Dawgs flush with money

The main business undertaken at Thursday's meeting was, as usual, the Athletic Association budget.

For the 2006 fiscal year, Georgia was ranked by the Department of Education as the nation's second-most profitable athletic department behind only Notre Dame. Georgia's revenue in 2006 topped $74 million, approximately $20 million of which is considered profit in the Department of Education's accounting.

The Bulldogs project they will finish the 2007 fiscal year at $69 million, but it could be more, Evans said. Georgia will add another $6.8 million to its general reserve (essentially its savings account) at the end of this fiscal year, pushing that account past the $25 million mark.

Tim Burgess, the university's senior vice president for finance, said the combination of sound financial management by Evans and executive associate athletic director Frank Crumley and generous donations by the school's supporters have made Georgia the exception rather than the rule among college athletic departments.

"Most of them don't make any money at all," Burgess said. "The vast majority of them have a hard time breaking even. I think it's very impressive."

Georgia's athletic department took in $21.5 million in contributions for fiscal year 2007, and that figure doesn't include the $13 million made on football ticket priority donations. The department's "Investing in Champions" fund-raising campaign has brought in $65 million in five years, $5 million more than the original goal for the program, and it still has one year to go.

Georgia's board of directors approved a budget for fiscal year 2008 that includes projected revenues of $70 million and projected expenses of $57.3 million.

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