Talking budgets and Butts-Mehre expansion . . .

   Greensboro — Good morning from Lake Oconee, where the UGA Athletics Association board of directors convenes today for its spring meeting.

   Among the expected items of business: the 2009-10 athletics budget and the long-discussed major expansion of the football facilities at the Butts-Mehre building.

    The Butts-Mehre project has been been on the drawing board for more than a year, with plans calling for expansion of the training facilities and weight room and construction of new offices and a large multi-purpose area.

   “That is something that will be contemplated at the board meeting,” athletics director Damon Evans said.

   The spring meeting also is the point at which the next fiscal year’s budget is submitted for board approval. While many college athletics programs are making significant cuts amid the recession, Evans said Georgia has held up relatively well.

   “I would say this: If people want to use that term ‘profit,’ we’re not going to have as much ‘profit’ as we have had in the past,” he said.  ”But we’ll still be in a pretty good position.”

    In the black?

   “No doubt,” Evans said.  ”We’re not even close — nowhere close — to operating in the red. I think we have been fiscally prudent all the way along.”

   Evans acknowledged some revenue streams have suffered. As previously reported, contributions tied to football season tickets are down about $2.5 million-$3 million from last year’s record level of about $26.5 million. Another revenue stream that has taken a hit, Evans noted: investment returns on endowment funds.

  “We have had to make some adjustments, but not in a way where it has had any impact on how we overall operate and how we do business,” Evans said. “I know a lot of institutions around this country are losing funding, cutting sports, cutting back travel. We’re monitoring expenses even more closely than in the past because of where we are in the economy, but we’re not in a bad position at all.”

  The athletics association has had no layoffs, he said.

  At a board meeting in February, it was projected that the association would finish this fiscal year, which runs through June 30, with a profit of about $4 million, half as much as the year before.

   “I’m always mindful of what’s going on with the campus,” Evans said. “Even in times in which things are OK with us, I think perception-wise we need to be aware and be sensitive of what’s happening with the campus. So I don’t want to be out here flying willy-nilly, just doing whatever because we may have some resources. Because I understand the campus is in somewhat of a struggle right now.

   “That is one of the reasons we made the contribution we did –- because we want this institution to know we’ll help,” he said, referring to the athletics association’s pledge in February to give $2 million per year for the next three years to the university.

   More after today’s meeting. . . .

 

66 comments Add your comment

UGASlobberknocker

May 21st, 2009
7:54 am

It is a point of pride that the UGA Athletic Dept. is in such good shape fiscally.

Thank You Vince Dooley.

Let no one forget that the rise of the UGA Athletic Dept,, on the field and at the bank, happened when Vince Dooley was AD. Evans is doing a great job (except in the football scheduling area), but he inherited a great situation when Napolean Adams forced Dooley out.

Red Elephant

May 21st, 2009
8:01 am

I thought the expansion was due to all the Gymnastics titles.

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
8:17 am

Whew, it only took 5 years and a deep recession, but those withheld contributions are finally starting to send a message.

PTC DAWG

May 21st, 2009
8:21 am

Keep up the good work Damon.

hop

May 21st, 2009
9:04 am

damon evans walked into a near perfect situation left by vince dooley.
the scheduling of football games especially this year is total nonsense.

i wish damon would allow mark richt run the football program as most football coaches do,but we find ourselves with a schedule that places georgia at a decided disadvantage this year.
evans excuse is that uga needs more national exposure is simply very dumb.

dooley placed georgia on such a plateau that uga is not lacking in that department.

florida has the luxury of playing a far different non-sec schedule that uga and it will work to their benefit.

thanks damon,you have placed the dawgs in a very poor position because of your own poor judgement in having two major non sec games on this year’s schedule.

Cuz

May 21st, 2009
9:26 am

Damon says that the campus is in a struggle and they are having a meeting at Lake Oconee. Are they staying at the Ritz-Carlton or a Motel 6.

Voice of Reason

May 21st, 2009
9:29 am

3 major non-SEC games on this year’s schedule I would say. Although AZ ST. may be iffy.

Bob

May 21st, 2009
9:29 am

hop,

So you would prefer a game against Charleston Southern and Florida International over Okie State and Arizona State? Give me a break. I don’t want to see these joke games any more than we absolutely have to.

Voice of Reason

May 21st, 2009
9:30 am

I don;t think he ever said they were in a struggle. He said they were doing well and working in a comfortable situation financially Cuz.

T-DAWG

May 21st, 2009
9:42 am

Stop the Crying!!!!! UGA will be fine. ASU and OSU are not the problem.

Gary

May 21st, 2009
9:48 am

Why the knock on Damon? He’s a home grown georgia product that has done a terrific job. Sure he got a great start with the program Dooley left him, but remember the one thing Dooley and Adams agreed on when Dooley left was that Damon Evans was the best man for the job. Looks like they were right to me.

Improvements

May 21st, 2009
9:49 am

Does this include an indoor practice field? It mentions an all purpose field but does not mention an indoor practice facility. Our recruiting competitiors like Bama, Auburn, UT all have indoor practice facilities while we got to ask the falcons for permission to use theirs. It sucks. Even Ole Miss has an indoor facility for Pete’s sake.

Also, when are we gonna build a new basketball arena? We have the smallest, dinkiest b-ball arena in the sec. Its a joke and is like 90 years old. We are way behind with this creaky old building.

Thirtyfour Cents

May 21st, 2009
10:07 am

Evans fails to understand that football exists because of the university. The university does not exist for football. Revenues were up because of championship expectations last year and Adams limiting student tickets in favor of season tickets for $25,000 donations. The university has cut everything from non-tenured professors to xerox copies while Adams’ puppet, Evans, talks like the CEO of General Motors. I will continue to send a check for .34 a year until Adams retires to his villa in Costa Rica.

Erik

May 21st, 2009
10:08 am

Improvements, I completely agree. I can’t figure out the resistance to these two items.

Honestly, UGA should have worked with the city of Athens and Clarke County 15-20 years ago to build an off campus arena to host UGA sporting events, as well as concerts and other entertainment. However, they’ve probably missed their chance now that the Gwinnett arena is 50 minutes away and would likely squash the non-UGA reasoning for building an Athens arena. I give Dooley credit for some things and blame for others. This is one where he deserves some blame and criticism. He was asleep on the job.

Mike

May 21st, 2009
10:37 am

It’s kind of ironic when the rest of the University System is having to endure budget cut-backs and unpaid furloughs that the Glories Dawgs continue to spend money – what ever happened to priorities? what ever happened to education? I bet less than 10% of the football team could even get into college (much less UGA) if they weren’t football players.

m

May 21st, 2009
10:42 am

They need to expand buttsmear to have a place to hold their state of georgia runner-up trophies, now that the new sheriff in town, Paul Johnson, is planning to kick their arses each and every year.

Thank God and Greyhound that chan gomer gailey is gone forever…you dawgies are really gonna miss him.

deacondog

May 21st, 2009
10:42 am

All I want to know is if they have built the indoor practice facility yet? I don’t think so…

The Dawg

May 21st, 2009
10:43 am

Let us not forget that all of our good fortune regarding fiscal responsibility started with Joel Eaves. He was the architect, Vince continued and added his expertise, and then groomed Damon Evans. We are indeed fortunate to be so solvent, however, some way to build an indoor practice facility should be found. GO DAWGS!

Bo Williams

May 21st, 2009
10:46 am

If the AJC announced that the plugged toiled at a UGa sports facility had been “unstopped”, bloggers would fill pages in response, pointing out how this makes UGa sports even more superior.

GW

May 21st, 2009
11:01 am

Evans is doing a good job managing the $$$$ but Dooley was the best. Dooley didn’t sell every spare second and space to advertisers either but our football tickets aren’t yet in the $50-$100 range either. There is no need to build a new arena until men’s basketball can fill this one up consistently. Recruits don’t come to a school because of wide concourses, fancy concessions and nice seats that they will never use. Fans come to see a winner and will suffer poor amenities if the team wins. We don’t really want to share anything with A-CC do we? I don’t understand the dragging of feet toward an indoor football practice facility. Space near Butts-Mehre could be a problem there.

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
11:09 am

Nothing like a little Oconee stripper fishing to figure out the budget.

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
11:16 am

Bo, and your function in all of that would be….?

WTF???

May 21st, 2009
11:30 am

Maybe Stafford can pick up the slack on the Hartman Fund?

jdawg

May 21st, 2009
11:38 am

Since there is no reward in being a long time contributor, I just went back to the minimum donation. Basically, I can buy out of town tickets and pay a little more than donating to sit in the top of the stadium. So, if this trend continues, problems could exist in the future. This meeting could just as easily met at the Ga Ctr. which tries to show everyone how great they are with their prices….and a minimum stay…jdawg

Cuz

May 21st, 2009
12:31 pm

Voice I was just being sarcastic, my usual self.

bigdawg

May 21st, 2009
12:33 pm

Sweet! As if our facilities were not already top of the line! This should help us lock down new recruits. Now, save up uga and do something with our baseball stadium!

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
12:45 pm

If they had the revenue back from the people who stopped attending UGA football games when the grass parking became restricted, they wouldn’t need to borrow the rest of that expansion money.

nerdhater

May 21st, 2009
1:19 pm

Hop stop being a punk we need to play tough teams.

Rebel Rouser

May 21st, 2009
1:27 pm

Hey Red Elephant…I wouldn’t knock Georgia’s facilities …they are already far superior to Bama’s…it took you guys forever to enlarge your stadium….but when your program not very competitive for over ten years its hard to draw interest to do so,Huh? Your practice facilities are in the lower tier of the SEC…you guys need to step it up. Ole Miss ..by a long way has the best facilities in the SEC…Tne best indoor practice facility in the country…..college or pro.
Keep dreaming Bama…one season does not make you guys the team to beat..Utah showed that to everyone.

Alphare

May 21st, 2009
2:00 pm

Stadiums are the best while teachers are the lowest paid, and students have the lowest scores. Are these things related in the south?

If the state of Georgia fires more professors, and cut teachers’ salary by 20%, UGA can spend 20mil more on other dirt moving projects.

Just a thought.

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
2:25 pm

Those aren’t the same bank accounts. So no, not related.

Bryan G.

May 21st, 2009
2:49 pm

1. The tough schedule in 2009 is where it needs to be. Teams (like Florida) who play two I-AA teams make me sick. There’s no reason UGA shouldn’t play at least two out of conference BCS schools (if not three).

2. The AA account and the academic side are totally seperate. The AA is a private entity associated with UGA. The money does not intermingle.

3. Richt has lost ONE regular season game to a non-conference team. I don’t think the schedule of out of conference opponents has been the problem.

4. I love Dooley, but Evans has done a better job fiscally than Vince did.

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
3:03 pm

Rebel, at the very least, the longest name of any stadium in the country.

PTC DAWG

May 21st, 2009
3:17 pm

Without a successful football team, these monies don’t exist…add that to your thoughts. Also, these projects will bring JOBS to Athens, etc…sometimes it really is good to spend monies on things. Wealth Envy is showing in some of these posts.

Bo Williams

May 21st, 2009
3:18 pm

Mr./Ms AltamahaDawg, my function, while purely algerbraic, can be expressed hyperbolically. “Mountains from mole hills. Tech people understand this.

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
3:48 pm

So, roughly half the readership of the UGA blog then?

what_oldeballcoach

May 21st, 2009
3:55 pm

It’s still not going to help the DAWGS !!!

B

May 21st, 2009
4:01 pm

Yes, The Dawgs will now have some of the best facilities in the SEC!!

NewnanDawg

May 21st, 2009
4:05 pm

To those asking about an indoor facility, I saw some images of the architectural sketches about 60 days ago, and if they don’t change, the “all purpose” field looks plenty large enough for indoor practices. They were small so it was hard to tell for sure, but it may have even been a full size field. These are much needed improvements if we are to keep up in the world of D – 1 athletics and recruiting. The current weight room is ok, but nothing like some other schools, and the new one looks incredible.

I agree with PTC Dawg on the wealth envy being didplayed in some posts. Remember, 19.5M of this is paid for by donations that were specifically made to fund this improvement. Those donations would not have been made for any other purpose. Also, the rest will come out of the athletic budget, nothing from the educational side. The athletic department will continue to donate $2M per year to the education fund. Finally, if you’re unhappy with your current financial situation, don’t whine on a blog; have some personal responsibility for creating your own situation. Remember – jealousy (wishing you had what another does) is fine and can motivate you to achieve more, but envy (wanting another person or entity harmed or destroyed for having what you don’t) is an evil that will destroy you, not the one you envy.

Go Dawgs! Can’t wait to see the new inprovements……

Ron Roberts

May 21st, 2009
4:10 pm

I, too, would like some clarification on the “multipurpose” area. Is that our “indoor practice facility” or not? That’s a big glaring weakness, and it doesn’t seem this expansion addresses that.

IMPROVEMENTS, the Athletics Dept. master plan calls for an EYE-OPENING renovation of Stegeman Coliseum, and trust me – it addresses the needs of that facility; but let’s be honest, Stegeman’s no worse than what they have at Vandy, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Florida (and they’ve won a couple of national titles there…), and only a slight notch below LSU’s Maravich Assembly Center (and only then because they just spend beaucoup bucks renovating it). I just reeled off 5 of the 12 SEC schools that UGA’s basketball facilities are comparable to. USC hasn’t yet won anything with their new shared facility, Rupp hasn’t apparently done much for Kentucky w/Billy G., and Tennessee renovated their mammoth building and took a step back, in it, so the facility, to me, isn’t the problem. Besides, with all that’s been spent updating it, and its expansion, it’s a fine enough facility – especially given the lack of payoff on the court.

r dawg

May 21st, 2009
4:13 pm

does the multi-purpose facility mean an indoor practice facility? or is that something different?

NewnanDawg

May 21st, 2009
4:18 pm

Ok, went back and found the PDF from onlineathens last year. Not sure if this is still the plan – The indoor field is by no means full size, but would work for just some bad weather days much better than the alternatives they have now.

http://www.onlineathens.com/multimedia/pdfs/092508Butts-Mehre.pdf

Cuz

May 21st, 2009
4:23 pm

Multi purpose means the band gets to practice in it.

Tim Tucker

May 21st, 2009
4:42 pm

No, this does not include an indoor practice facility. It includes what is described as a large multi-purpose area with a synthetic floor that can be used for limited football drills, such as walk-throughs, as well as for other events such as receptions. But this is not the indoor practice facility. In fact, Michael Adams made it clear at the board meeting that the approval of this project puts an indoor practice facility very much on the backburner. He said the coaches agreed this project was a higher priority.

bank walker

May 21st, 2009
5:00 pm

How so? A 40 million dollar reception hall without indoor practice facilities?

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
5:22 pm

So it would have been perfect for what they did to get ready for the tech game?

joe_h

May 21st, 2009
5:28 pm

LOL! C’mon Tim. You’re telling me for 40 million dollars this doesn’t include an indoor practice facility? There would be no point otherwise. Not to mention the front page article in the AJC specifically mentions an indoor practice facility, and the artist’s rendering at UGASports does indeed show an indoor practice facility.

Adams? Clueless as*clown. That’s all I’ll say.

AltamahaDawg

May 21st, 2009
5:31 pm

Enter your comments here

Vince Drooly

May 21st, 2009
6:12 pm

Why don’t they give money to the school so ACADEMICS can be upgraded? When you’re behind the real flagship school in the most important categories, you ought to do something other than buying more pool tables and high def tv’s for the criminals housed there.

Ringleader

May 21st, 2009
7:08 pm

I have yet to see from Damon an explanation for UGA receiving only 5,000 Oklahoma State tickets at $100 each. Who gets credit for this deal.