Friday, June 17, 2011

UGA Getting Beat in the Money Game

I don't know about anyone else but I've always heard that UGA's athletic department makes this "great profit" every year. I've even heard that they are the most profitable athletics department in the country. Well, yesterday, USA Today published an article that simultaneously agrees and disagrees with that notion. The study took data from the 2009-10 "top 22" money making athletic programs in the country (the only athletic departments that can generate enough revenue through ticket sales, media relations, donations, and "other sources" to cover their own expenses) and sure, UGA was on the list. The problem is, so are four other SEC schools. Most importantly, of those four other SEC schools, three generated more revenue than UGA (Alabama, LSU, and Florida).

Here is the summary for only the SEC schools in the top 22 (difference = profit):

In case you are wondering, Alabama ranked 2nd nationally in terms of revenue (Texas #1) and was also #2 in terms of profit (Oregon was #1, UGA was #9). Now, you might be saying, "Well, we didn't earn as much as LSU or Florida but we made a larger profit". That's true, but think about it: Why would a public university really need to make a gigantic profit? As long as we are not in the red at the end of the year, why not spent as much as possible? And it's not like our ticket sales are worse than these other schools. What this tells me is that the "brand" prestige of UGA (i.e. clothing and other official paraphernalia) is nowhere near these other SEC schools. Heck, the most similar team to UGA on the list in terms of numbers was Iowa (Tot. Rev = 88.7M, Exp. = 74.4M). 

All I'm saying is that for UGA to get back on top, we might need to invest a little more into our program. For Alabama, Florida, and LSU to be earning well over $100 million AND spending $100 million-plus while Georgia only makes $89.7M and spends $77M...that's a bit disappointing (Michigan State spent $78M). Additionally, Georgia was one of only five teams in this top 22 to REDUCE spending from '09 to '10. What's the old saying, you gotta spend money to make money?


  1. I think Mr. McGarity agrees with you. And I think we're going to see more of a shift towards that philosophy. As great as Damon Evans was as a business man, there's been several rumblings that he didn't like spending money.

  2. "Why would a public university really need to make a gigantic profit?"

    The University didn't turn a gigantic profit. The AD did. There's a BIG difference.

    And before declaring spending = wins, it would be wise to analyze each school's expenditures. There are thousands of individual spending variables at play for each Athletic Department that is necessary to take into account before making such a sweeping judgment.

  3. Anon 11:48,

    In the SEC, I WOULD argue that revenue/spending = wins. The three teams above us in the conference have all won National Titles in the past decade (UF and LSU have won multiple).