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Penn State Athletics Taking Steps to Remain Self-Supporting Unit

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.

February 13, 2015 -

2013-14 NCAA Annual Report Get Acrobat Reader

Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics recently filed its 2013-14 NCAA Annual Financial Report, which shows continued efforts to remain a self-supporting unit.

During FY 2014, Penn State saw several one-time revenue enhancements compared to FY 2013, including payments from the NFL's Houston Texans and for the Nittany Lions' 2013 football game vs. Syracuse in MetLife Stadium. The first season of the Penn State men's hockey team playing in the new Pegula Ice Arena provided a new, and on-going, revenue stream in comparison to the previous year. The net revenues and expenses resulted in Penn State Athletics finishing fiscal 2014 with a positive balance of $150,351.

Revenues in FY 2014 also stabilized compared to FY 2013, including ticket revenue and a slight increase in Big Ten Conference disbursements, in addition to the first-time revenues associated with men's hockey.

The 2013-14 fiscal year also saw an increase in expenses, including coaching and support staff salaries - mostly the result of coaching turnover - strength and conditioning equipment, uniforms and equipment, in addition to the increased cost of daily operations for Penn State's nationally competitive 31-sport program, which won three NCAA and eight Big Ten Championships in 2013-14.

"Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics continues to remain a healthy, self-supporting unit with the assistance of short-term borrowings that are being leveraged to financially bridge us into the future, when several revenue streams will return and increase," said Sandy Barbour, Director of Athletics. "While we are still feeling some remaining financial impacts of the sanctions, we are beginning to see some encouraging indicators, including the bowl revenue in 2015-16, that will allow us to return to a sense of normalcy sooner than we had originally anticipated."

The restoration of Penn State's share of Big Ten Conference bowl revenues for the 2015-16 fiscal year is expected to accelerate the timeline for ICA to return to a balanced budget. Penn State's conference bowl revenue share is projected to be more than $6 million for 2015-16.

In November 2013, ICA submitted a request to the Board of Trustees for a $30 million loan to assist ICA in covering its anticipated operating expenses in the short term (3-4 years) while it continues investing in capital projects and programs overall. During the 2013-14 academic year, the first loan installment of $10 million was instrumental in Penn State Athletics maintaining a reserve balance.

Revenue indicators for the 2014-15 fiscal year are encouraging, with football attendance rising 5.0 percent (5,036 per game avg.) during the 2014 season, in addition to increased revenue from third party contracts and Big Ten Conference disbursements.

Penn State Athletics anticipates a deficit in FY 2015, with the increasing cost of daily operations, staff salaries, unlimited meals for student-athletes who are on aid and the football team's Croke Park Classic trip to Ireland among the contributing factors.

Additionally, future forecasts indicate rising expenses associated with recent NCAA legislation as cost of attendance measures will add an on-going expense of approximately $1.75 million to scholarship costs.

Penn State Athletics does not receive any funding from The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or its taxpayers.

Penn State has one of the nation's most broad-based and successful athletic programs, offering 31 sports, tied for the third-highest total among Football Bowl Subdivision institutions, that are fully funded at the NCAA maximum scholarship levels.

Penn State is one of just nine institutions nationally that has placed in the final Top 25 of the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup in the program's 22 years of existence, finishing No. 5 in 2013-14 for its highest finish in 11 years. Penn State student-athletes earned an NCAA Graduation Success Rate of 89 percent, according to NCAA data last fall, their second-highest figure all-time and surpassed only by Northwestern among Big Ten institutions. The Nittany Lions have won 73 team national championships and 90 Big Ten Championships all-time.

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