Government & Politics
7:28 pm
Thu January 3, 2013

Senator: Penn State Fines Should Be Used for PA Abuse Victims

The $60 million Penn State was fined in July by the NCAA should be used for child abuse victims' programs in-state rather than nationally, according to State Senator John Yudichak (D-Luzerne).

Yudichak announced his support of Senator Jake Corman’s (R-Centre County) legislation directing the fine levied against Penn State to be used within the commonwealth. The fine is one of the sanctions issued by the NCAA against the university as part of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Yudichak, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee with Corman, said they have been working to address what they see as an injustice to the school and the state as a whole. He said the money should directly aid Pennsylvania children affected by abuse.

He said sound decisions weren’t being made in State College at the time of the scandal and he had never seen such frenzy.

“In a span of about 10 days you saw firings, you saw complete abandonment of the principle of ‘let’s have a fair hearing, let’s get the facts on the table, and let the chips fall where they may.”

Governor Corbett announced Wednesday he plans to sue the NCAA in federal court over the sanctions.

Yudichak said he welcomes Corbett’s “180 degree turn” to his point of view, but is worried whether the lawsuit has merit or is about politics.

He said it concerns him that Attorney General Linda Kelly delegated her power to the Governor to file the suit.

“I would have much preferred to have the Republican governor stand with the newly-elected Democratic Attorney General (Kathleen Kane) and bring this case together. Let’s take the politics out of it,” said Yudichak. “It’s too important to the future of Penn State University, the future of Pennsylvania, students  and the economy that’s impacted by that great university to have this played out for political reasons.”

Yudichak said he wants to see Penn State have its day in court, which he said was denied by the NCAA and those who accepted the sanctions.

Senator Corman also plans to seek court action protecting the first $12 million, which Penn State paid December 20, from being used out-of-state.