Sandusky scandal costs rose $13.4 million for Penn State in December

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Penn State University today reported a one-month jump of $13.4 million in child sex abuse scandal costs, a surge due mostly to a school decision to include the first $12 million installment of a $60 million NCAA fine.

The latest tally shows that as of Dec. 31, Penn State paid out $41.1 million in legal, crisis-communication and other costs associated with the arrest and conviction of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, 69, serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence for attacks on 10 boys over a decade, some on campus.

That dollar sum is up from $27.7 million through Nov. 30 as reported by the university on its Penn State Progress web site a month ago.

The university decided to include the NCAA payment "to ensure an appropriate summary of all costs," David La Torre, a Penn State spokesman, said.

"The $12 million fine was included now because it was set aside in December and this update includes activity through 12/31," he wrote in an email.

With civil settlement offers being weighed by some of Mr. Sandusky's victims, there have been calls for the university to disclose those payments as well once they are made.

University officials have indicated they might release an aggregate total, but may withhold individual award amounts.

After the NCAA payment, the next largest single total cited in the new tally is the $8,147,597 paid to former FBI director Louis J. Freeh's firm, which conducted the school-commissioned investigation that concluded school leaders including football coach Joe Paterno were involved in an attempt to cover up Sandusky's crimes.

The Freeh report has drawn the ire of those who say Penn State rushed to judgment and wrongly fired Paterno, who months after Sandusky's arrest died of cancer at age 85.

The third largest total cited is the $7,661,566 to date for university legal services and defense costs.

Even with the NCAA payment, the monthly tallies by Penn State do not represent the entire financial impact of the scandal.

Once the rest of the NCAA fine and other costs are counted including $13 million in future bowl revenue stripped from the university, the impact totals just over $100 million and climbing.

To the dollar, the latest tally says Penn State has paid a total to date of $41,059,671.

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Bill Schackner:, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG.


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