Board of Trustees

Legal fees push Penn State’s cost for Sandusky scandal to $51.8 million

The bill for Penn State’s response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal keeps climbing, as the total for legal and other fees is $51.8 million, the university has reported.

Penn State’s latest update online shows the university has spent $51,792,125 through Aug. 31 for work done by more than three dozen firms. That’s up $1,332,297 from what the university spent through July 31, according to monthly updates provided by Penn State.

The update did not include the $59.7 million Penn State will pay out to 26 men who settled their claims through a university-appointed mediator. That raises the known cost of the scandal to about $111.5 million, and when factoring in the remaining $48 million to be paid to the NCAA, the total is almost $160 million.

More than half of the work in July, at $539,500 was billed under the category of university legal services, which includes work by such firms as Feinberg Rozen, the one appointed as the Sandusky claims mediator. In all, Penn State has spent slightly more than $12 million on its own legal defenses.

The university was billed $307,878 by firms doing work on external investigations and $228,523 for the board of trustees’ legal services and consulting.

Penn State was billed $178,245 by former Sen. George Mitchell, who was appointed by the NCAA to monitor the university’s compliance with an athletics integrity agreement that is a part of the consent decree. Mitchell was the one who recommended the NCAA restore the scholarships cut under the consent decree.

Altogether, Mitchell has billed Penn State $2.1 million.

Defense attorneys for former Penn State administrators billed the university $77,591. Those costs cover the work of law firms representing ex-president Graham Spanier, ex-athletic director Tim Curley and retired vice president Gary Schultz, who are awaiting trial on perjury, obstruction of justice and related charges.

The legal defense for the former employees has cost Penn State more than $6.8 million.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson said the university has insurance policies that will cover some of the costs, but others, such as crisis communications, will be paid out of pocket.