A winning team makes us proud, creates school spirit and supplies fond memories for alumni wherever they go after graduation, but varsity sports don't only supply winning teams, they support the goals of the academic community, provide scholarships, facilities and general administrative funds.
"Intercollegiate Athletics is a $26 million enterprise that is totally self-sufficient," Timothy Curley, director of Intercollegiate Athletics, said. "We receive no funds from the central administration, the student activity fund nor the commonwealth of Pennsylvania."
Gate receipts -- from football, men's and women's basketball and a few other sports -- and television broadcast rights for football and men's basketball provide 70 percent of the funds for Intercollegiate Athletics. The remaining 30 percent comes from contributions from the Nittany Lion Club, concessions, parking, media guides, programs, licensing, football bowls and the Big Ten revenue sharing agreement.
"This money supports 29 sports, 14 for women and 15 for men," Mr. Curley said. "It also supports all the facilities, personnel and administration of a varsity sports effort as large as Penn State's."
Not only does the income for Intercollegiate Athletics pay for the total operation, it also provides more than $3.7 million in scholarship funds for approximately 400 students each year.
"We don't get a discount," Mr. Curley said. "We pay the University the full tuition amount as it applies to each student." These Levi Lamb scholarships also provide for room and board for the student athletes.
Room, board and tuition are not all student athletes receive. Intercollegiate Athletics also provides $800,000 annually for the Academic Support Center for Student Athletes, where tutors, counselors and a sports psychologist are made available.
As every undergraduate knows, the University has an exercise and sports activities requirement. Whether students fulfill that requirement with swimming, basketball, judo or jogging, their classes will be in facilities maintained by Intercollegiate Athletics and scheduled the same way any other "sporting event" is scheduled. Students in classes, intramurals and clubs use facilities maintained by Intercollegiate Athletics for their programs, but shared with others.
While Intercollegiate Athletics does not receive money from the University it does pay an administrative fee to the central administration general fund each year. This assessment of 3 percent of the budget is expected to total $646,000 for 1995-96.
When the University agreed to pay the surrounding municipalities a fee in lieu of taxes, a 50-cent surcharge was placed on all tickets priced over $5. The more people attend football, men's or women's basketball games, the more Intercollegiate Athletics contributes to fulfilling this University obligation.
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