Effort to Keep NCAA Fine of 60M in Pennsylvania


By Jessica VanderKolk — jvanderk@centredaily.com

State Sen.  Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, announced Thursday he plans to introduce legislation in January that would keep the NCAA’s entire $60 million fine against Penn State in Pennsylvania.

He said he also will file a lawsuit, seeking to prohibit the  NCAA from releasing funds to any organization outside of Pennsylvania.

The  fine was part of the university’s punishment following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. Penn State this month paid the first, $12 million, installment and has five years to pay the entire amount.

Corman’s legislation generally would require that any governing body-issued fine above $10 million against a university receiving state money would remain in an in-state endowment.

He said spreading out the $60 million Penn State fine to address child abuse issues nationally would not have a significant impact.

“I think you should set Pennsylvania up as a model,” Corman said. “These are funds from a public university, athletic department dollars. They’re coming largely from Pennsylvanians, so it should go to the betterment of Pennsylvania.”

Penn State did not offer any comment on Corman’s proposal.

“We haven’t seen it so we couldn’t comment,” spokesman David La Torre wrote in an email.

Corman said the legislation would not impede on the consent decree signed by the NCAA and Penn State, agreeing to the sanctions against the university. The section related to the fine does not specify where the money must be spent, only that it may not fund programs at the university.

“Our goal is to have a policy in place that, if a university is subject to something of this nature, they would need to set up an endowment in Pennsylvania,” he said.

Corman said he sent an initial letter to the NCAA which, from initial announcement of the sanctions,  has pledged to keep at least 25 percent of Penn State’s fine in Pennsylvania. He said the reply from Chief Financial Officer Kathleen McNeely was that the 25 percent was “not a number they were willing to move on.”

Corman said he followed up with a letter to NCAA President Mark Emmert, offering to fly to Indianapolis, where the organization is based, for a meeting.

“He won’t give us a meeting,” Corman said, adding he had not received a reply. “So we’ve now tried to move in a different direction, to try to solve this problem legislatively.”

When asked for comment, an NCAA spokeswoman responded with links to the organization’s website that discuss its  Child Sexual Abuse Endowment Task Force, which will determine the “structure and policies” for the fund created by the Penn State fine.

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