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UGA football wins recruits with $4.5M feasts, flights, more

BVN Sports

ATHENS, Ga. (BVM) – The Georgia Bulldogs football program spent $4.5 million on recruiting during the 2022 fiscal year, which is the most recent annual data obtained by USA Todayper the NCAA’s financial reports.   

UGA had the No. 1 largest recruiting budget in all of college football for fiscal year 2022, but the spending laid the groundwork for Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs to acquire the No. 3 recruiting class in 2022 and the No. 2 class in 2023.

Here’s a look at how UGA football spent some of the $4.5 million on the recruiting trail:

  • $375,217 – Spent across Chick-fil-A, Five Bar, Saucehouse Barbeque, Outback Steakhouse and Wing House Grill 

  • $6,406 – Flowers for recruits 

  • $372,360 – Striplings General Store (helped cater meals for visits) 

  • $114,612 – Epting Events and Trump’s Catering (helped host recruits)  

  • $211,000 – Springhill Suites (hotels) for recruits and their families

  • $19,078 – Bulldog Limousine (chauffeur transportation during visits) 

  • $490,367 – Flights on chartered planes (since UGA doesn’t own a private jet)

  • $1.14 million – Coaches’ flights to recruits through “Wheels Up”   

  • $60,364 – Helicopters (often used by Kirby Smart)

  • $304,637 – Car rental companies EAN Services and Hertz

  • $387,142 – American Express charges for coaches’ transportation and transportation on official visits 

  • $171,612 – Lake Oconee Rental for official visits (tents, linens and chair rentals) 

  • $45,000 – Hudl (game footage) 

  • $47,421 – 3D Promotions 

  • $8,450 – Recruits spent time at Lumberjaxe Athens and “UGA Theatre” 

Note that the amount spent on recruiting during fiscal year 2023 has yet to be disclosed to the public. Overall, Kirby Smart continues to spend money in all the right places on the recruiting trail. A total of 28 recruits signed with the Bulldogs for early national signing day on Wednesday – locking the program in with the No. 1 class in the 2024 cycle.

Notably, UGA football’s $4.5 million recruiting budget makes up about 7% of the program’s $61.72 million in total expenses, according to the United States Department of Education’s equity in athletics data.

Subsequently, the program brought in $155.95 million in revenue – meaning that profits totaled about $94.23 million. UGA was the No. 2 most profitable college football team during the 2022 fiscal year.

“I want to be efficient and we make decisions and we’re conscious of budgets and we try to be smart so I’m not trying to sit here and — we’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to compete,” Smart previously told the media about Georgia’s recruiting budget.

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May the richest team win.

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