You gotta spend money… well, because you gotta spend money.

The Knight Commission maintains a handy, dandy college sports spending database you can access (h/t Jon Solomon).  There’s plenty of interesting stuff you can glean from the Georgia page.  Start with overall spending trends related to athletes and the general student population.

TRENDS IN SPENDING AND INSTITUTIONAL FUNDING

The median amounts for academic, athletic, and football spending along with institutional funding for athletics are shown on a per capita basis for the defined years. Amounts reflect current dollars.

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
ACADEMIC SPENDING PER FTE STUDENT+27% from 2005-2012
$8,891 $9,597 $10,064 $10,907 $11,063 $10,823 $10,980 $11,305
ATHLETIC SPENDING PER ATHLETE+98% from 2005-2012
$84,302 $115,025 $119,467 $131,615 $156,833 $149,711 $149,832 $166,524
INSTITUTIONAL FUNDING FOR ATHLETICS PER ATHLETE+7% from 2005-2012
$5,683 $5,569 $5,711 $5,619 $6,241 $6,206 $5,932 $6,075
FOOTBALL SPENDING PER SCHOLARSHIP FOOTBALL PLAYER+96% from 2005-2012
$136,223 $191,055 $178,869 $209,671 $235,174 $206,123 $259,251 $267,178

(Amounts reflect current dollars.)

Two things to note here – one, spending per football player far outstrips pending per student or per student-athlete, and the rate of that spread has increased dramatically over the period measured.  Second, it’s spending  per student/athlete/football player, not spending on student/athlete/football player being compared in that table.

For perspective, here’s what football spending per scholarship football player, minus scholarship expenses, looks like for that period:

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA+99% from 2005-2012
$119,985 $173,710 $160,226 $188,540 $210,744 $180,778 $231,783 $239,311

That actually increased at a faster rate than overall spending per football player did.

Georgia’s doing nothing unusual there.  If you look at the comparisons, B-M is generally right in line with its Southeastern Conference peers when it comes to increasing spending rates over those eight years.  (In fact, Georgia lags the SEC median in coaching salary raises per player.)

So where else is that money going?  Well, based on outstanding debt, a lot looks to be going into improvements.

TOTAL DEBT OUTSTANDING ON ATHLETIC FACILITIES

Total athletic facilities debt balances owed by the athletics department that have not been previously paid.

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA+58% from 2005-2012
$74,657,482 $102,332,801 $99,983,540 $97,473,033 $94,979,017 $92,408,103 $120,770,821 $118,096,570
SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE MEDIAN+76% from 2005-2012
$52,710,061 $57,706,911 $58,846,526 $73,722,043 $89,805,000 $83,915,000 $106,073,955 $92,790,000
FBS MEDIAN+93% from 2005-2012
$20,250,000 $20,139,900 $27,663,090 $26,235,236 $32,055,476 $37,825,837 $33,097,334 $39,155,000

As the next chart on that page indicates, that’s actually a slower rate of debt incurment than the school has accrued overall (+87%).  Now it’s unlikely the school and the athletic department are borrowing 100% of their improvement costs.  What we can’t tell from that information is what is being spent out-of-pocket for both, and who’s carrying what part of those tabs.

One other thing here – McGarity is spending more on debt service, considerably more, than Damon was.

ANNUAL DEBT SERVICE ON ATHLETIC FACILITIES

Payment of principal and interest on athletic facilities debt in the reporting year.

2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA+147% from 2005-2012
$3,185,357 $5,759,353 $6,048,153 $6,092,059 $6,196,205 $5,717,083 $5,463,055 $7,853,957

Before you start feeling sorry for the reserve fund, keep in mind that the 2012 figure is exactly at the conference median.

So what to take from these numbers?  Well, obviously, football is king, but that’s hardly a surprise at either Georgia or the conference it plays in.  Almost as obvious, as the money keeps rolling in to athletic departments and relatively little of it flows directly to the players, it’s still going to get spent.  Which is more than you can say for spending on the school’s side.

We have an interesting set of priorities, in other words.

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5 Comments

Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

5 responses to “You gotta spend money… well, because you gotta spend money.

  1. I say we take some of that money and hire tutors for the 10 per cent of our athletes that are functionally illiterate .

  2. South FL Dawg

    I think you need to look at debt service in relation to cash reserves. If one person gets cheap money and finances despite having money in the bank, that is different from a person living paycheck to paycheck. It’s an interesting can of worms you’ve opened up – how much of the growth is leveraged. And why.

  3. AthensHomerDawg

    “–Georgia is ushering in a “Stanford model” to endow coaching positions. A $1 million gift from a yet unnamed donor has already been made to endow the AD position.” There is that 30 million endowment to UGa from the reserve as well.

  4. Bowen’s Revenue Theory of Costs strikes again.

  5. Bulldog Joe

    Georgia’s football spending per scholarship player jumped up to SEC-levels in 2011 and 2012, perhaps because we had fewer scholarship players than everyone else.