Athletics continues to take steps to remain self-supporting

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics recently filed its 2014-15 NCAA Annual Financial Report, which showed continued efforts to contain rising expenses and remain a self-supporting unit.

Revenues in FY 2015 continued to increase after stabilizing in FY 2014. Among the areas resulting in higher revenues were ticket sales, concessions and parking, increases in Nittany Lion Club contributions and overall gifts, the reinstatement of Penn State's bowl revenue from the Big Ten Conference, and increases in Big Ten disbursements. The strength of the Penn State brand also resulted in additional corporate partner and third party compensation and re-negotiated agreements with Nike and Learfield Sports.

The 2014-15 fiscal year also saw an increase in expenses, including coaching, administrative and support staff compensation, team travel -- due primarily to the football team's 2014 game in Ireland -- and the costs associated with home game operations, including security measures and staffing. Additional expenses included the initial debt service payments on facility projects, including two new Beaver Stadium videoboards, the University's short-term $30 million loan to ICA ($20 million received through FY 15) and the 2012 NCAA fine.

Penn State also saw increased costs in the daily operations of its nationally competitive 31-sport program, which has won six NCAA championships and a conference-best 23 Big Ten titles since the start of the 2012-13 academic year.

The net revenues and expenses resulted in Penn State Athletics finishing fiscal 2015 with a positive balance of approximately $3.45 million.

"Penn State Athletics continues to be a healthy, self-supporting unit, bolstered by several new and increasing revenue streams during fiscal 2015, while remaining alert to rising expenses," said Sandy Barbour, director of Athletics. "During the past year, we have begun to see some encouraging indicators, including the return of Big Ten bowl disbursements and additional revenue in other areas, that is allowing us to return to a sense of normalcy sooner than we had anticipated, in conjunction with our expense management efforts."

The restoration of Penn State's $4.7 million share of Big Ten bowl revenues in FY 15 was a significant factor in ICA returning to a balanced budget sooner than anticipated. Penn State's conference bowl revenue share is projected to be at least that in FY 16.

Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics does not receive any funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or its taxpayers, nor any student fees or financial support directly allocated by central administration. Penn State is one of only seven NCAA Division I athletic departments that reports to be self-supporting.

Penn State has one of the nation's most broad-based and successful athletic programs, with approximately 800 student-athletes and 31 programs, tied for the fourth-highest sport total among Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, that are fully funded at the NCAA maximum scholarship levels.

Penn State student-athletes have an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 88 percent and have earned 191 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America selections, the fourth-highest total among Division I programs. The Nittany Lions have won 75 team national championships and 96 Big Ten Conference crowns all-time and their 28 NCAA Championships since 1992-93 are the most of any Big Ten institution. Penn State is one of just nine institutions nationally to finish in the Top 25 of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup in all 22 years of the program's existence, earning three consecutive Top 10 finishes.

Last Updated February 18, 2016