Sure, $92 million’s nothing to sneer at, but…

USA Today has published a breakdown of college athletics revenues/expenditures for the period of 2006 – 2011 in handy chart form here.  If you’re interested in that kind of stuff, there’s some fascinating data worth a look.

And if you’re a Georgia fan, you ought to be more than interested.  Here’s why:

Put another way, in 2006, of the eleven public institutions in the SEC, Georgia ranked second in revenue.   Five years later, it ranks sixth.  Graphically, here’s how that looks:

The red line is Georgia’s revenue.  The blue line is the median for the conference.

The big story is contributions, which are defined as “Includes amounts received directly from individuals, corporations, associations, foundations, clubs or other organizations by the donor for the operation of the athletics program. Report amounts paid in excess of a ticket’s value. Contributions include cash, marketable securities and in-kind contributions such as dealer-provided cars, apparel and drink products for team and staff use. Also includes revenue from preferential seating.”  There is only one SEC school which saw a decline in 2011 contributions from their 2006 level.  That would be the school in Athens.

It’s hard to put a finger on an exact cause for that.  The economy?  Maybe, but that hasn’t stopped every other school in the conference from registering an increase.  Disappointing seasons?  You’d certainly think that played a major part, although Florida seems to have weathered its recent storm better than has Georgia.

The other area that explains the slide is called “other revenue”.  That is “All other sources of revenue including game guarantees, support from third-parties guaranteed by the school such as TV income, housing allowances, camp income, etc.; tournament/bowl game revenues from conferences; endowments and investments; revenue from game programs, novelties, food or other concessions; and parking revenues and other sources.”  The amount Georgia collected in this category last year ($2,116,893) was over $3 million less than what was received in 2006 and ranked eighth in the SEC.

Now this is all athletic revenue, so you can’t hang the entire story on the football program, but let’s not kid ourselves.  Football is the main driver of money for Georgia athletics.  If the numbers are flatlining, that’s more about what Mark Richt is putting on the table than the rest of Georgia’s coaches put together.  Does that mean Richt’s seat is warmer than we thought?  Probably not, but I’d be surprised if this was a trend that doesn’t concern the people Richt answers to.  And the people those people answer to.

One thing’s for sure, there’s a pretty big gap growing between what the top programs in the SEC are bringing in and what McGarity’s programs are taking in.  And in a league where you have to spend money to excel – or at least think you do – falling behind isn’t something to get comfortable about if you want to keep your job.

In other words, it sure wouldn’t hurt if the football team had a great season this year.


Filed under Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

46 responses to “Sure, $92 million’s nothing to sneer at, but…

  1. JW

    Almost everyone I know either decreased their contributions to the Hartman fund or stopped all together when tailgating policy was changed. Our group had met there every home game for nearly 20 years. And the basketball program can’t be helping either…

    • Puffdawg

      My first thought was similar to this. They have ruined the gameday experience, or at least they’ve tried to. People are finally saying screw it and staying home to what on TV. If they spent less money paying the parking czar to ride around in his golf cart making sure people don’t have any tailgating gear outside their car at 6:57 a.m. and spent more on trash cans for North Campus, they might not be running people off. I swear, WTF did they think was going to happen by putting all these stupid ass rules in place. Originally, they claimed we couldn’t set up early because tailgaters disrupt campus. Now, when we’re standing by our tailgate at 6:30 a.m. waiting to set up, we can’t even hear each other talking because of the massive LOUD cranes across the street. Sore spot for me. I think the University completely takes a dump on the people who support the program in this regard.

      • MaconDawg


        The administration’s requests for early kickoffs also help kill the gameday experience for a game or two or three each year.

  2. piper

    2006 was following a championship season, so you’d expect our starting point to be higher. i’d like the see the data from pre-richt or 2001 forward. wonder if we were middling then moved to #2 in 2006 after several successful seasons before dropping back to the pack. or if we’d been near the top regularly before dropping back.

    • MGW

      This does seem like the kind of thing that isn’t instant, but more of a wave that follows a few years behind performance. The 06-10 slump is finally catching up, I think.

      • DawgPhan

        Hard to say that these results are tied to on the field performance. MSU, Ole Miss, TN, and Kentucky are all up more than us. Something is dragging on those numbers that doesnt seem to tie directly to wins and loses.

      • Puffdawg

        This might seem logical but fan (and ticket) interest was at an all time high in 2008 when we were the #1 rated football team in the country.

  3. TennesseeDawg

    Tennessee had much more revenue and a much higher increase (41% to 17%). Explain that after the complete debacle the Tennessee football program has been?

  4. Joe

    The main reason is that we were so far ahead of the curve on marketing, licensing, scoreboard rights, etc. that this was bound to happen as our contracts aged and others began fresh ones. When these revenue streams are refreshed we will go back to the lead or close as well. It is really that simple.

    • DawgPhan

      I can’t imagine that we are leaving $20million/year on the table because of bad licensing contracts. People just not buying the new UGA hat?

      • Mayor of Dawgtown

        Nobody will remember but I posted about this 2 years ago. Something funny was going on with the “other revenue” category of income while ol’ Red Panties was in charge. It was right there in the numbers. UGA was near the top in football earnings but near the bottom in this category (licensing fees, etc.). Supposedly a “new deal” was in the works being negotiated by Red Panties that was supposed to correct that, at least that was the party line. The problem was masked by how much money UGA was making overall in football. Glad somebody is finally noticing.

  5. stoopnagle

    Good points, but aren’t our ticket prices relatively low? and giving up the home games against gimmies for Arizona State and Colorado probably didn’t help. A home game is worth $2 million, right?

  6. concerned alumni

    My guess is that the stringent admission policy is hurting UGA. People stop donating when their children, who are good students, cannot get into UGA. Too many kids that would have been great Dawgs for life are now attending Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss, etc.

    • DawgPhan

      So hope got all the credit last week for any success during the Adams tenure. Now hope gets the blame for the drop in athletic revenues.

      If your child can’t get into UGA, you need look no further than the man in the mirror.

      • Normaltown Mike

        Michael Jackson?

        • DawgPhan

          exactly..if your great student spent his high school years drinking jesus juice and moonwalking through senior math, he might end up as Just Good Friends with UGA or worse yet, UGA could tell him to Leave Me Along or just out and out Beat It.

      • concerned alumni

        My great student got into UGA, but I know a lot of others who did not. I am saying that all this diversity is great, but do not expect to see generous donations from these students. If you don’t think UGA’s donations are affected when Junior can’t get into school you are dead wrong. It is hard to argue with the academic success UGA has enjoyed for the last 10-15 years, but it will eventually hurt athletic donations. If some one gives the university $10,000 for 20 years and their child is denied admission they will not be so willing to write that check next year. Furthermore the kid from New Jersey that got admitted instead will most likely never donate anything to UGA.

        • rbcdawg

          There aren’t more out-of-staters attending Georgia b/c of the stringent admission policies. If anything, b/c of the Hope, it’s the other way around. Not sure what you’re talking about.

        • Georgia Roads Scholar

          If anything, HOPE has hurt athletic donations by keeping football or sports-apathetic Georgians in state. If some random kid from New York is going to pay the money to go to an out-of-state public university, there’s likely something drawing them besides academics, because he or she could get the same education for far cheaper closer to home. More often than not, that X-factor is football.

          On the other hand, the price of going to Georgia might convince someone from Gwinnett County who hates football to stick around, rather than head up north or out west to college. That person is far less likely to donate to the athletic department than the Yankee who was drawn here by fall Saturdays in the first place.

      • Anon

        People might stop giving to the Foundation, but they don’t stop giving to the Hartman Fund for their football tickets.

    • Normaltown Mike

      I’ve not met any. I know numerous instances where kids can’t get in so they go to SC, Bama, etc. and transfer after Freshman year, delay entrance by one semester or go to a 2nd tier community college for a bit before transferring.

      I also know some that the kids go to those schools and have a great time and stay there. But Bob from Buford doesn’t cancel his season tix, tear off his Uga stickers and buy a Cock-boose in Columbia b/c Junior couldn’t get in to Georgia so all of a sudden he’s pulling for a former rival.

  7. Lost Dawg

    This data simply says that people have lost faith in Richt as a head coach. I am sure that there are other factors as well, but none larger than our head coach. This program has averaged 4+ L’s for 6 staight seasons. That is not an impressive trend. Nor is that cherry picking a bad season here and there. Do the math: 9-4 (4-4) + 11-2 (6-2) + 10-3 (6-2) 8-5 (4-4) + 6-7 (3-5) + 10-4 (7-1) = 9 – 4+ (5+ – 3). Is it any surprise donations are down? What shocks me the most is that Richt is still the head coach.

    • JunkYard Dawg '00

      The data simply says that people have lost faith in CR? You’re shocked that he is still the head coach? You’re shocked that the same coach that brought this program two SEC championships, and a chance at another within his first five years is given the chance to turn around a few struggling years? Did you forget that it had been twenty years before he arrived that UGA had won an SEC championship? Do you have such an agenda that you conveniently forget that during this supposed “time frame of shame” his teams were averaging 4 losses a year his team also made it all the way to the top of the national rankings- Along with another shot at winning the SECCG last year? Those are tough standards you hold our coach to there… Wonder if you hold yourself to the same standard in your career?

      • Skeptic Dawg

        No, I did not 2001-2005 under Richt. But that was 7years ago. In my field 2 subpar years will get you canned. As for my agenda, it is merely to see the Dawgs and UGA succeed. That is simply not happening under Richt, nor has it happened in some time. Apparently we have differing views of success. You are willing to accept 4 loss seasons while I am not. The bottom line is we both want to see the program win. I simply do not think Richt is not capable of delivering the goods.

        • JunkYard Dawg '00

          Agreed. We both want to see UGA have success and have differing views on what success we’re willing to accept. And I honestly think that is a good thing. To your point, I’d hate for our program to settle for anything less than elite status, and I understand my attitude could lead to complacency if taken to the extreme. However, I think its important to remember that consistency can be a strength and shaking things up at the head coach position isn’t as obvious of a move as you make it out to be. From my view point (which could certainly change at the end of the season) I see a weakened east division that is ripe for the taking this year and possibly for many years down the road. But, if you change leadership right now you relegate our program down to the UT’s and UF’s and give them the chance to catch up without having to go through the self doubt and earn it. That’s my main point.

          Also, what I don’t comprehend is why you think its so definitive that MR is not the coach that can bring us back ? Has he not show he can win an SECCG? He has already shown he can… twice, and played in the championship game twice more. These days winning the SECCG will put you in the BCSCG more times than not so why is it so obvious he can’t turn things around? He and his team overachieved by your expectations just last year!
          I think history shows us that all coaches and programs will have their ups and downs and back up again… See Vince Dooley & 1980 season… after 16 years as head coach. Sometimes revenge takes a little patience to play out and I for one cannot wait to see what gauntlet this team throws down in 2012.

        • Puffdawg

          First of all, I think it’s hilarious that now it’s clear you are a fairweather fan, you’ve decided to use multiple monikers. Or are you just trying to give the impression of having more people behind your agenda than acutally are. Either way, use of mulitple names is about as lame as it gets.

          Second, your analogy to your business is relative and, frankly, inaccurate. If you had Mark Richt’s track record, you’s be president of your company. If you proved to be one of the best in your business in the country over an 8 year span while competing in the toughest region in the country*** and then had a couple of tough years, you would be retained by your company. You say he had subpar years. What you failed to include is he had subpar years “relative to what we’ve come to expect under his watch.” With respect to “par,” the man has been well above the national and SEC par every single season in Athens with the exception of 2010.

          ***I love how people only want to give Richt credit for 2001-2005. What about the 2006 team who finished the season with wins against #5 Auburn, #15 GT, and #14 VT? Or 2007 when we finished the season with wins against #16 Alabama, #9 UF, #19 Auburn, #25 Kentucky, and #10 Hawaii and finished at #2 in the country? Or the time in 2008 we spent at #1 in the country?

          • Puffdawg

            And none of that even takes into account the loyalty he has shown his “company.” When things were going great and other companies came calling, he told them to take a hike, because he loves his current company so much. And for that, I personally commend him.

            • JunkYard Dawg '00

              Well stated Puffdawg. I didn’t think bringing in the character aspect of MR would convince the likes of SD but you really did a great job laying it out there. What is it with people who get tired of nice people doing well in life? If you ask me, there’s not enough of it. Not saying this about SD in particular but it sure is a great too many people that do not like the good character guy, especially when they are successful. Probably reflects some inherent guilt I suppose. Anyway, count me as a proud Dawg that hopes Richt knocks ’em all down this year!

  8. BulldogBen

    I think it’s the accumulation of all of it. Bad tailgating policies, the economy, lackluster seasons, no wins over Top 25 teams for 3 years, bad kickoff times, and bad home schedules. You provide people with a lesser gameday experience and combine it with mediocre seasons and you get a recipe for people finding other outlets for their entertainment dollar.

    • MaconDawg

      I agree totally.

      • DawgPhan

        Has UT been providing people with a better gameday experience for the last 5 years?

        • Normaltown Mike

          It’s probably that half-bear-half-cat girl that keeps UT fans coming back for more. Wild as a mink but sweet as soda pop.

        • Z-Dawg

          I hate Orange but UT was has brought in UCLA, Oregon, and Cal over that span and we have had Okie State, Colorado, and AZ State…Also the tailgating experience has not been scaled back there and Administration is terrified of its base and will axe a legend to keep the fan$ happy when empty seats appear…We should be ashamed that we have not lapped the hillbillies in revenue at this point

        • MaconDawg

          No but they do have fewer sports entertainment options in Tennessee.

        • Bulldog Joe

          UT had ample parking if you arrived a couple hours before gametime, restrooms available in the unlocked university buildings, available trash receptacles, no hassling from local “authorities”, and a friendly, welcoming attitude from those working on game day, even for the visiting fans.

          Also, the stadium food courts had options from competitive local restaurants and fans were not forced to settle for the low-quality, unhealthy ARA fare.

          Overall, a good experience.

          • athletic department clown

            Stop making sense. You should be thankful you’re allowed in Sanford. Now shut up and keep sending those checks.

  9. DawgPhan

    Also of note is that the only game that everyone keeps saying the is the “only” good home game this year, Vandy, still isnt sold out.

  10. DawgPhan

    To be honest our tailgate has not slowed in the least bit because of any rule changes. I can barely notice any difference. If anything they have gotten a little rowdier in the last 2 years. We leave the trailer at the house, but everything gets there and we have a good time.

  11. John

    Its also important to look at what those institutions are doing. Most of the “lower tier” institutions are spending large amounts of money to upgrade facilities to make them on par with ours. The amount of money those institutions have on hand or are stockpiling hasn’t increased. They have been forced to try to squeeze harder to “catch up” in facilities, stadiums, or to pay bigger and bigger ticket coaches.

  12. AusDawg85

    I wonder how big a factor “Other Revenue” was effected by bowl revenue. The Liberty Bowl revenue may have been booked in 2010, and the Outback Bowl will be booked this year, so you have a big drop-off in 2011 TV/Bowl related revenue?

  13. BMan

    Before I looked at the charts, I tried to guess which schools in the SEC had likely passed UGA by on the way up. The only one I left out was UT. When I think about it, though, UT probably brought in a fair amount from basketball, heck even women’s basketball (at least to the point that it wasn’t a drain on the checkbook). Alabama has Saban and the money is pouring in, same with LSU and their program. The hillbillies in UT probably opened up the checkbooks a bit when Phil got Phired. Cammy Cam helped Auburn raise the profile. And UGA has been treading water by comparison, and pissing off the live-event viewing audience on top of that. If only those panties in Damon Evans’ car would have belonged to Michael Adams…

  14. The problems are the changes in the tailgating policy, game time, student ticketing, and parking that caused the decreases, plus the disappointing seasons.

  15. Keese

    If I remember correctly, the first game that wasn’t a sellout in Richt’s tenure was a cupcake game in 2011