Texas reportedly spent $280,000 on official Arch Manning recruiting visit

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The Texas Longhorns have spared no expense in their pursuit of No. 1 rookie Arch Manning this summer.

During Manning’s official recruiting visit to Austin in June, the university spent nearly $280,000, according to The Athletic, which obtained receipts and expense invoices with open-record requests. Texas rolled out the red carpet for Manning and eight other recruits which included airfare, 5-star hotels, food, dessert, entertainment and an open bar for parents.

Manning, the nephew of Peyton and Eli Manning, made a verbal commitment shortly after the visit.

Now, that may seem like a lot of money at first glance, but consider that the university is authorized to provide housing, meals, and entertainment for up to four family members per recruit. Nine recruits times four family members each equals 36 guests to host. That’s before including coaches and school staff. The tab will go up quickly for any school with that many guests.

And it’s not like the universities don’t have the money either. Alabama and Clemson have given head coaches Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney over $11 million per season, while Georgia head coach Kirby Smart makes over $10 million per season. Not to mention, Texas gave head coach Steve Sarkisian $34.2 million over six years in 2021 along with $21 million in contracts for his staff.

Manning’s commitment also brings almost incalculable value to Texas. He’s their biggest quarterback recruit since Vince Young in 2002 and will likely be on the roster when Texas joins the SEC. Manning should also be in line for huge name, image and likeness deals given the Longhorns’ following and lack of professional teams in the area.

How Texas spent its money

Athletic broke down — as much as it could — where and how Texas spent the full $280,000 this weekend. Here is a breakdown:

  • $21,000 in travel expenses for recruits and their families, including out-of-state airfare.

  • $46,696 on 34 hotel rooms at the Four Seasons Austin.

  • $17,319.71 on a buffet lunch on Friday.

  • $1,813.74 in personalized cakes and other snacks in each recruit’s hotel room.

  • $3,359.12 on speaker rentals for photo ops at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium and Moncrief-Neuhaus Athletic Center.

  • $29,129.40 on a buffet dinner at DKR that included cutlery rental, drinks and an ice sculpture.

  • $11,880 on an open bar for rookie parents.

  • Another hotel buffet at 2am

  • $10,226 on a Saturday breakfast buffet.

  • $9,497.72 on a trip to Top Golf for 75 guests in total, including food and beverages.

  • $36,900 off dinner at III Forks Steakhouse which included 46 7oz lobsters, 34 bone-in rib eye, 26 8oz tenderloins, 17 New York strips, sea bass, chicken fried lobster, lobster mac and cheese, and more.

  • $2,357.50 for a one-hour boat cruise on Lady Bird Lake that included dessert from Amy’s Ice Cream.

  • Bar bill of $31,628.75 for parents at the W Austin hotel.

What a weekend.

But was it worth it for Texas? Luring Manning was the ultimate prize, but three of the other eight rookies also committed to the Longhorns: four-star defensive lineman Sydir Mitchell, four-star cornerback Malik Muhammad and four-star tight end and high school teammate Manning Will Randle. Four-star receiver Mikal Harrison-Pilot remains uncommitted, but reportedly would choose between Texas, Oklahoma, TCU, Houston and Cal.

The spending will be notable due to the six figures, but it’s unclear where this weekend ranks among what other schools have spent on other recruiting trips in the past. And when Manning joins the Longhorns in 2023, people will forget how much money Texas spent if he makes it in Austin.

The University of Texas invited and dined No. 1 overall recruit Arch Manning. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

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