Penn State, NCAA deal in Sandusky case may be taking shape
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — There appeared to be fast-moving developments Friday in the effort to settle a lawsuit involving Penn State’s punishment by the NCAA in the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
Penn State trustees’ chairman Keith Masser told The Associated Press that board members were planning a private discussion early Friday afternoon about the lawsuit over the 2012 consent decree with the NCAA.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman issued a statement that he was planning a “major announcement” on the lawsuit early Friday afternoon.
Corman and state Treasurer Rob McCord had sued the NCAA over the agreement, which imposed severe and unprecedented sanctions on Penn State.
One issue that was at stake was the 112 football team wins erased by the consent decree. If they are restored, the late coach Joe Paterno will once again be the winningest coach in major college football history, with 409 victories.
McCord and the NCAA declined to comment.
The developments follow the NCAA’s decision last year to reinstate the school’s full complement of football scholarships and let Penn State participate in post-season play, and they come just days after a federal judge declined to rule on the consent decree’s constitutionality.
The consent decree sprang from the scandal that erupted when Sandusky, a retired football assistant coach, was accused of sexually abusing boys, some of them on Penn State’s campus.
It eliminated all wins from 1998 — when police investigated a mother’s complaint that Sandusky had showered with her son — through 2011, Paterno’s final season as head coach after six decades with the team and the year Sandusky was charged. Paterno died a couple months later of lung cancer, at 85.
The consent decree had also called for Penn State to provide $60 million to fight child abuse and combat its effects. The lawsuit scheduled for trial next month began as an effort by Corman and McCord to enforce a state law that required the money to remain in Pennsylvania.
The 2012 consent decree was signed by Penn State’s then-president, Rodney Erickson, a month after a jury convicted Sandusky. He is now serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence but maintains his innocence.
MARK SCOLFORO, MARC LEVY
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