Thursday, January 27, 2011

Profit or Success, I'll Take the Latter.

Forbes published an article in their Sports Money section today titled "Who's Making Money in SEC Football?". The data was compiled during the 2009 season (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010), but while it's not up to the moment, it's the most recent, complete picture we have of the situation. Looking at this as a Georgia fan, the data raises some questions. For instance, Georgia is the most profitable football program in the SEC - by far, (almost $8 mil.) - and is second in total revenue produced. However, they rank seventh in terms of spending. Now, I'm no fancy business major, but that tells me we're not investing back into our program at the same rate as some other programs. From the article:

"Georgia isn’t just #1 in the SEC in terms of profits, they’re #2 in the entire country behind Texas. If you do the math, Georgia is only putting 25.8% of their football revenue back into the program. Meanwhile, the 2009 National Champion, Alabama, was putting 43.3% back into their program, and the 2010 National Champion, Auburn, invested 42.2 percent. Is there perhaps a correlation between this and results on the field? Georgia went 7-5 in 2009 and just 6-6 in 2010. Comparing Georgia to Texas, who is the only school with bigger profits from football, the two are spending at about the same rate, with Texas putting 26.7% back into their program.  However, Texas is spending $25,112,331 to Georgia’s $18,308,654."

By the way, we lost to every team we played ranked ahead of us on the spending list (Aub, Fla, SoCar, Ark.). Before anyone else says it, I will: Correlation is not causation. I know, I get it. But we can't keep saying that every time we see something askew in our program. So, hooray profit. But why not at least try to reinvest in a way that shows on the field. Sure, it can be argued that we're doing that; we've re-modeled the facilities, put in an indoor practice area, and built a new weight room*. But could we have done more? Is money more important to the powers that be than on-field success? If you can still earn the highest profit by producing an inferior product, why change things? I won't pretend to know the answers to all these for sure, but they sure are some big question marks.
* BTW, new strength and conditioning coach, Joe Tereshinski, claims the construction of the new digs might be a valid reason for this season's slip.

“Last year’s team was very limited, really because of the facility, of what they could get done," he said. "So we were very weak in our triceps. We were very weak in our upper chests. So what happens is now that we have our full weight room capacities we’re really going to be able to develop our bodies fully...That did affect this team. Because Georgia did not have anything that it was used to having. Now we have an unbelievable weight room, and we have everything we need.” 

Not having any real facilities to work in during the remodel sure could have had a negative effect, but what about 2009? Or 2008, even? As Doc Saturday pointed out:

"By prevailing 21st Century standards, though, is there ever an excuse for anyone associated with an athletic department that brings in a surplus in excess of five million dollars, conservatively speaking, to even have the opportunity to claim the team didn't have everything it needed to compete on the field? Does that fly at all? Or was Tereshinski just looking to raise the expectations for the return to the first-class facility this year that much higher?"
Just more questions to think about in an already unsure off-season.

1 comment:

  1. Correlation does not prove causation, but if you can find a correlation between the disparity between Auburn and Georgia, you may be able to prove something quite interesting.

    Let's say that one of our weaknesses is triceps (as you mentioned). Let's also say that Auburn put 2.3 million into developing triceps, and Georgia only put 1.150 million into triceps (exactly half).

    If triceps were found out to be part of the reason Georgia lost, then you can make a pretty convincing argument that the percentage or amount of money spent has a direct link to why the percentage of money spent is one of Georgia's major problems.

    This is a great article. Well-argued. With some specific research, you could blow the lid off of why Georgia's struAggling.