Keep fine money in state

State Sen. Jake Corman’s proposal to require that the $60 million Penn State is paying as a fine to the NCAA be spent in Pennsylvania should be a slam dunk.

Sadly, though, sometimes seemingly sure things can fall by the legislative wayside unless the public keeps the pressure on.

The NCAA fined Penn State $60 million – payable in five installments of $12 million each – for its handling of and lack of oversight in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse of children. Penn State President Rodney Erickson agreed to the fine, as well as a four-year bowl ban, a reduction in football scholarships and other penalties as part of a consent decree with the NCAA.

Unless Penn State agreed to the NCAA’s terms, the indication was the athletic association would have shut down the school’s football program for a number of years.

Penn State has made its first $12 million payment.

What’s not clear is where the money from the Penn State fine will be going. The NCAA said at least a quarter of the money will be spent in Pennsylvania.

Corman, R-Centre, and others say that’s not enough. We agree.

Because much of the money for the fine is being generated in Pennsylvania, it’s also where the vast majority – if not all of it – should be spent.

And it’s money that could be put to good use from increasing training about child sexual abuse to helping fund the startup costs for child advocacy centers, which bring law enforcement, health personnel and others together in a coordinated fashion so victims don’t have to go through the trauma of repeatedly telling how they were abused.

Corman’s proposal would require fines of $10 million or more established by consent decrees and involving any Pennsylvania college or university receiving state support be spent in Pennsylvania.

It’s a good idea and should get wide support in the General Assembly.

Pennsylvanians should get behind Corman’s proposal and urge their state senators and representatives to quickly bring the measure to a vote before the NCAA decides how to divvy up the fine.