ATHENS — Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity explained how UGA balanced its budget during the 2017-18 fiscal year in the wake of a national financial report that would seem to suggest otherwise.
The EADA report — Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act — is a report sent to Congress annually that breaks down revenue in a way to reflect gender equity spending in intercollegiate athletics.
The report, however, is not meant to be inclusive in its budget items, and that has led to some confusion and misperception that Georgia is sitting on pots of gold.
“To read that EADA report one would think we had a $52 million profit,” McGarity said. “But that’s simply not accurate because the numbers provided in the EADA report aren’t inclusive of all of our expenses.
“A more thorough review of our finances reflects a balanced budget.”
The EADA accurately reported Georgia took in $176,699,894 in revenue, which included the $27 million generated from the Magill Society.
The EADA’s report of $124,029,698 in expenses is where the math starts to get fuzzy.
“There are three areas of expenses that are not included in the EADA report,” McGarity said. “Those would be our annual payment to the university, our debt service and the money being used for current and future projects.”
Once those numbers are factored in, Georgia’s athletic department budget appears balanced.
Payment to university ($4.5 million)
“Our payment to the university was $4.5 million,” McGarity said. “It’s money that’s used at the discretion of the university, with a lot of it going to scholarship assistance or to endow academic professorships throughout the university.”
Debt service ($9.9 million)
“That’s the payment on the amount of money we owe, which is currently $105 million,” McGarity said. “
That money is from the bonds purchased for projects prior to 2010, which included the 2009 Butts-Mehre expansion, Stegeman Coliseum renovation, and the Reed Plaza expansion on the north side of Sanford Stadium.
“We have a payment of $9.9 million to service that debt we owe.”
Projects ($38.2 million)
“That’s money spent on paying for current and future projects,” McGarity said, “which includes the West End Zone expansion and renovation, as well as money being spent on golf, soccer and several other ongoing projects.”
Georgia’s budget for the upcoming year — $153.8 million, not including the Magill Society revenue — is bolstered in large part by a seventh home game.
“When you have home games with Notre Dame and Texas A&M, that helps,” UGA President Jere Morehead said at the Georgia Athletic Association’s board of directors retreat last month.
“Our athletic fundraising has been exceptional this year, so I want to commend Greg McGarity and (director of development) Matt Borman and everybody involved.”
Georgia saw 17 of its 21 sports compete in postseason play, and 56 percent of 511 student-athletes recorded a GPA of 3.0 or better in spring semester, according to faculty athletics rep David Shipley.