Report: Florida, LSU football out-spending Georgia on support

ATHENS — The college football “arms race” remains at full-go, with Georgia ready to do whatever it takes to remain a championship contender per athletic director Josh Brooks.

Funds are being gathered across the nation at all schools to pay players through NIL dealings, build and enhance athletic facilities and give coaches competitive salaries.

Such spending is often scrutinized, most recently in a USA Today story that measured different SEC football support staffs.

A USA Today story found that both Florida (68) and LSU (61) currently have more full-time football support personnel than Georgia (56).

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Coach Billy Napier’s staff at Florida was found to be spending $6.2 million on its support staff, while LSU is spending $5 million and Georgia is at $4.8.

The average being spent on full-time support staff members among the 13 SEC public schools that disclosed information (Vanderbilt is private) is $4.3 million.

The USA Today story revealed that three of the so-called “quality control coordinators” that Georgia employs are chefs.

Other notable figures on the UGA support staff drawing significant salaries included director of football administration Mike Cavan ($202,210) and analyst Mike Bobo ($147,925).

Seventh-year coach Kirby Smart has been thorough in building an elite program that won the 2021 CFP title game and is ranked No. 1 and making a run for yet another championship.

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It has been well-documented that Georgia has invested more than $240 million into facilities upgrades and improvements since Smart was hired before the 2016 season, and Bulldogs’ assistant football coaches have been paid top-dollar.

“His record speaks for itself,” second-year UGA athletics director Josh Brooks said in the recent USA Today interview, explaining his confidence in Smart’s vision.

“At those moments when you win a championship, you realize the work and all the resources we put into it has paid off.”

Brooks indicated that, just as coaches and players look to commit all their efforts towards titles each day, his athletic department aims to do the same in its support of Smart and his football program.

“When that season is over, you know you can’t go back in time and retro-add resources,” Brooks said. “So, it keeps our focus on the mission and makes us want to keep giving our coaches the resources they need.”

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Brooks did not raise ticket prices for the 2022 season, even after the Bulldogs won their first national championship since 1980. The have been no public comments on the ticket price for the 2023 season.

Smart was rewarded with a $112.5 million contract (before bonuses) announced last July, while offensive coordinator Todd Monken has a $2.01 million deal that makes him the highest-paid assistant coach in the nation at the time of this publication.

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Georgia plays Ohio State at 8 p.m. on Dec. 31 in the CFP Peach Bowl Semifinal in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

“Coaches want to maximize every opportunity they have, so when you think about preparation for a contest – whether you’re talking about travel, nutrition, weightlifting, sleep, you want to make sure everything is maximized at 100%,” Brooks said in the USA Today story.

“You don’t want to go into a contest thinking, ‘Man, if we just had better nutrition … .’ You can’t risk not having your team prepared. Everything is important.”

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