Report Shows Penn State Athletics Lost $6 Million in 2012-2013

Brian Leigh@@BLeighDATFeatured ColumnistFebruary 14, 2014

Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg (14) stands on the sidelines next to Penn State head coach Bill O' Brien during the second quarter of an NCAA college football game against Nebraska  in State College, Pa., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Penn State University released its annual financial report to the NCAA on Friday and the returns showed a troubling movement into the red.

Per the report, the program lost $6 million during the 2012-13 season, the first of Bill O'Brien's tenure after Joe Paterno left the program in shame following the Jerry Sandusky scandal and subsequent sanctions that rocked the program and the city.

According to Charles Thompson of The Patriot News:

Any deficits in the current and future years will be covered through a $30 million bridge loan from the central university that was approved by the board of trustees last September, officials said.

That borrowing, Athletic Director David Joyner said then, will permit the department to meet its obligations and invest in near-term capital needs while it emerges from the effects of the Sandusky scandal.

"Penn State Athletics is ensuring it remains healthy in all areas by borrowing now for the future, when we anticipate our revenues will increase," said Joyner, according to Thompson. The school is doubling down on its future earning potential in a big way.

Not that it shouldn't. It's understandable for the program to have enjoyed a poor year in the wake of the Sandusky fiasco. On normal terms, Penn State is one of the highest functioning, insanely marketable and highest-earning programs in the country.

The Nittany Lions have been burdened by scholarship restrictions the past couple of seasons, limiting their on-field capability and forcing them into a combined record of 15-9 since 2012.

But those numbers have been marked by relative highs, chief among them a season-ending victory over Wisconsin in 2013 that seemed to have come out of nowhere but was actually the inevitable culmination of a season-long improvement in Happy Valley.

Now, former Vanderbilt head coach James Franklin has replaced O'Brien, who left for the NFL's Houston Texans, and seeks to lead the program in a propitious and hopefully wealthy new direction.

With rising sophomore quarterback Christian Hackenberg, one of the most promising young passers in America, starting under center, his job will be considerably less difficult.

Penn State won't be losing money for long.