UGA charged $60K for AD search that led to Josh Brooks’ hire

ATHENS – Josh Brooks officially started work as Georgia’s athletic director Jan. 6. The next day, UGA Athletics received a bill from Collegiate Sports Associates for $60,378.50.

CSA is a search firm founded and run by Todd Turner, a former Washington, Vanderbilt, Connecticut and N.C. State athletic director.

According to documents requested under open-record laws by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Feb. 17 but not released by UGA until late Wednesday afternoon, an invoice shows $92 was charged for “social media background checks” done Dec. 31, and $286.50 was charged for a “formal background check on candidates.”

The one-page invoice does not indicate who the other candidates were, but the total of $378.50 in background searches indicates it wasn’t many.

The other $60,000 went to Turner’s CSA firm for “executive search services.” The invoice does not specify what those services were.

Brooks was tabbed UGA’s interim AD on Dec. 2, or approximately 42 hours after former AD Greg McGarity announced his impending retirement. However, those duties would not begin until after the New Year. McGarity’s last official day was Dec. 30, but he relocated to Ponte Vedra, Fla., well before Christmas.

After Brooks was named permanent AD on Jan. 6, UGA President Jere Morehead said that “a number of prominent athletic directors” had been “very interested in the position.” He also said that he conducted his own interviews and that an 11-person advisory committee vetted a “diverse group of highly-qualified candidates.” Other than Virginia AD Carla Williams, none of those candidates have been identified to date.

UGA also paid CSA a $60,000 fee when basketball coach Tom Crean was hired in 2018. The Bulldogs were turned down by their top candidate in that search, former Ohio State coach Thad Matta.