The state Board of Regents has set limits on the amount of money from student fees and tuition that can go toward athletic programs. If you’re one of Georgia’s smaller fry schools, that’s a huge deal. Here are the deets:
The Regents set limits on the amount of money from student fees and tuition that can go toward athletic programs at the state’s public colleges and universities. The cap will be between 65 percent and 85 percent of the athletic budget at most schools, depending on each school’s athletic association.
The new rules come as a national review of the high cost of athletics at some schools has led to debate about rising college costs and whether students get a good return on their investment when they foot the bill for sports. The goal is for Georgia colleges to seek money for sports through fundraising and other revenue sources beyond what students pay.
All well and good at UGA. But elsewhere, not so much.
Georgia State University would have to cut the amount of student fees and tuition that fund its athletic programs by about $700,000, according to a new policy adopted by the state’s Board of Regents on Tuesday.
Part two is more of the same in terms where the crunch will fall.
The new rules also cap growth in athletics expenses at 5 percent a year.
The policy update will have little impact on athletic powerhouses Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia, which already fund most of their sports programs through broadcasting rights, contributions, ticket sales and other revenue sources. UGA relied on just 2.8 percent of student funding for sports last year; Georgia Tech, 7.2 percent. Both were well under the 10 percent cap placed on them.
Georgia State is one of six schools — along with Armstrong State, Middle Georgia State, East Georgia State, Gordon State and Atlanta Metropolitan State colleges — that is over the subsidy cap, and must cut its reliance on student funding. Almost 68 percent of Georgia State’s athletics budget was subsidized last year, almost 3 percentage points higher than the 65 percent cap now set.
Personally speaking, this is a long time coming and the BOR is to be commended for adopting these policies. But there’s little doubt it’s more of the rich getting richer. I doubt Georgia Tech will mind much if Georgia State has a harder time raising money to be competitive.
Meanwhile, McGarity gets to keep students contributing to the reserve fund and can tell Kirby there’s only so much new spending a year he can do. Win-win, baby!