SBD/October 1, 2012/Colleges

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  • Penn State Football Revenue Has Not Slipped In First Season After Sandusky Scandal

    The Penn State football team accounted for $43.8M in profit in FY '11

    The Penn State Univ. football team's ability to generate revenue "hasn't slipped at all" in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, according to Curtis Eichelberger of BLOOMBERG NEWS. PSU said that it has sold 68,000 season tickets, "about the same as last year." Also, the 60 luxury suites at Beaver Stadium "are sold out, and donations tied to ticket purchases are projected to reach a record" $17.5M this season. PSU's NCAA revenue and expense report noted that the school generated $116.1M in revenue in FY '11 and "turned a profit" of $14.8M. The football team "accounted for" $58.9M in revenue and $43.8M in profit. PSU interim AD Dave Joyner said that the school "communicated with alumni and fans, talked with sponsors and held private meetings with key boosters about what it was doing to fix its failures and maintain its 31 sports." Football coach Bill O'Brien went on a three-week, 18-city bus tour "to face the fans and share his rebuilding plans." Joyner said that contracts as long as 10 years "will keep many sponsors in the fold, giving the school time to repair its reputation" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 9/27). ESPN.com's Darren Rovell wrote, "All is not rosy from a business perspective." The Sept. 22 Temple-PSU game "drew only 93,680 fans, its lowest attendance for a game since 1995, when it drew an estimated 80,000 for a game against Michigan after a snowstorm." This season marks the first time since '00 that PSU "failed to draw more than 100,000 for any one of its first three games." The "troubling sign for the Nittany Lions is that interest in the team's tickets on the secondary market, where a donation obviously doesn't have to be paid, is down significantly" (ESPN.com, 9/28).

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