The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

July 23, 2013

PSU bowl revenue disbursed in Big 10

STATE COLLEGE — Penn State’s nearly $2.3 million share of bowl revenue has been divided among the Big Ten’s 12 member schools, including Penn State, to distribute for causes focused on child protection or advocacy.

The school said in a statement Tuesday the individual share for each school amounted to more than $188,000.

The Nittany Lions finished the 2012 season bowl-eligible at 8-4, but were banned from the postseason as part of NCAA sanctions for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

The $2.3 million represents Penn State’s share of conference bowl revenue had the school been allowed to play in the postseason.

The four-year bowl ban expires after the 2015 season. The sanctions were announced a year ago Tuesday, on July 23, 2012.

But the landmark penalties, and the NCAA’s handling of the Penn State case, remain the subject of scrutiny among some alumni, area residents and Pennsylvania politicians, as well as in the courts. In May, a lawsuit filed by the family of the late coach Joe Paterno, five school trustees and others sought to have the penalties overturned.

In a statement separate from the school’s announcement on bowl revenue, three trustees who took seats earlier this month offered support for five board colleagues involved in the litigation. The suit says that the NCAA bypassed the organization’s own rules in levying penalties against the football program with uncharacteristic speed.

“As newly elected Trustees ... We want to make clear that we fully support the legal claims filed against the NCAA by our trustee colleagues,” said a statement from trustees Ted Brown, Barbara Doran and William Oldsey. “We support a legal review of the sanctions imposed on Penn State, the basis for the sanctions and the process used to enact them.”

The alumni-elected trustees elected this spring were endorsed by an alumni watchdog group that has been critical of the decisions of board leaders after the scandal began with Sandusky’s arrest in November 2011, including Paterno’s firing.

The lawsuit also attacks former FBI director Louis Freeh’s handling of the internal investigation into the scandal for the school, along with how and why the NCAA used Freeh’s report as a basis for sanctions. “We firmly believe that truth and justice should never fear an open hearing and review – whether in the courts or before the Board of Trustees,” Brown, Doran and Oldsey said in their joint statement.

The NCAA had not responded in court as of early Tuesday afternoon.

Nine ex-players; four faculty members; and two former assistant coaches, including Paterno’s son Jay Paterno, are also plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The sanctions also include steep scholarship cuts and a $60 million fine, which is separate from the Big Ten bowl proceeds.

Penn State said its portion of the carved-up bowl share would be funneled through the Centre County United Way with instructions to split the money between the Stewards of Children program and the Children’s Advocacy Center.

“As a community, we must continue to look deeper into the issue of child maltreatment and abuse,” Penn State President Rodney Erickson said in a statement. “We must commit to continuing to raise awareness, as well as fight these insidious crimes in whatever way possible.”

Coach Bill O’Brien and three players are scheduled to take part in Big Ten media days beginning today in Chicago.

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