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Penn State Athletic Department Spent $7.7 Million of $24.6 Million in Reserve Fund Through January

on May 11, 2012 11:25 AM

Updated at 11:25 p.m.

The Penn State athletic department spent $7.7 million of the $24.6 million in its reserve fund through January, university spokesman Dave La Torre said Friday.

That left the department with $16.9 million remaining for emergency situations such as severance packages and retirement benefits.

The total dollar figure used from the reserve fund is expected to escalate in the future.

StateCollege.com reported Wednesday the athletic department had to dip into its reserve fund to pay at least $10 million in severance packages to the prior football coaching staff and another $5.7 million recently in retirement benefits and payments to the estate of former coach Joe Paterno.

Earlier at 3:27 p.m. May 9

The Penn State athletic department has had to dip into its reserve fund to pay off at least $10 million in severance packages and retirement benefits.

The athletic department spent $4.4 million on severance packages for the former football coaching staff and another $5.7 million in retirement benefits and payments to the estate of former coach Joe Paterno.

Asked Wednesday by StateCollege.com if he was concerned about having to pay so much out of the athletic reserve fund, acting athletic director Dave Joyner said: “Oh, sure.”

But Joyner was quick to point out that unexpected expenses are the reason for a reserve fund. However, he could not put a dollar figure on how much is in the account or how much has been spent.

“We have a regular operating budget ($116 million with a $53.2 million profit in 2010-11) and we have a reserve,” Joyner said. “I have reported on that reserve to the Board of Trustees and that’s why the reserve is here. It’s like a savings account for a rainy day.

“The reserve is where we're getting those funds to make those special payments that we’ve had to make. Those bring that down, but it doesn’t hurt the operating budget, so we’re OK in that sense.”

A two-part, wide-ranging interview with Joyner will run on StateCollege.com Thursday and Friday.

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