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February 17, 2009

Georgia Athletics to post another $20 million excess

Proposed New Butts-Mehre Accessory

With the global financial markets wildly out of whack and unemployment on the rise, Americans are cutting back across the board. This is most certainly the "rainy day" that our grandparents warned us to save for. Apparently the Athletic Department has one big ass umbrella, as our cash reserves will exceed $60 million at the end of this fiscal year according to the Athens Banner Herald. (Image: A Cool Friday)

That's almost enough cash on hand to go an entire year without selling a single ticket. If you're a Hartman Donor, the above link is a must read.

My Reaction:
  • According to the article, the Athletic Department is giving back $2 million per year to the University for academic endeavors. Given the AD's financial position and the struggling financials of the University, that's a no brainer politically and fiscally.

  • How in the world does the Butts-Mehre Expansion cost $40 million? A year ago it was projected to cost $34 million. I thought the price of construction projects had fallen over the past year as vendors became more desperate for work? (Note: That facility will be a big time boost in recruiting. Particularly the rehabilitation areas for injured players. More on that later.)

  • I like that we have enough cash on hand to go a year without selling tickets. In this economy, that beats the pants off the finances of most athletic departments. It means we can invest when everyone else is cutting back. Damon needs to leverage our strength to pull an Old Man Potter:
    "Can't you understand what's happening here? Don't you see what's happening? Potter isn't selling. Potter's buying! And why? Because we're panicky and he's not. That's why. He's picking up some bargains." - George Bailey
    Too bad we can't (legally) use some of that money to buy some kick ass pass rushing defensive ends. Or illicit payola style kickbacks for bloggers.

  • How on earth did our debt ever get to $200 million. Holy crap. I'm glad to see it's back down to $100 million or so. But damn, how did it ever get so far ahead of profit?

  • All of these financial projections are before ESPN/CBS's incremental new $10+ million per year clears in roughly June '10. Once we start getting that additional financial boost, we need to (A) stroke a big ass check for Stegeman renovations (B) work the debt off a lot faster and (C) start giving a lot more than $2 million to academics.
I'm proud of Georgia's financial strength. I certainly prefer our situation where we control our financial destiny vs. Georgia Tech's situation where they can't fire an obviously incompetent basketball coach because his buyout is too large.

HOWEVER, I would not be supportive of price hikes in any sport given the broader economy and our overall financial position. None are planned that I'm aware of. Just saying.

By the way -- compare all of this to our academic giving. The NACUBO giving report for 2008 is out (warning large boring PDF), and UGA Academics continue to show unimpressive endowment growth*. Even counting the Arch Foundation giving, we continue to slip behind our academic peers financially. (ht - Inside the Sprawl)

Your reaction?

See Also:
-- Tech's bang for the buck - Get the Picture

PWD


* He said endowment. Chuckle.

18 comments:

mitch said...

We had the 600 addition then the suites addition then we replaced all the scoreboards and added ribbon boards in the stadium. Thats how our debt went over 200 million.

Anonymous said...

I say we expand to the size of Grant Field.

Anonymous said...

"I say we expand to the size of Grant Field."

...Or just buy a lot of toilet paper.

And we'll have to save some for Toomer's Corner 2010.

baltimore dawg said...

good news. in this environment, cash is king.

i'm confused about the 200 mil. mostly in construction borrowing, though, because I don't see nearly a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in the projects that mitch mentions above. are ugaa capital projects not bond-financed?

but whatever. debt-to-income looks to be about a healthy 20%, and with 60 mil. in cash reserves. a whole lot of institutions and firms would like to have a similar balance sheet right now.

Anonymous said...

i would give more to the University if Adams were not in charge.

Dawgnoxious said...

The Athletic Association giving $2M to University academics will undoubtedly piss off some donors (like me) who refuse to donate to UGA as long as Mike Adams is at the helm. It's the only tool at my disposal to...well...dispose of that tool.

Bernie said...

Great news. It does fill an old alum with pride when we have enough in reserves that we can give back to the UGA academia (despite Dawgnoxious' disapproval) while up in Nutsville they are writing checks to incompetent coaches that will obviously not pay dividends.

The future is bright. Think other ADs are listening when the youthful Evans speaks now...??

Anonymous said...

Harkening back to a post around the ASU game,is PWD one of the two females in the comments section of the linked "A Cool Friday" site requesting permission to use the picture from?

I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin'.....

Anonymous said...

As soon as Adams is gone, and the Board of Regents has their collective heads removed from their posteriors, the academic giving will go back up. Mine sits comfortably in a CD waiting for the day that this idiot is removed and he can receive no benefit from the money I give.

rbubp said...

Anon 9:19, that;'s ridiculous. Do you think your money goes to Adams' salary? You know what most of it goes toward??? SCHOLARSHIPS. You know what scholarships are used for?? RECRUITING THE BEST STUDENTS.

A university with UGA's profile should be utterly embarrassed about the size of that foundation. The University of Kansas is a far lesser school in a region with much less capital and certainly far fewer the well-off alumni, as it has no law school and only a mediocre business school.

Shameful. We need to step up to the plate. I personally had no idea it was that bad.

Paul Westerdawg said...

Miranda,

I had to delete your comment. If you want to post that stuff without the line about Leebern's grandfather, that's fine. But that old dude has enough lawyers to make problems for me for having stuff like that on my site.

OR...if you've got a link to the line about the grandfather, shoot it to me.

As I understand it...it was Don's grandfather that was shot by the Dixie Mafia (per Hoovers). Posting the opposite scenario requires proof. Otherwise, I just can't have it in the comments.



PWD

Anonymous said...

rbubp,

just fyi, ku does have a law school.

Mike In Valdosta said...

The whole Dooley-Adams situation chaps my rear as much as anyone's, however Michael Adams is not the University of Georgia. Knapp was president during my years, and he was serviceable. Adams has, however, improved our academic standing in many, many ways. I love our football program, but it is the UNIVERSITY of Georgia, not the FOOTBALL program of Georgia. Not contributing to your school, if you are in a position to, because you do not like the president (very successful president I might add) is similar to not giving your daughter a Christmas present because you don't like the man she married. Prior to number 34 the only names I associated with UGA were Coach Dooley, Rex Pobinson, Fran T., Charlie T. and Frank S. (Thanks, Dad). I met Coach Dooley when I was nine years old. I love coach Dooley and hate the disrespect he has been shown. But I will never punish the University I love so much because of a disagreement over Coach Dooley's treatment. Yes the "Garden" was a slap in the face, and his "retirement" could have been handled better. I would love for the field to carry his name. But none of these slights comes close to diminishing what the school has done for me.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Or, we could be Michigan State

Covington Dog said...

Regarding the endowment: It is listed in two segments representing the old foundation and the "new" Arch-Adams foundation. Added together we rank #104. Still not good, but a little better. Also shows how little the Arch foundation has done. Lends credence to the idea that there are a lot of people putting their money where their mouth is and NOT contributing in the Adams era.

Miranda Wrong said...

Paul:
Thanks for deleting my post on Don. Just as I have trained my mutt, Catfish, to do, it is never wise to deficate in one's own yard.

Mike in Valdosta:
Adams has done nothing to "improve UGA's academic standing". I spent 7 years on campus (3 w/ Knapp, 4 w/ Adams) and witnessed the dramatic change in the quality of students. This is due to a combination of population growth and the HOPE scholarship. Not Mike Adams. Further, the Dooley/Adams fiasco was never jocks vs. academics (though Adams deftly spun it this way).

Adams is a non-academic. His doctorate is in a weak non-empirical field. He is a political hack and self-described CEO. His sole focus has been on bricks & mortar to improve the appearance of campus (which I think he has done) and improving our endowment (which he has not done very well). UGA has several alumni that are multi-millionaires that can't stand Adams and have remained low-profile b/c he is a classic bull in a china shop. That doesn't mean they don't give $$ (as we all should). But they are very strategic about where it goes. I don't have much $$, but I give to some very specific funds. I would encourage all to do so. Don't let this bad apple ruin your generosity. Just don't give a blank check to his descretionary fundraisers.

Mike In Valdosta said...

Miranda,

All very good points. It wasn't my attempt to defend Adams, just the University. I believe we agree more than disagree. I certainly echo your comment about jocks v. academics, it was entirely about the love people have for Coach Dooley and the immense shadow he cast that Adams ego could not live with.

Frankly, I will always be confused as to why Adams was never held to account for the Jim Harrick fiasco as President Davidson was for the Jan Kemp affair. Perhaps the problems exposed by Kemp were more systemic, but the problems with Harrick were of the same vein and were not uncovered by academic oversight, but by an out of town sports "journalist". In deed, those responsible were hand selected by Adams.

Adams is no doubt a political hack, a reactionary that seeks attention and has caused us national humiliation. He has leveraged a non-existent job offer from Ohio State to solidify his control over our institution. All of these should list higher on the list of cause for termination than the Dooley mess.
If we are to judge him simply by his handling of the football program, I am afraid the record is on his side.
In my earlier post I described him as very successful, for the University has prospered. My intent was not to support him, but to support the school's endowment. If we are to rid ourselves of him, we should find more meaningful and weighty issues than those most mentioned by alums withholding their support.

Anonymous said...

talking about the budget for Butts-Mehre is like gossip or a fish story, everytime someone writes a article about it, it gets a little bigger. Don't believe everything you read, even in the "paper".

 
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