Jerry Sandusky Scandal

PSU planning Hershey center to protect kids

UNIVERSITY PARK — Penn State will start a Center for Protection of Children at the university’s Hershey Medical Center, funded in part with proceeds from the upcoming bowl game.

President Rod Erickson said Tuesday following a Faculty Senate meeting that the university expects to receive $2 million or more in revenue from the bowl. Penn State will play Houston in the Jan. 2 TicketCity Bowl.

The university had pledged $1.5 million of that money to its new partnership with the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Erickson said the university will establish a multi-campus institute “that will work in the area of both treatment and prevention, as well as research on child abuse. The first piece of that is the Center for Protection of Children at Hershey.”

The bowl revenue will be “seed money,” Erickson said. He said the university has faculty resources in that area, but will probably need additional resources.

“That should be up and running within the next couple of months,” Erickson said. “And the other pieces of the center that will comprise the institute will take us a longer period of time to establish because we really want the faculty to develop this and to identify key areas for research and prevention and treatment. So, we’re taking both steps to effectuate change immediately as well as longer term.”

On a question from a reporter about whether Penn State was unfairly penalized with its bowl destination, Erickson said he personally hasn’t talked to bowl representatives. The athletic director has.

“I personally think we got quite a good matchup with a very good Houston team,” Erickson said. “So I expect it to be a very good game.”

Anne Danahy can be reached at 231-4648.