Penn State incurs $17M in costs from Sandusky scandal

Posted: September 05, 2012

Pennsylvania State University has racked up nearly $17 million in legal bills and other expenses as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child-sex-abuse scandal.

As of June 30, the costs totaled $16,754,149, the university reported on its website

On June 22, Sandusky, the longtime defensive coordinator under revered football coach Joe Paterno, was convicted of 45 charges involving 10 sex-abuse victims.

The largest chunk of expenses reported by the university - almost $10 million under the category "Internal Investigation and Crisis Communications" - included the cost of the independent investigation led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, which released a scathing report July 12.

Last week, 29 past chairs of Penn State's faculty senate denounced the Freeh report and the NCAA for basing its unprecedented sanctions on the findings of Freeh's investigation.

In a joint statement, the past chairs accused the NCAA of basing "its actions on the sweeping assertion that a culture permeating every level of the Penn State community" placed football in higher esteem than human decency.

"Not only are these assertions about Penn State culture unproven, but we declare them to be false," the ad hoc group said.

"None of us has ever been pressured or even asked to change a grade for an athlete, nor have we heard of any cases where that has occurred."

"We know that there are no phantom courses or bogus majors for athletes at Penn State. Some of us have privately witnessed swift and unyielding administrative actions against small transgressions, actions taken expressly to preserve academic and institutional integrity."

The past chairs made clear that "horrible crimes against vulnerable young boys were committed by a prominent member of the Penn State community," but maintained that the NCAA sanctions were "deeply unjust to the university and unfair to its students."

Penn State spokesman David La Torre declined to comment on the joint statement.

The Freeh report said that Paterno, who died in January, former university president Graham B. Spanier, and other top administrators had conspired since 1998 to conceal child-sex-abuse allegations against Sandusky.

The NCAA sanctioned the university with a $60 million fine, imposed a four-year postseason ban on the football team, and vacated all Penn State football wins from 1998 through 2011. Scholarships for football players also were cut.

Contact Robert Moran

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