Drexel Expert Talks About the Impact of PSU Sanctions

The National Collegiate Athletic Association handed down a precedent-setting array of penalties to Penn State University’s athletics department in the wake of the Freeh report’s finding that upper-level administrators including former Athletics Director Tim Curley and former Head Football Coach Joe Paterno aided in a cover-up of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal. These penalties, including a $60 million fine paid out over the next five years, could significantly affect the revenue of the athletics department and, according to Drexel University’s Dr. Bernard Lentz, the economy of State College, Pa.

Lentz, an economics expert in Drexel’s Office for Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness, authored an article in the Journal of Sports Economics entitled “The Impact of Intercollegiate Athletics on Employment in the Restaurant and Accommodations Industries.” The study, which was originally conducted in 2005, looked inside microeconomies of cities and towns that are the homes of major college athletics programs. Controlling for a variety of outside factors that might affect hospitality-related industries, Lentz was able to show a positive relationship between college athletics revenues and employment in these industries.  Updated calculations based on the original study show that revenue generated from Penn State’s athletics success annually accounts for more than 17 percent of jobs in the hospitality industry in State College.  

Lentz can address the following topics:

  • Economic impact of college athletics
  • Effects of sanctions against Penn State on local economy

Lentz holds a Ph.D. economics from Yale University. He previously held faculty positions at the State University of New York at Albany, Virginia Tech and Ursinus College and was also the director of institutional research and analysis at the University of Pennsylvania. Lentz has been at Drexel since 2006 where he served as the director of the Office for Institutional Research, Assessment and Effectiveness and is now emeritus vice provost and professor of higher education.