ShareThis Page

PSU trustees to meet to discuss NCAA suit

| Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

HARRISBURG — Penn State's trustees will meet by phone this week to discuss the status of state officials' lawsuit against the NCAA over the use of a $60 million fine the university has been paying because of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.

There will be a public conference call at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday after a closed-door executive session, a board spokesman said on Monday.

Commonwealth Court added Penn State as a defendant in the lawsuit after ruling that it needed more information about whether the consent decree that authorized the fine was enacted legally. A status conference in that matter is scheduled for Thursday.

State Sen. Jake Corman, who sued with Treasurer Rob McCord in an effort to keep the money within Pennsylvania, said on Monday there have been discussions, but a settlement is not imminent. The NCAA declined to comment.

Corman said he was not sure what the board will discuss.

“They can talk about what they know so far, but again, things are very early,” Corman said. “Maybe they're just bringing their board up to date on what's happened so far, which isn't much.”

Last week, the board's nine alumni trustees wrote to Chairman Keith Masser, saying they wanted to meet on the topic before the end of the month and urging that no decisions be made before the board determines what direction it wants to take.

On Monday, the alumni trustees said they would be assembling inside a State College hotel room for the conference call on Wednesday.

The alumni trustees wrote in a statement that board leadership and the trustees' own legal subcommittee “appear to be more sympathetic to the NCAA's dilemma and less ambitious than elected trustees about restoring Penn State to its pre-consent decree culture and excellence.”

The NCAA imposed a consent decree, accepted by the university, shortly after Sandusky was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse. Along with the fine, it also included a four-year ban on postseason play, a temporary cut in football scholarships and the reduction of 112 wins from the football team's record, covering Joe Paterno's final years.

The $60 million fine is the subject of a federal lawsuit brought by the NCAA against Gov. Tom Corbett and other state officials. In that case, a federal judge last week gave the parties a month to try to work out a possible settlement. The NCAA argues the 2013 state law — passed after Penn State agreed to the sanctions — violates the Constitution.

The Paterno family and others also are pursuing a lawsuit that challenges the legality of the consent decree, among other things. It is pending in Centre County Common Pleas Court.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.