Corman: NCAA won’t disburse Penn State fines while lawsuit continues

cpassant@centredaily.comJanuary 18, 2013 

The NCAA will not disburse any of the $12 million in fines paid so far by Penn State while negotiations over a lawsuit filed by Sen. Jake Corman continue, Corman said Thursday.

Corman, R-Benner Township, sued the NCAA in December to stop it from using money from Penn State’s $60 million fine to pay for child abuse prevention programs outside Pennsylvania. In the suit filed in Commonwealth Court in Harrisburg, Corman said the state gives Penn State so much money — $214 million this fiscal year — that the university could not pay the fine without state help.

“I believe the fine money, which is coming from Pennsylvania residents, should stay in Pennsylvania and benefit our organizations and children,” Corman said in the release. “Every dollar will continue to go to worthy and valuable child abuse prevention and educational organizations, except this way, the connection between Pennsylvania resident funds and Pennsylvania benefits will be clear.”

Corman’s lawsuit came within days of a suit by Gov. Tom Corbett. The governor filed a federal antitrust suit on seeking a reversal of all the NCAA’s sanctions, including the fine.

“These sanctions are an attack on past, present and future students of Penn State, the citizens of our commonwealth and our economy,” Corbett said at a Jan. 2 press conference at Penn State. “As governor of this commonwealth, I cannot and will not stand by and let it happen without a fight.”

Corman said the NCAA’s plan to use $45 million of the $60 million in Penn State fines for prevention programs outside the commonwealth “violates the state’s constitution on the grounds lawmakers review and oversee the university’s spending.”

“The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection recently issued a comprehensive report which points to many worthwhile organizational avenues in our Commonwealth that could benefit greatly from the distribution of the fine,” Corman said in the statement. “I believe keeping the money is Pennsylvania is not only appropriate, but also will significantly help the state achieve the goals and preparedness the Task Force spells out.”

Corman told the CDT on Thursday, there is still “a long way to go.”

“Of course, it’s a minor step of many steps,” Corman said. “If the money is not disbursed, it’s a lot easier to deal with.”

As far as chances he will be successful in keeping all the money in Pennsylvania, Corman said he was “optimistic.”

“We’re very positive,” he said. “Legally we’re in good standing so we’re very optimistic.”

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