The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 4, 2013

Child advocate group critical of NCAA suit

— A national organization working toward accountability in child sexual molestation cases has come out fighting following Wednesday’s announcement by Gov. Tom Corbett of a lawsuit he filed against the NCAA over its sanctions against Penn State last year.

An official of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said Thursday Corbett and those who support the federal antitrust suit are shortsighted.

SNAP Executive Director David Clohessy of St. Louis said the push to see that all of the $60 million in fines the university is required to pay remains in Pennsylvania is an indication of greed.

“We suspect that Gov. Corbett is posturing to curry favor with Penn State staff and alums,” Clohessy said. “At best, his lawsuit is frivolous and at worst, it threatens to delay or derail the millions of dollars that would otherwise be devoted to protecting children.”

Corbett maintains that the NCAA, which organizes athletic programs in many colleges and universities, was acting outside its authority when it imposed huge fines and other sanctions following the sex abuse case of former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.

In response to the lawsuit filed by Corbett in U.S. District Court, the NCAA, in a statement, said it has no merit and is an affront to Sandusky’s victims.

One of the worst aspects about the Sandusky scandal is the attitudes taken toward the victims, Clohessy said, and Corbett’s efforts to minimize the sanctions and fines by the NCAA is an effort to minimize those victims.

“There’s the healing perspective, from the kinds of horrors like the Penn State one. People often put closure ahead of all else, including the victims,” he said.

The fine, coupled with steps to abolish the university’s football wins from 1998 to 2011, scholarship reductions and a four-year bowl ban, goes far in sending a message to other institutions who choose to place reputation over victims, Clohessy said.

“You just can’t overstate the deterrent value,” he said.

Clohessy and SNAP recently weighed in on the announcement by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown that child sexual abuse allegations surfaced against the Rev. George Koharchik while he was a priest at parishes in Cambria County during the 1970s.

SNAP urged Bishop Mark Bartchak to post the names of all priests in the diocese credibly linked to child abuse on its website, in the Catholic Register and church bulletins.

The organization also asked Bartchak to aggressively seek out others who may have been abused by Koharchik and personally visit each parish where the priest, now on leave, served in an effort to prompt other victims to come forward.

Regarding Corbett and the NCAA, Clohessy said attempts to keep all of the $60 million in Pennsylvania are questionable because Sandusky’s crimes reached far beyond the state’s borders.

“To put it another way, Penn State attracts and recruits students and staff from everywhere. Penn State students and staff move everywhere,” he said.

“Penn State’s sports teams play everywhere, and kids who participated in Sandusky’s Second Mile likely live everywhere. We still do not know how far reaching Sandusky’s crimes were.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Boston doctors can now prescribe you a bike

    The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that's whimsically known as "Prescribe-a-Bike." Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write "prescriptions" for low-income patients to get yearlong memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-share system, for only $5.

    April 16, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Why Facebook is getting into the banking game

    Who would want to use Facebook as a bank? That's the question that immediately arises from news that the social network intends to get into the electronic money business.

    April 16, 2014

  • Classes to resume at Franklin Regional High School

    April 16, 2014

  • 10 things to know for today

    April 16, 2014

  • Search teams will send unmanned sub to look for missing Malaysian airliner

    Teams searching for a missing Malaysian airliner are planning for the first time to send an unmanned submarine into the depths of the Indian Ocean to look for wreckage, an Australian official leading the multi-nation search said Monday.

    April 16, 2014

  • bank1 West End bank robbed

    The West End branch of AmeriServ Financial was robbed Tuesday morning, two days before the branch is scheduled to close.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather_2 Old Man Winter returns to area

    Just when you think we’ve finally escaped the cold temperatures, winter swoops back in to remind us it’s not going away just yet.

    April 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • City seeks support for sewer revamp

    The city is looking for backup from the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority in spreading what they call “true” facts and figures regarding the city’s encompassing sewer revamp.

    April 15, 2014

  • Airport gets lift with $180G grant

    The John Murtha Johnstown–Cambria County Airport needs to replace some basic maintenance equipment: a pickup truck, painting machine, chain saw, weed eater, hand tools and more.
    So, on Tuesday, the airport’s authority agreed to accept Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Bureau of Aviation grant money that already has been tentatively allocated.

    April 15, 2014


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos

Photo Slideshow

House Ads