Georgia athletics' FY '21 operating surplus is tops in U.S. by wide margin

Report covers an academic year when Georgia had just three home football games and played 10 games total after one was canceledKareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer

Univ. of Georgia athletics reported an operating surplus from FY '21 of $45,341,763, "more than double any other department nationally," according to Marc Weiszer of the ATHENS BANNER-HERALD. The school listed $169,064,656 in "operating revenue" and $122,722,893 in "operating expenses" from July 1, 2020-June 30, 2021. The school views its "true surplus" at around $5M "based on the way it says the report is constructed compared to how Georgia accounts for revenues and expenses." Georgia said that about $17M the school "spent on capital projects like its new football operations center is not counted as an operating expense." UGA added that $15.9M in interest income from investments is "also reported as a revenue," and $4.6M in "contributions to the university from athletics is also not counted as an expense." But the department chose not to account for $3.2M in student fees as an excess transfer to the school, "which would have reduced the surplus." Another $3.1M went to "deferred facility maintenance" and $5.7M into "reserves." The report covers an academic year when Georgia "had just three home football games and played 10 games total (one was canceled) including the Peach Bowl." The operating surplus was more than $5.8M larger than the previous FY, with $10.2M less in revenue than a year earlier and $16M less in expenses "during a school year in which the last three and a half months were affected by the pandemic causing sports seasons to come to a halt" (ATHENS BANNER-HERALD, 5/20).

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