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Column: Sizing Up the Big Leagues

GPC’s Athletic Department Compared to UGA, Georgia State, and Georgia Tech

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 3.27.07 PM
Soon, these fields will be filled with athletes striving to compete with bigger universities. Photos by Hope Dickson.

By Ben Abrams

People all around Georgia are waiting in anticipation for the start of college football season. The new school year not only means a new start for football programs across the state, but it also means a new start for the fans’ goals and expectations for all sports programs at any given school. Most fans have high expectations for UGA in 2014. Others have high hopes for Georgia Tech or Georgia State. But how does GPC fit into the fan base?

It feels like GPC is an after- thought in sports to schools like UGA, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State. And it is probably a safe bet that GPC will not be making an appearance on ESPN anytime soon. One question remains: how much of a little brother is GPC in the sports world of Georgia?

GPC is considered a small player in the University System of Georgia in some aspects, but not all. According to the Office of Postsecondary Education, there are some ways that GPC matches up to its big brother universities.

One similarity that GPC has with UGA, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State is the amount of participation in sports programs. With the exception of UGA, the ratios of participation in sports teams show that athletics are overwhelmingly male dominated. However, UGA is the only school out of the four that has more women participating in its sports programs than men. The coaching staff in these four schools is also mostly dominated by men. For every female head coach, there are two and a half male head coaches. The ratio for female to male assistant coaches is three to one. At GPC, there are no female head coaches as opposed to eight male head coaches. In fact, women are only used as part time assistant coaches for the women’s sports teams.

The male dominance in coaching of the four schools in question is even more stunning when salaries are introduced to the conversation. At Georgia State, a male coach earns one and a half times that of a female coach with the same duties. At Georgia Tech, a man makes twice the salary of a woman. Perhaps most shocking of all, male coaches at UGA can make almost three to four times as much as the female coaches!

According to the Office of Postsecondary Education, there are also glaring advantages that UGA, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State have over GPC’s athletic department.The first big difference is that GPC would have to double the size of their department to compete with these three big schools. GPC has five sports programs compared to UGA who has eleven, Georgia Tech who has nine, and Georgia State who has ten.

The size of the GPC sports department, however, is not what separates our college from the other three schools. GPC is a two- year school, while the other three colleges are four-year institutions. The biggest factor that separates the other schools from GPC is that we do not have a football team that competes on any NCAA or NJCAA level.

Win or lose, the football pro- grams at UGA, Georgia Tech, and Georgia State generate the highest amount of revenue of any sport in their athletic departments. The revenue from these football programs provides funds that can be used for financial aid for the school’s athletes and for recruiting future athletes. Whereas, basket- ball generates the most revenue at GPC, which is nowhere near what the football programs at the other three schools produce.

Even though the three schools generate more revenue than GPC, the amount of profit generated is a different story. Georgia State leads the pack $3,062,881; UGA is also ahead of GPC with $1,216,263. GPC, with a profit of $12,175, however, did produce more than Georgia Tech who generated no profit in 2012-2013, based on statistics provided by the Office of Postsecondary Education.

Anyone who watches sports will probably agree that GPC is not going to be the next NCAA Division I-A leader anytime soon. Even though GPC is the little brother to these three universities, there is proof that GPC is not as small compared to them as it would seem. Evidence shows that when it comes to the bigger schools, perception is not always reality.

About Farhin Lilywala

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