Report: Razorbacks top NCAA in meal spending

By: Matt Jones
Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2019
The dining area inside the Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center is shown Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.
Photo by David Gottschalk
The dining area inside the Jerry and Gene Jones Family Student-Athlete Success Center is shown Monday, Oct. 12, 2015, on the campus of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

— The University of Arkansas spent $7 million on meals for athletes during a two-year reporting period that ended in 2017, according to an analysis of nutritional spending by Forbes that was published Tuesday.

The $3.5 million-per-year average is the highest in the NCAA, according to Forbes, $400,000 more annually than Ohio State, which was second in spending at an average of $3.1 million per year.

According to Forbes, eight programs - Michigan, Iowa, Texas A&M, Texas, Minnesota and Kansas, in addition to Arkansas and Ohio State - averaged spending more than $2 million annually on food for athletes in 2016-17. The figures do not include money spent on athletes at away competition sites.

The report stated that Arkansas’ athletes are provided two meals each day at the Jerry and Gene Jones Center for Student-Athlete Success, a 55,000-square-foot dining and tutoring facility that opened in 2015.

Public universities are required to report how much they spend on meals for athletes each year. In fiscal year 2018, Arkansas spent $3,550,375 on non-travel meals, a total that includes meal allowances in addition to food and snacks.

The Razorbacks' football team spent more than $1.4 million on meals in 2018. The next-highest spender was men's track and field and cross country at $353,322.

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