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The Real Cost of March Madness

By Ben Steverman, with Eben Novy-Williams and Seth Magalaner - 2012-03-21T23:12:14Z

Photograph by Damian Strohmeyer /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

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Coaches fly across the country scouting high school players, despite rules that significantly limit direct contact with recruits. A Bloomberg News analysis found the basketball program at University of Kentucky spent $434,095 on recruiting in fiscal 2010, the most of 53 public universities in the six biggest college sports conferences. The University of Wisconsin -- which is in the Sweet 16 this year -- spent the least, at $57,397. Division I universities spent $150 million recruiting for all sports in 2010, according to Department of Education data.

Last October, the Division I board of directors adopted a new recruiting model that allows unlimited calls and text messages to recruits and permits contact with college juniors and seniors through social media networks.