THE FLATS – The October 2020 edition of the “Toddcast,” Georgia Tech director of athletics Todd Stansbury’s podcast with the Voice of the Yellow Jackets Andy Demetra, is now available for download or to be heard online.
This month’s “Toddcast” addresses Georgia Tech football, volleyball, cross country, ACC Unity Week, the athletics department’s nationally renowned voting initiatives and the Support The Swarm Fund. In addition to discussing the Support The Swarm Fund as part of the podcast, Stansbury also penned a letter to update Georgia Tech fans on the fund’s status and importance to the short- and long-term goals of Yellow Jacket athletics. Please find the letter below the following “Toddcast” links.
Click HERE to download the latest edition of the “Toddcast” or click below to listen online.
SUPPORT THE SWARM UPDATE
Dear Yellow Jacket Nation,
I hope that this finds you and your families staying safe and healthy as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times together. I wanted to take a moment of your time to provide you with an update to our Support The Swarm initiative.
As you know, Support The Swarm was developed to give our great fans an opportunity to help Georgia Tech athletics navigate the significant financial challenges presented by Covid-19, and maintain the great momentum that our teams and department had built prior to the sports world coming to a halt in March.
As I’ve shared previously, in a normal year, about $25 million of our revenue comes from ticket sales and associated TECH Fund donations. We know that we will fall far short of that number due to limited capacity at Bobby Dodd Stadium this fall, still undetermined capacity at McCamish Pavilion this winter and the significant costs associated with health and safety measures that allow our student-athletes to be able to do what they love to do – compete – and to allow as many fans as we can safely host do what they love to do – come out and support the Yellow Jackets.
Due to the revenue shortfall and unexpected expenses associated with Covid-19, we have made significant cuts to our budgets across the board. Every sport and area of our department is impacted meaningfully. Perhaps most significantly, every sport’s recruiting budget has been reduced by 50%. We also currently have 16 unfilled positions on what is already a very lean staff as compared to our peers. Several of these positions have a direct role when it comes to recruiting, especially in our football office, where we have had especially great success since head coach Geoff Collins’ arrival, with a top-25 class last year and what’s shaping up to be another this year. Therefore, I am fearful that these cuts could turn what we hoped will be a short-term bump in the road (12-18 months) into a financial crunch that could severely impede our progress and our ability to compete at the highest levels of collegiate athletics for several years.
Here’s the long and the short of it: Our current 2021 fiscal year budget (which runs through June) includes a $10 million line item for ticket sales + associated TECH Fund donations + Support The Swarm donations. However, that is the bare minimum needed just to keep us operating without having to make more significant cuts than we’ve already made. Another round of cuts would begin to significantly impact our student-athlete experience, which we have gone to great lengths to maintain through our budgeting exercises.
That said, we have set a goal of $15 million for ticket sales + associated TECH Fund donations + Support The Swarm donations. This would allow us to roll back some of the severe cuts that we have made to our FY21 budget, particularly in the area of recruiting, which is crucially important even in the current environment but becomes even more vital if the NCAA lifts its moratorium on in-person recruiting later in the fiscal year, as we certainly hope will happen if health and safety allow.
We currently stand at a little over $9 million in ticket sales + TECH Fund donations + Support The Swarm donations, which is still short of the minimum $10 million that we must have to meet our current budget and well short of the $15 million needed to meet our objective of limiting these current challenges to a 12-18 month problem, as opposed to a 4-5 year issue. The only way that we can get to the $15 million goal is through donations to the Support The Swarm Fund.
How can you help Support The Swarm? There are several ways:
- If you are someone who normally attends football games (via season or single-game tickets) and aren’t able to do so for any reason this year, whether it’s because of health concerns or because there simply aren’t enough tickets available for you to attend, please consider converting your investment in tickets into a donation to Support The Swarm.
- If you are a basketball season ticket member, while we still don’t know exactly what basketball season will look like from the number of games that we will play or what our capacity will be at McCamish Pavilion, we urge you to please commit to your season ticket investment, through opting in for tickets or by converting your investment to a donation to Support The Swarm if you aren’t able to attend due to health concerns or limited capacity. Our staff is in the process of reaching out to basketball season ticket members individually to discuss these options.
- Make a straight donation to the Support The Swarm Fund. Our staff has developed many great programs and incentives for fans that Support The Swarm, including our Virtual Tickets program that launched this week and includes great rewards and prizes for fans that support our teams and student-athletes in this manner.
I am proud of how our student-athletes and staff have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone has gone to great lengths and made huge sacrifices to protect each other from the virus. Our student-athletes have excelled academically despite being thrusted into a new world of virtual learning. Our coaches have continued to put together some of the best recruiting classes in Georgia Tech history despite not being able to meet with prospects face-to-face. And we have carried momentum from 2019-20 into 2020-21 despite the challenges – golf’s Tyler Strafaci became Tech’s second-straight U.S. Amateur champion in August, our men’s and women’s cross country teams head into this week’s ACC Championships with the women ranked No. 25 nationally, our volleyball team finished the fall portion of its schedule with a 7-1 record and ranked No. 8 nationally, and behind some of the nation’s most dynamic freshmen, our football team needed just three ACC games to match its conference win total from last season.
Our success would not be possible without your support, and we can’t thank you enough for allowing us to get where we are. We urge you to please help us continue to thrive in these challenging times, as taking a step back isn’t an option!
Thank you again for your continued support. Go Jackets!
Together We Swarm,