The financial impact of massive sanctions is hurting Penn State’s athletic department, leaving the school to consider taking out a loan to keep the program running in the black.
Penn State was fined $60 million by the NCAA as part of the hefty sanctions levied against the university last year. The school is also not eligible for any postseason payouts from the Big Ten, leaving $2.3 million t be split among the eligible Big Ten schools and attendance has dipped since the implementation of a controversial seating program even before the startling revelations and fallout of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Penn State’s home games still attract a solid number but the capacity percentage of Beaver Stadium continues to drop. With fewer people in the stands, there are fewer programs, hot dogs and beverages being sold. This all adds up and it is beginning to cost Penn State.
Penn State Athletics Director David Joyner has discussed the idea of a $30 million load to help the short-term budget concerns within the athletics department with the financial committee of board of trustees. According to a report by Ben Jones of StateCollege.com, “Penn State’s ending reserve balance over the next five years is projected to dip as low as 5.52 million dollars in the red.” According to the report, Penn State would use $5 to $10 million of the loan to open a line of credit to cover upcoming costs through 2016 while the remainder would be used to cover other short-term needs.
The budget crisis at Penn State may be a short-term problem. The current budget details do not take in to account any money Penn State receives through Big Ten television revenue, which the school is still allowed to receive while under sanctions. Penn State will be allowed to start receiving Big Ten bowl shares after the sanctions are served, and that should help Penn State start to recoup their losses relatively quickly.
Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.
With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future. The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.
Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee. The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.
At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas. The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.
Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels. He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.
Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.
The website Gridiron.com, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August. The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.
From the site’s report:
The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.
The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”
Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”
At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations. Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.