, you're right. Pardon us "normal people" for thinking that having $50k to flush away on food in less than a week isn't adequate.

All in all, it just goes to show that winning doesn't come cheap. It takes a great a deal of investment, and an even greater knack for frivolous spending along the way.


  1. this story is really bush league

  2. I'd be more impressed if Duane Pohlman had also taken the time to assess the amount of cash, which directly and indirectly came INTO the University of Kentucky as a result of that trip/championship. I know from long experience that gifts of caps, rings, etc. to major donors pay for themselves many, many times over. The Final Four trip, especially with a national championship, brought many millions to UK from more sources than Mr. Pohlman can count or is even aware of. The event will bring cash to the school for many years to come. To publish the expenses without an accurate assessment of income over those expenses is just an invidious and petty exercise - not surprising from a (University of Louisville)" station. We'll wait until the next time the Cardinals win a national championship and assess their expenses, then compare notes. Meanwhile let us get on with the celebration !

    1. ditto my thoughts exactly dead on GO BIG BLUE

  3. Jimmy, your Bush League comments with their blatant self-righteousness do not deserve rebuttal.

  4. Let's see, eight! Count 'em, Eight National Titles + NIT Championships before there was ever an NCAA tourney. Sit Down
    Jimmy! You, too Duane!