If you’re Greg McGarity, the problem with telling a journalist in an interview about the ticket price increase that “We had to do this to make ends meet,” is that you run the risk of said journalist doing his job to find out whether that’s actually the case.
It begged the question: Is that actually true? Did Georgia have to raise ticket prices to make budget?
DawgNation undertook an examination of the finances of the UGA athletics department, using available data, information gathered over the past year and insight from an independent financial analyst.
If you honestly have to ask what the analyst concluded, you haven’t been reading this blog often enough.
Oh, okay. I know the suspense is killing you.
The irony is that any financial risk faced by UGA athletics linked to its football program is now even lower than ever, which would make any such purely voluntary ’emergency fund’ even less needed than before.
Say it ain’t so, Joe. I’m shocked, shocked, to hear that. But what about McGarity’s prior excuse for an $80 million reserve fund — the green umbrella for that rainy day that never seems to come?
Last year, in defending the reserve fund, McGarity said it was a “rainy day fund.” He listed a number of possibilities to plan for, just in case. But when presented with increased costs in coaching salaries this year, Georgia athletic leadership did not dip into the reserve fund. They chose to raise ticket prices…
Maybe the rainy day fund needs its own rainy day fund.
In Georgia’s case, it’s the coming raises for Smart and his staff that have yet to be revealed. Publicly, they may be the reason for raising ticket prices. But Seaman said he suspects the real reason is simple economics.
“Since nonprofit organizations often behave quite similarly to for-profit firms, even given their legal requirement of not distributing any ‘profits’ to ‘owners’,” Seaman said, “this UGA behavior is quite consistent with standard profit-maximizing behavior in response to demand increases.”
Seaman doesn’t explain why McGarity isn’t capable of being straight about that, but I’m pretty sure we don’t really need any special insight there.