HARRISBURG - Penn State University will make the first payment later this month on the $60 million fine issued by the National Collegiate Athletic Association over its response to the sex abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The university said Friday it will make the first of five annual payments Dec. 20.
The NCAA said the money will be held in a money market account while a task force figures out the guidelines for how grants will be distributed from an endowment established to combat child sex abuse and help victims. The fine is part of the NCAA sanctions announced in July, penalties that also included a four-year ban from postseason play and significant scholarship cuts for the marquee football program.
The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported the $12 million annual payments roughly match annual surpluses from the university's athletic programs.
Timothy White, the chairman of the task force developing the endowment's structure and choosing a permanent administrator for it, said in a statement that his intent "is to assist programs designed to prevent child sexual abuse and help the victims of child sexual abuse nationwide." White is the chancellor of the University of California-Riverside.
"Penn State officials have handled this situation with the utmost professionalism and consideration," he said in the news release. "We all want to work together to ensure the funds from this endowment will be used as they are intended, which is to assist programs designed to prevent child sexual abuse and help the victims of child sexual abuse nationwide."
Penn State has said it will cover the fine payments from accumulated reserves in the football program, deferring certain capital projects and an intrauniversity loan to the Athletic Department. University spokesman David La Torre would not offer specifics to the newspaper about what source or sources were being tapped for the first installment.
The abuse scandal rocked Penn State, bringing down legendary coach Joe Paterno and the university's president and leading the NCAA, college sports' governing body, to levy the unprecedented sanctions against the football program.
Three former university administrators, accused of covering up complaints about Sandusky's behavior and lying to a grand jury that investigated the case, have been charged with perjury, obstruction and other offenses. The three men, former president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley, who's on leave while the final year of his contract runs out, have denied the allegations against them.
The NCAA imposed the fine and other sanctions over Penn State's handling of the allegations against Sandusky, who was convicted of abusing 10 boys, some on campus. Sandusky is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence.
The NCAA also erased 14 years of victories, wiping out 111 of Paterno's wins and stripping him of his standing as the most successful coach in the history of big-time college football. Paterno died in January.