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NCAA objects to mediation petition

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Saturday, June 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The NCAA is balking at a request from state officials to have mediators decide where Penn State's $60 million fine in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal should be spent.

The collegiate athletics agency on Friday objected to a petition from state Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre County, and Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord, who want to resolve through mediation a lawsuit they filed against the NCAA.

The officials sued in Commonwealth Court to uphold a state law requiring the fines to remain in Pennsylvania for child-abuse treatment and prevention. Penn State's consent decree with the NCAA requires the fines to go into an endowment for programs nationwide.

The NCAA challenged the constitutionality of the state's Endowment Act in federal court.

McCord and Corman petitioned Commonwealth Court on Thursday to send their complaint to mediation. Penn State isn't a party to either lawsuit but issued a statement offering to help broker a settlement. Corman said a speedy resolution would benefit everyone.

“The NCAA welcomes constructive ideas, but the legislation appears to us to be an insurmountable obstacle to resolution. Mediation, therefore, could not be productive,” NCAA lawyer Everett C. John wrote in a letter to Commonwealth Court.

“We strongly disagree with the NCAA and hope it will change course and seek a workable settlement that helps Pennsylvanians,” McCord said.

Commonwealth Court, which has yet to rule on the mediation request, is scheduled to hear the NCAA's arguments to dismiss the officials' complaint June 19.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7996.

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