Victim advocates, attorneys weigh in on Penn State sanctions - abc27 WHTM

Centre County

Victim advocates, attorneys weigh in on Penn State sanctions

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The future of Penn State's football players was still very much unknown following Monday's announcement of NCAA sanctions against the team, but the future of the program will undoubtedly have a renewed focus.

The university was fined $60 million dollars, roughly one year's worth of football revenue. That money will be placed into an endowment over the next four years, to be donated to charities dealing with child abuse prevention and victims. One of the organizations deeply involved in the process is the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR).

"(Coach Bill O'Brien) is really interested in having the football program be an active participant in this partnership and in how things need to shift here at Penn State," PCAR spokesperson Kristen Houser said. "I think it is a phenomenal gesture and an appropriate way to use this fine."

Attorneys for several of Jerry Sandusky's victims were also in State College Monday, and told abc27 while money to charity is a positive step, the message of these sanctions -- and Penn State's subsequent response -- is even more powerful.

"This is now the second investigation -- first the Freeh Commission, and now the NCAA -- that has established what is warranted here is not simply remedial action or compensatory fines or damages, but punitive damages," attorney Matt Casey said.

Casey said no lawsuits have been filed yet, and likely will not be until after the perjury trial of former athletic director Tim Curley and former vice president Gary Schultz. When asked whether personal estates could be targeted, including those of Jerry Sandusky and Joe Paterno, Casey said nothing is off the table.

"Those options are all open at this point," he said.

Thirteen million dollars in bowl revenue over the next four years will also be donated to similar child abuse charities, the Big 10 Conference also announced Monday.

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