UNIVERSITY PARK — At least 25 percent of the $60 million Penn State is paying in NCAA sanctions will stay in Pennsylvania.
The NCAA said Tuesday it has charged an independent task force with developing the blueprint for how the money should be distributed.
While that process has yet to begin, NCAA officials confirmed 25 percent of the money is guaranteed to stay in the state.
The $60 million fund will be created by fines levied against Penn State as part of major sanctions after the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal and the Freeh report, which alleges a cover-up involving former top university administrators.
An NCAA statement said all money from the fine will flow to programs designed to prevent child sexual abuse or to assist victims nationwide.
Pennsylvania organizations will receive the first round of funding, according to a statement from Penn State. But the university and NCAA have not established how long that would take.
The 10-person task force, which has yet to meet, will develop the philosophy and guidelines for distributing the $60 million endowment.
Penn State was permitted to appoint two members, selecting Nan Crouter, dean of the university’s College of Health and Human Development, and Craig Hillemeier, vice dean for clinical affairs at the university’s College of Medicine.
In a statement posted on Penn State’s “Progress” website, university President Rodney Erickson said Penn State gathered local input concerning how the fund should be handled. That information was sent to the NCAA.
“The NCAA has determined that at least one quarter of the annual disbursements from the endowment will be reserved for Pennsylvania organizations,” Erickson said. “However, recognizing that child sexual abuse is a national issue, the NCAA has determined that grants from the endowment will be available in other states as well.
“Penn State appreciates the commitments of the task force on this important endeavor that will help countless victims of child sexual abuse.”
Hillemeier, also a professor and chairman of the department of pediatrics and medical director of Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital, said he agrees with the NCAA’s decision to guarantee a percentage of the money stays in state.
“I think it’s important for Pennsylvania,” he said. “We’ll be able to put the funds to work right here. I think that’s an important thing to be able to do.”
Hillemeier said he thinks the endowment has the potential to make a difference in the prevention of child sexual abuse.
“All the faculty at Children’s Hospital feel child protection is one of the most important things they do,” he said. “It’s an important way to be able to advocate for children.”
Crouter, who started at Penn State in 1981 as an assistant professor of human development, said she appreciates the importance of her role on the task force.
“I think this is one way in which something very positive can come out of a tragic situation,” she said. “This could be a source of funds for important programs.”
While she has yet to meet the other members of the task force, and did not know when their first discussion would take place, Crouter said she thinks the process can move swiftly.
“Things seem to be getting off to a brisk start,” she said. “We’ll be on task and do our best to come up with a good plan.”
According to Penn State, the group is tasked with:
• Developing and recommending the philosophy by which the endowment earnings will be employed;
• Defining the types of programs to benefit from the endowment;
• Establishing criteria used to obtain grants from the endowment;
• Developing investment and spending practices to sustain the endowment;
• Determining the financial and legal structure for holding assets;
• Identifying and recommending an independent third party to administer and manage the endowment assets; and
• Establishing appropriate reporting and accountability to monitor the performance and uses of the assets.
“Once the philosophy, criteria, investment and spending policies and the third-party administrator have been identified, the task force’s work will be concluded,” the NCAA said in a release.
An NCAA spokesperson declined further comment when contacted Tuesday afternoon.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter