UGA Athletic Board Approves $153 Million Budget

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UGA Athletic Board Approves $153 Million Budget

Greg McGarity at the soon to be renovated Mcgill Tennis Complex
Greg McGarity at the soon to be renovated Mcgill Tennis Complex

A fiscal year 2020 budget of $153,891,331 was approved Friday by the University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors during day two of its annual spring meeting.

The budget figure of 153.9 million represents an increase of over seven percent from the 2019 fiscal year.  As J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Greg McGarity pointed out to the Board, the 2020 budget is a 45 percent increase from just nine years ago, when the budget for fiscal year 2011 was $84.8 million.

‘’Sustainability in college athletics is an ongoing challenge around the country,’’ McGarity said.  ‘’We are very fortunate to be one of the few institutions in college athletics that stands on very solid ground.’’

As part of McGarity’s budget presentation, Deputy Athletic Director Matt Borman gave an update on UGA’s athletic fundraising efforts.  Borman emphasized the success of the Magill Society, which has generated over $108 million in gifts and signed pledges since its beginning in September of 2015.

McGarity also announced a $500,000 donation — in addition to its $4.5 million annual donation — to the University in 2020.  UGA President Jere W. Morehead will direct the additional $500,000 in UGAAA funds to two strategic University initiatives:  $250,000 will be used to strengthen the recruiting efforts and enhance the retention and academic experiences of underrepresented, first-generation, rural and other underserved students; $250,000 will be used to promote faculty and student engagement in the University’s emerging Innovation District near downtown Athens.

Other items covered on the Board’s second-day agenda included the following:

• A report by Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley from the Student Wellness Committee.

• Reports from student representatives Rosa Naghepour and Connor O’Neill.

• Treasurer’s report from UGA Vice President Ryan Nesbit.

Highlights of the Board’s meeting on Thursday included:

• A special presentation, led by Deputy Director for Athletics Darrice Griffin, which described in detail the key objectives in the areas of student-athlete experience, compliance, community and academic success.  Also presenting were Executive Associate AD Will Lawler (Compliance) and Deputy AD Magdi El Shahawy (Academics and Student Development).

• An update on three ongoing facilities projects from Deputy Director for Operations Josh Brooks: the UGA Equestrian complex in Bishop, Ga.; construction of the new grandstand at the Magill Tennis Complex; and the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall expansion and renovation project, which is only now in the schematic and conceptual design phase.

• A presentation by retired UGA professor Bill Barstow on the “SilverDawgs,” a hospitality group that provides assistance to visitors at various on-campus events, including home football games and UGA commencement.

• An academic report from Shipley that featured the Men’s Cross Country team with the highest GPA (3.44) among all Bulldog athletic teams for Spring semester.  Additionally, the UGA volleyball and men’s basketball teams recognized publicly by the NCAA for having Academic Progress Rates (APR) that placed them among the top 10 percent nationally for their sports.

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