With the goal of reducing expenses, Georgia State’s athletic department finished the 2014-15 fiscal year with a surplus of slightly more than $630,000. The extra revenue went toward paying down the department’s debt, which is now $1.3 million.
“We’ve been trying to streamline the budgets for the past 10 months to better serve the student-athletes and for strategic planning for the future,” senior associate athletic director Doug Justice said.
The budget was set before Charlie Cobb took over as athletic director in August 2014.
The budget he inherited projected revenues of approximately $27.2 million and expenses of $27.1 million.
Actual revenues were approximately $27.1 million, but expenditures were $26.4 million.
Student fees continue to be the main source of revenue for the department, accounting for $18.7 million, or 69 percent, of the income. Ticket sales and associated revenues came in almost $800,000 less than the budgeted $3.3 million. If you will look at the second document below, the $950,000 in conference revenues budgeted isn’t included in the actual revenues. There is $1 million in Sun Belt revenue included.
Justice said the department will continue to try to find ways to reduce expenses across the board. One way will be smarter scheduling that will focus on Georgia State’s playing more regional opponents in all sports.
That practice has already been put into place in football. The team won’t play a non-conference opponent west of the Mississippi River other than Air Force, which was scheduled under previous athletic director Cheryl Levick.
The budget for 2016-17 is still being put together.
Recent projects didn’t greatly affect the budget.
Money for $900,000 football strength and conditioning center came from the foundation. Money for the $1 million basketball and volleyball practice facility is coming from the athletic department and the university.
Looking at the documents below, you will see several shifts in categories. Money started out in one category in the original budget (pre-Cobb), and moved to another category in the actual budget (post-Cobb). The biggest example is the $3.2 million that was moved out of Office Operations. Most of that, $2.6 million, moved to Sports Operations. You will notice the remainder is $600,000.
Justice said that move reflects the desire to make sure that the coaches and athletes are getting as much money as can be afforded to help them. He noted that he doesn’t know if the money previously budgeted in Office Operations was also used for the coaches and athletes.
One other interesting item is that the Restricted Funds balance increased to $4.1 million from a budgeted $2.6 million.
***Note: you will see the documents say draft on top. That is because the auditors were working on these even last week.
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What else stands out to you about the budgets and other financial documents?