A task force of experts on child sexual abuse and endowments will decide how to distribute the $60 million Penn State is paying in NCAA sanctions, and more information on that process is expected to be announced soon.
An Aug. 28 response letter from NCAA Vice President of Administration Kathleen McNeely to state House Democratic leader Rep. Frank Dermody, who wants to see all of that money stay in the state’s borders, said that a task force, not the NCAA, will decide the best way to distribute the money.
“The (t)ask (f)orce will comprise national experts on child sexual abuse and the administration of endowments. Once the (t)ask (f)orce has met and completed its work, the NCAA will publicly announce on our website the process that will be available to apply for funds,” McNeely’s letter said.
NCAA spokeswoman Amy Dunham said the NCAA will respond directly to Dermody rather than going through the media and will also be announcing more information soon.
“Information on the endowment task force will be posted on our website in the coming days,” Dunham said.
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The NCAA sanctions were in response to Penn State’s role in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.
Dermody, D-Allegheny, said along with keeping the money in state, he wants Pennsylvania residents and victims’ advocates to be represented on the task force.
“It is my firm belief, and the belief of many Pennsylvanians, that 100 percent of this money must remain in Pennsylvania to fund programs and services to help child sexual abuse victims here,” Dermody wrote. “Not only is this endowment being completely funded by Penn State with Pennsylvania dollars, but the endowment’s very creation was sparked by a tragedy that occurred in Pennsylvania and which scarred the lives of Pennsylvania children.”
In a follow-up letter sent to McNeely on Friday, Dermody asks who will be appointing the task force members and whether Penn State will be part of that process.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller was one of the Pennsylvania district attorneys who asked the NCAA to use the Penn State fines to fund child advocacy centers in the state.
“One ideal way to allocate this money which is in line with the dictates of the NCAA’s purpose is to fund child advocacy centers where the DA’s office, law enforcement and (Children and Youth Services) build solid investigations against these predators in a manner which is safe, comforting and collaborative and provides thorough after-care long term to the child victims,” Parks Miller said.
Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648. Follow her on Twitter @AnneDanahy