UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. --- The Penn State athletic department's first annual financial report since the Sandusky scandal revealed that revenue and donations decreased significantly from the previous year, but football-specific donations nearly quintupled.
Penn State sent this information to the NCAA in January and publicly released the data on its website Monday.
For the fiscal year beginning in July 2011 and ending in June 2012, Penn State's athletic department totaled $108.3 million in revenue, down from $116.1 million from the previous fiscal year. Expenses for this latest year were $107.3 million, so the athletic department still had a surplus, as it has had in the past.
Overall donations fell to $25.5 million from $34.2 million. But football-specific giving went up. It went way up. Contributions totaled nearly $9.7 million, compared to about $2.1 million the previous year.
Also of note, the athletic department's reserve fund totaled $11.9 million, down from $24.7 million.
So what to make of all this?
First of all, future reports will reveal much more interesting data. This report didn't encompass numbers from the second half of 2012, meaning no data from the 2012 football season or the hit from the first installment of a fine paid to the NCAA.
Secondly, the drop in overall donations could cause a problem.
In an earlier article, the Post-Gazette, examined the finances of Penn State, identifying the possible setbacks the athletic department could face. Athletic director Dave Joyner said the department wouldn't reduce any spending for the football team and per NCAA rules is not supposed to reduce non-revenue sports.
Joyner said cuts would come by postponing capital maintenance projects and new capital projects, such as the postponement of a new football scoreboard. But he also said the athletic department, particularly pertaining to improving and building facilities for athletic teams, would rely heavily on donations.
As for the fine, the athletic department is paying the $12-million installments to the NCAA through a loan from the university it is paying back over 30 years at 4 percent interest. The first $12 million installment of the $60 million fine will cost the athletic department about $687,000 per year. Should the terms stay the same for the next four installments of the fine, the athletic department will be drained of about $3.4 million a year in costs plus interests starting in 2017.
Mark Dent: email@example.com, Twitter @mdent05