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With football staff, as with everything else, Kansas State does more with less

An informal NCAA survey examines the number of staffers in FBS

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA recently concluded an informal survey of every FBS football program to get a handle on how many total employees each school has on staff. CBS Sports got their hands on this report, and the information is interesting, although requires a large portion of salt in order to digest.

As one could probably expect, Kansas State is eighth in the Big 12 based on the available information, employing a total of 24 people including on-field coaches, strength coaches, graduate assistants, operations, and recruiting staff. That is well below the Big 12 average of 28.8, and is even outpaced by many schools outside the Power 5. 14 G5 schools employ more than 24 football staffers, led by Temple and Houston with 30 each.

In the Big 12, only Oklahoma State and West Virginia employ fewer staffers, at 20 and 23 respectively. However, the NCAA was unable to determine how many graduate assistants K-State or West Virginia employs, and was also unable to clearly determine the number of strength coaches employed by Oklahoma State, Baylor, Oklahoma, or TCU. The average Big 12 team employs 3.5 graduate assistants, which would push K-State to just below the conference average. The average Big 12 team has 3.75 strength coaches, which would move Oklahoma State up to 24.

The king of the hill in this survey is Notre Dame, which employs 45 people in the football offices. Texas is second with 44, and it’s surprising to see that Alabama only employs 31.

It should be noted that this information is very informal; the NCAA’s research was conducted by examining program websites to count employees. One artifact of this which highlights the nature of the survey is that many schools — K-State among them — are credited with more than the allowable nine on-field coaches. K-State, along with most schools, is credited with 10; a good number of schools are credited with 11, and all three service academies are credited with 13. In fact, every single conference averages at least 10 coaches in the report save for two: Conference USA and, amazingly, the Big 12.

Notre Dame’s mind-boggling number comes on the strength of an equally mind-boggling 16 support staff; for comparison, K-State has 7. But surprisingly, K-State has more recruiting staffers than the Irish, 4 to 3. Meanwhile, Texas has 8 recruiting staffers; TCU is only credited with 1, which again probably suggests inaccuracy in the data more than anything.

So what’s all this mean? The NCAA’s purpose for this informal survey is in contemplation of perhaps limiting the total staff size for football programs, rather than just the on-field coaching staff. It is questionable whether doing so would even be permissible under current NCAA legislation, and there are arguments that it might not even be beneficial to the sport. Indeed, there is virtually no correlation between success and staff size; Rutgers has 34 staffers, after all.

What do you think? Should the NCAA limit the total number of employees in each football program, or leave well enough alone? Let us know in the comments!