I came across this article in the Baton Rouge paper yesterday and was going to post something about it today, when I noticed that Seth Emerson beat me to the punch. The article is written from the perspective of income and expenses of the SEC baseball programs, but tucked in its midst is this chart.
You read that correctly. Georgia finished with the third-smallest profit in the conference, sans private school Vanderbilt. That’s more than a 50% drop from the previous fiscal year. Revenue increased approximately $8.5 million year over year, while the increase in expense, around $19.5 million, far outpaced that.
One would surmise that most of that jump in expense can be attributed to new spending on the football program — those new support staffers don’t pay themselves, homes — but it’s also worth remembering that the proposed budgets for this fiscal year and the next slow that rate of increase to roughly $7.5 million for the current school year and $4.5 million for the 2017-18 school year.
On the spending side, what that suggests is three things: one, Butts-Mehre has taken the criticism of underfunding the football program for years to heart (day late, dollar short for Richt, of course); two, such financial support appears now to be at a satisfactory level, given the slowing of the rate of growth; and three, such relative plateauing indicates some significant ROI is expected, and fairly soon.
What we don’t know, of course, is how wisely the money has been spent, or who bore responsibility for prioritizing the spending (which might be different ways of saying the same thing), although I approach that with the attitude that the more Kirby’s thumb was on the scale, the better.
I don’t need to spell out what that suggests on the revenue side, do I?