Penn State trustees to discuss NCAA lawsuit status
August 11, 2014 11:30 PM
Penn State Board of Trustees Chairman Keith Masser
By Mark Dent / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s board of trustees will meet via teleconference Wednesday morning to discuss possible settlements to ongoing litigation between the NCAA and state officials involving the NCAA consent decree and the $60 million fine levied against the university.
The meeting will start with a private session at 8 a.m. followed by a public session at 8:45 a.m.
On Monday, Penn State’s nine alumni trustees sent a letter to “alumni and friends,” inviting them to listen to the meeting with the nine trustees in the Dean’s Hall room of the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.
“We urge a settlement with the NCAA that not only resolves the NCAA’s issues with the Commonwealth, but also resolve the University’s issues with the NCAA,” the letter stated.
The letter refers to the lawsuit by state Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre County, and state Treasurer Rob McCord against the National Collegiate Athletic Association. They sued to keep in state the $60 million fine that was part of the NCAA sanctions arising from the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.
In April, Commonwealth Court upheld a law that would force the fine to be kept in state and questioned the validity of the NCAA consent decree, making Penn State a party to the case. The parties were granted a postponement in the case last week to discuss settlements for a month.
Last week, the nine alumni trustees sent a letter to board chairman Keith Masser requesting a special meeting for the board to define its position regarding possible settlements.
Penn State spokesman Dave La Torre said the meeting on Wednesday wasn’t an answer to the alumni trustees’ letter but a meeting that Mr. Masser had already been planning.
In their letter to alumni on Monday, the alumni trustees stated they wanted the sanctions removed as part of a settlement.
“Any such settlement agreement must terminate the Consent Decree and all sanctions, acknowledge the NCAA’s responsibility for its errors, and return all funds to the university,” the letter read.
Mr. Corman told The Associated Press on Monday that a settlement between the state officials and the NCAA was not imminent.
“They can talk about what they know so far, but again, things are very early,” he said. “Maybe they’re just bringing their board up to date on what’s happened so far, which isn’t much.”
Another trustees special meeting has been set for Friday. At that meeting, the Committee on Governance and Long-Range Planning will discuss reform to the structure of the board.
Mark Dent: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-439-3791 and Twitter @mdent05. First Published August 11, 2014 2:30 PM