The vision thing

Virginia athletic director Carla Williams brought staff down to Georgia to see “what it looks like and what the possibilities are and what the vision is” ($$).

“It” being one thing Georgia’s athletic department excels at these days:  raising money from donors.

The interesting thing here is that in certain important ways, UVa is a polar opposite to UGA.  Unlike Georgia’s, Virginia’s existing endowment is massive ($9.5 billion).  Nor has Virginia suffered through a school president like Michael Adams, who alienated a significant portion of the donor base.  Clearly, nobody in Charlottesville has to be concerned about reaching out for contributions.

On the other hand, as Staples points out, Georgia has been far more committed, financially speaking, to its football program than Virginia ever has.

This is new territory for a program accustomed to spending among the least on football in the ACC. In the past four years of data submitted to the U.S. Department of Education, Virginia ranked either No. 11 or No. 12 in spending on football. In fiscal 2017, the last year of available data, Virginia was No. 11 at $22.6 million…

On Saturday at Notre Dame, Virginia will face a program that spent $42.8 million on football last year. This is why Williams took her team to Georgia (which spent $44.9 on football in that year, which also included an SEC title, a Rose Bowl win and a trip to the national title game).

So, you’ve got a wonderful source of funding that has gone relatively untapped and you want to mine it to build a football program.  Who you gonna call?

Williams’ former boss, Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity, said Virginia’s upswing in football should help raise that money. McGarity said Georgia’s athletic department is required to raise all of the money for capital improvements so as not to accrue more debt.

Of course you are.

McGarity said Williams already has the most important piece in Mendenhall. Smart, McGarity said, has been the driving force behind Georgia’s on-field and fundraising success. “Kirby’s a key part of that,” McGarity said. “He takes time to visit with donors. He’s so personable and he’s so sincere. It’s just how he’s wired.”

Williams also knows she has to make sure donors feel special. And sometimes, she said, that’s less complicated than most would expect. “It may be as simple as being on the field pregame,” Williams said. “When you can create unique experiences that people value and appreciate, that’s when you can start to make a difference.”

Wahoo wah!  A new day beckons.  Prepare to reach for your wallets, Virginia fans.  Your very own Magill Society is just around the corner.


Filed under ACC Football, Georgia Football, It's Just Bidness

16 responses to “The vision thing

  1. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    Damn, Senator, aren’t you lucky to have two programs reaching for your wallet. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mayor

    I realize the two things aren’t directly related, one being the institutional fund itself and the other being the athletic fund, but with a school endowment of $9.5 Billion I can’t understand why UVa isn’t more committed to football financially. All they have to do is slow down the contributions to the University and step up the contributions to the athletics fund. Truth: Football success follows the money. UVa is in a weak conference. There is absolutely no reason UVa couldn’t be better than Clemson–just out-spend them.


    • Governor Milledge

      UVA has all sorts of crazy things in its endowment – real estate holdings in the surrounding area (including a vineyard or two, I believe). Compared to UGA owning a few strip centers on Baxter, no comparison


  3. Bulldog Joe

    Greg could take his staff to Virginia to learn how to win national championships, but we know that’s not the objective here.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. 79Dawg

    Since you sorta went there, it seemed like half the people in my section Saturday night had some sort of “hard pass” in lieu of a ticket. (They were on lanyards, larger than tickets, were some sort of semi-rigid plastic, and looked like they had parking info/map on the back.) Are these something new the rich folks get in lieu of paper tickets and/or parking passes?


    • Dawg1

      Yes, so the muggers know who to target after the game, and where their car is after they get the keys! ACC PD Full Employment Lanyards I think they are called?


  5. Dawg1

    Need a beer garden in a tunnel outside Scott, insulated from noise, so the Ralph Sampson/Terry Holland club donors can drink their beer (one per donor) in peace!


  6. Mick Jagger

    Okay, Virginians, pull out your Jeffersons (and Franklins).


  7. Bulldog Joe

    Would hate to see Virginia choke their championship basketball, tennis, and baseball programs in a squeeze for the almighty dollar. Don’t do it.


  8. Bigshot

    I know ”McGarity” is bad, but I sure hope Williams is not his replacement.


  9. stoopnagle

    UVA has a facilities master plan.


  10. FlyingPeakDawg

    $9.5 billion?! You could build a Jerry World stadium and give it an academic purpose (e.g. teaching lawyers how to buy professional franchises) and end-up with a MNC football dynasty without putting a dent in the fund. Why are they even charging anything for tuition with that kind of endowment??