Even when the NCAA is trying to do a good thing, they find a way to make it much more complicated than it needs to be.
A Pennsylvania state court has determined that the state may continue to move forward with a legal battle over the handling of the $60 million fine money issued to Penn State by the NCAA. Not surprisingly, the NCAA was not pleased with the court decision.
Penn State was slammed by the NCAA with hefty sanctions in 2012 as a result of the fallout from the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Those sanctions included a four-year postseason ban, a significant reduction in available scholarships, the vacating of over 100 wins and a $60 million fine. The fine money was instructed to go to a fund to help child-abuse awareness programs, but the NCAA had intended for that fine money to be used nationally. The state has challenged that aspect of the sanction terms in hopes of keeping the $60 million for in-state child-abuse awareness programs.
The state and NCAA have been at odds over the splitting up of the money for a while, with the NCAA asking for the case to be dismissed. The NCAA has said the case is a violation of the consent decree signed by the university during the sanction process, but the court says a state trust fund set up to hold Penn State’s fine money does not conflict with the NCAA’s settlement with the school. To the NCAA’s dismay, the Pennsylvania court denied the motion and will allow the state to continue the legal battle.
What happened on Penn State’s watch was alarming, and national attention should have been given to it in hopes of not seeing a similar sequence of events unfolding anywhere else. If what happened at Penn State prevents one more child from being harmed, then the media coverage and NCAA’s sanctions have done their job. That said, the biggest child-abuse scandal we have seen took place within the borders of Pennsylvania (and yes, San Antonio), so why not invest the entire $60 million sum, or at least a significant majority of it, within the state at Penn State’s expense?
The NCAA will continue to fight this issue, but their battle will pointless. The important thing here is investing $60 million to go toward the prevention of child and sexual abuse. In the end, why should the NCAA be the ones to determine where that money is spent?