Pennsylvania State Senator Jake Corman, who represents the 34th district that includes State College, announced plans yesterday to introduce legislation that would aim at restricting the NCAA from using Penn State’s fine money for causes outside of the state.
NCAA President Mark Emmert has said that, at most, only 25 percent of Penn State’s $60 million fine — of which the first $12 million payment was just made — will be used for sexual abuse prevention programs inside of Pennsylvania. Along with the legislation, Corman will also file a lawsuit to prevent the NCAA from spending the fine money outside of the state.
“I believe the fine money, which is coming from Pennsylvania residents, should stay in Pennsylvania and benefit our organizations and children,” Corman said in a release. “Every dollar will continue to go to worthy and valuable child abuse prevention and educational organizations, except this way, the connection between Pennsylvania resident funds and Pennsylvania benefits will be clear.”
Governor Tom Corbett, a fellow Republican, released a statement endorsing Corman’s initiatives.
“The NCAA, as an athletic trade association, overstepped its authority by forcing Penn State to endure harsh, unjustified and unprecedented punishment,” Governor Corbett said. “To the extent that Sen. Corman’s legislation deals with financial sanctions, it is easy for me to give my support for that money to go to Pennsylvania organizations.”
Corman had offered to fly to Indianapolis to meet and discuss the issue with Emmert, but was denied according to the Centre Daily Times. “He won’t give us a meeting,” Corman told the CDT. “So we’ve now tried to move in a different direction, to try to solve this problem legislatively.”
“The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection recently issued a comprehensive report which points to many worthwhile organizational avenues in our Commonwealth that could benefit greatly from the distribution of the fine,” Corman continued in the press release. “I believe keeping the money in Pennsylvania is not only appropriate, but also will significantly help the state achieve the goals and preparedness the Task Force spells out”
Although a noble effort on behalf of Corman, it’s unclear to me what jurisdiction Pennsylvania has to retroactively tell the NCAA how to spend its money. But Corman’s final point is a powerful one.
“To say this money raised from Pennsylvania should go to California for some program, or Oregon or wherever, I think that’s a hard argument to make,” Corman said to the CDT. “The ultimate impact is to keep the money where the money is being raised. And other states will follow the success of Pennsylvania.”
Corman is not the first Pennsylvania politician to be upset with the NCAA’s federalist ways. Charlie Dent, who represents Penn State’s 15th district in the United States Congress, spoke out last week against Mark Emmert.
“[Emmert] chose to hide behind the procedural mechanisms of the NCAA-created Task Force in order to deflect any sort of actual accountability for the disbursement of these funds,” Dent said. ”I am greatly disappointed by Dr. Emmert’s response and will continue to press for greater accountability and oversight of the NCAA on this and other matters.”