$162 million budget approved for UGA Athletics

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LAKE OCONEE – A fiscal year 2023 budget of $162 million was unanimously approved by the University of Georgia Athletic Association Board of Directors on Friday during its annual two-day spring meeting.

The budget projection for 2023 represents nearly an eight percent increase from the 2022 budget. 

“This [2023 budget] is a look back to pre-Covid numbers,” said J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics Josh Brooks.  “Last year there was a lot of uncertainty as we began to return to normal. This year is a return to normal projections as you look at budgets, when you talk about travel and recruiting.  So it’s more of a return to normal. We hope and project it to be a more ‘normal’ year and it’s reflected in the projected budget.”

Day two’s agenda items included reports from student representatives Meg Kowalski (Tennis) and Josh Stinson (baseball) about initiatives by the Georgia Way program. Brennan Cox (student body rep) proposed a series of changes to the student ticket policy for the 2023 school year, which were approved by the Board. 

The Student Wellness Committee, represented by Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley, reported on further programs to enhance the mental well-being of UGA student-athletes.  UGA Vice President for Finance, Ryan Nesbit, also presented the Treasurer’s Report for the 2022 and 2023 fiscal years. The increased emphasis on student-athletes’ mental health programs were reflected in the 2023 budget projections. 

“I think we’re seeing it on a national level.  It’s not just college athletes, it’s college students in general,” Brooks said.  “We recognize that.  We’re dealing with a lot of high-performing student-athletes that put a lot of pressure on themselves.  We’re learning that the support we give them in that area goes a long way.  They’ve embraced it.  So we want to support them on the court, on the field, in the classroom.”

The tenures of all three student representatives expired at the end of the 2022 academic year.  Student-athlete reps on the Board for 2023 will be softball player Jaiden Fields and sprinter Caleb Cavanaugh, who are both juniors.  The student body representative for 2023 was voted on Thursday by the Board and will be announced at a later date.