PSU: Fine not as impactful as it seems

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PSU: Fine not as impactful as it seems

By RACHEL COHEN & BRENT KALLESTAD
NEW YORK -- The 60 million fine levied on Penn State by the NCAA doesn't look so big next to the scale of the athletic department's finances.
Penn State plans to pay the fine, part of sanctions announced Monday over the child sexual abuse scandal, in five annual installments of 12 million.
The Penn State athletic department had more than 116 million in revenue to more than 84 million in expenses for the 2010-11 school year, according to data reported by the school to the U.S. Department of Education. The expenses don't include debt service or capital expenditures.
Penn State won't be able to save money by making cuts in other sports. The NCAA specifically prohibited that as part of the punishment.
Instead of simply cutting costs, the athletic department can make up for any shortfalls in another way: raising money.
Major college athletic departments receive significant financial support from booster clubs. The Nittany Lion Club took in more than 82 million for the 2011 fiscal year, according to its annual report. That includes 34 million in special gifts for facilities. Its annual fund brought in 17 million, and donations for suites and club seats at Beaver Stadium totaled 12 million.
There were 50 contributors who gave at least 20,000 each.
Bob Harrison, Class of 1962, has donated more than 250,000 to Penn State in his life. Frustrated that the NCAA based its sanctions on what he considers a deeply flawed Freeh report, Harrison's support for the school and the athletic department has not wavered. And he believes he's not the only booster who feels that way.
"I would say a high percentage supporting the athletic program will continue to," said Harrison, who worked for Goldman Sachs for 28 years.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett demanded assurances from the university that taxpayer money would not be used. Penn State said it would cover it with its athletics reserve fund and capital maintenance budget and, if necessary, borrow money.
The reduction in football scholarships handed down by the NCAA will save the athletic program some. The accompanying bowl ban could also reduce costs, because schools often lose money on lower-level bowls.
The NCAA said the 60 million represented the average annual gross revenue of the football program. The money will go toward outside programs devoted to preventing child sexual abuse or assisting victims.
The Big Ten also announced that Penn State would not be allowed to share in the conference's bowl revenue during the postseason ban, an estimated loss of about 13 million.
At Penn State, the men's basketball team had profits of nearly 5 million in 2010-11, according to the Department of Education report. Teams other than football and men's basketball had about 23 million in expenses, and the athletic department spent another 36.5 million on expenses not allocated to a particular sport. Football cost 19.5 million.
Of course, football revenue could lag if the team struggles badly on the field as a result of the sanctions, and ticket sales decrease.
The university said earlier this month that its fundraising was strong over the past year despite the scandal. Penn State received more than 208 million in donations for the fiscal year that just ended, the second-highest total in school history.

College Football Playoff projections: From contender to pretender in just four weeks

College Football Playoff projections: From contender to pretender in just four weeks

There were high hopes for LSU at the start of the season. With the collection of talent the Tigers boast on their roster, there was no reason to think they could not challenge Alabama for SEC supremacy.

Even my preseason College Football Playoff projections at the start of the season had LSU as one of the four teams to make the playoff.

SEE THE NEW COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFF PROJECTION HERE

The Tigers' championship hopes took a hit with an opening loss to Wisconsin. Now just four games into their season, Les Miles been fired and their playoff aspirations appear to be completely dashed after a devastating loss Auburn.

With Alabama looking as dominant as ever and what was believed to be their main rival already looking down and out, who else can challenge the Tide for supremacy of the SEC? Who else joins the Alabama in the projected top four?

Find out here in this week's College Football Playoff projection.

Jerod Evans' 4 touchdowns carry Virginia Tech past East Carolina

Jerod Evans' 4 touchdowns carry Virginia Tech past East Carolina

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -- Jerod Evans said that he needed to clean up some things during Virginia Tech's upcoming off week.

The Hokies' fan base may be wondering what exactly that is. His play so far has been sparkling.

Evans, the Hokies' starting quarterback, threw three touchdown passes and rushed for one to lift Virginia Tech over East Carolina 54-17 on Saturday.

The Hokies (3-1) scored on their final five possessions of the first half, including all four of their second-quarter possessions, to overwhelm East Carolina (2-2) and snap a two-game losing streak to the Pirates.

Evans completed 13 of 20 passes for a career-best 282 yards and rushed for a career-best 97 more. He has thrown at least three touchdown passes in three of the Hokies' first four games and is completing 67 percent of his passes.

"I missed a couple of things here and there," Evans said. "I have a lot of things that I can get better at for sure."

Evans entered the game with an ACC-best 10 touchdown passes this season. Of more importance to Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente, he has thrown just one interception.

"I think he's pretty good," Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said of Evans. "He's been judicious with the ball and he's going to the right place most of the time. He's been pretty efficient."

Following a punt return for a touchdown by Greg Stroman and a touchdown run by Marshawn Williams that gave the Hokies a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, Evans threw touchdown passes of 24 yards to Isaiah Ford, 13 yards to Travon McMillian and 55 yards to Cam Phillips. That final score gave the Hokies a 38-0 halftime lead.

ECU quarterback Philip Nelson had 362 yards passing and two touchdown tosses to Jimmy Williams. The Pirates had 443 yards of offense, but committed three special teams mistakes, fumbled once and were sacked six times.

"We studied the film well and they had a lot of keys when they were sliding the protection," said Ken Ekanem, who had two of the Hokies' six sacks. "We had a lot of indicators and we knew when someone was going to be left one-on-one. We look forward to one-on-one matchups and pride ourselves on winning those. We did a good job of that today."

THE TAKEAWAY

EAST CAROLINA: Coming off a 20-15 loss at South Carolina and playing its third consecutive game against a Power 5 opponent, the Pirates looked a step slow and out of sorts from the opening kick. They went three-and-out on five first-half possessions. The Pirates hope to regroup now that they have finished the non-conference portion of their schedule.

"That was clearly the best football team that we have played," ECU coach Scottie Montgomery said. "The most physical. The biggest. The fastest. The strongest. The smartest. I thought they competed well in their scheme. They played great emotional football. They leaned on their crowd. They played a complete football game -- as complete as it gets."

VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies dominated on special teams, scoring three touchdowns as a result of those units. Greg Stroman scored on an 87-yard punt return, and Cam Phillips blocked a punt that led to an Evans touchdown pass to Travon McMillian. A sack of ECU punter Worth Gregory in the fourth quarter led to a 1-yard touchdown run by backup quarterback Brenden Motley.

UP NEXT

EAST CAROLINA: The Pirates open AAC play next Saturday with a home game against UCF. ECU blasted the Golden Knights 44-7 last season for their first win in Orlando since 2008.

VIRGINIA TECH: The Hokies are off next week before taking on North Carolina on Oct. 8 and will be looking to avenge last year's 30-27 overtime loss. The Hokies have won nine of the 12 meetings with the Tar Heels since joining the ACC.