Georgia Athletics' Nearly $31M Profit Down $12M From Previous Year
Univ. of Georgia athletics saw a $30.7M operating surplus in FY '19, which is a "robust total nationally but a decrease" of $12.02M from '18, according to Marc Weiszer of the ATHENS BANNER-HERALD. UGA reported $174,042,482 in revenue and $143,299,554 in expenses for the year ending in June -- with its surplus "among the top in the SEC." UGA's revenue in '19 decreased by $2,657,411 while its expenses increased $9,357,969 from FY '18. Football spending is "helping to drive those increasing numbers for expenses," as football recruiting expenses jumped more than $1M to $3.7M. Meanwhile, contributions slid $15.2M to $52.6M. Football accounted for $44.3M of that amount. Ticket sales jumped more than $11M to $36.6M after a football ticket price increase, with sales accounting for $34.6M. Media rights increased nearly $3M to $39M (ATHENS BANNER-HERALD, 2/4). In Atlanta, Chip Towers notes while the $30.7M number is considered a profit, UGA AD Greg McGarity "points out that almost all of it already was spent in 'capital projects' and predetermined outlays." Since '16, UGA has spent more than $120M on "construction projects" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 2/4).
CREAM OF THE CROP? RIVALS.com's Steve Rosen noted Nebraska athletics generated $136.23M in total operating revenue last year, due in part to an almost $50M "revenue-sharing contribution" from the Big Ten. Nebraska's total expenses of $124.15M meant it finished FY '19, which ended June 30, with an operating surplus of $12.09M. Within that surplus, $5M was "transferred to the university to fund scholarships for non-student-athletes," and another $5M was "turned over to the chancellor to be used at his discretion to support" the university. Most of the remaining funds "were used to finance" $1.3M in athletic department capital projects, and $250,000 was "retained by the department for future needs." Three sports -- football, men's basketball and women's volleyball -- reported revenue surpluses last year, which "typifies past years." Meanwhile, bottom line revenue in FY '19 was "actually down" about $6M from FY '18. But the revenue dip was "offset largely" by an $11.5M "decline in operating expenses compared with a year earlier" (RIVALS.com, 2/2).