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Statement by the CCWRC on the Settlement of the Corman/McCord v. NCAA Lawsuit:
There are many reasons to celebrate yesterday’s settlement of the lawsuit between Sen. Jake Corman/State Treasurer Rob McCord and the NCAA. While we understand the joy that many in the Penn State community feel at the restoration of the 112 football wins, we hope that the community as a whole does not lose sight of the more important number, the $60 million dollar fine which will stay in Pennsylvania to fight child abuse and provide services for those victimized by it. As Senator Corman said during his press conference following the settlement, “This money will help our community and communities across Pennsylvania recognize how these predators operate out in the open and hopefully begin to make sure that something like this never ever happens again.”
It is telling that the first point in President Barron’s statement to the Board of Trustees yesterday focused on the use of the fine. Penn State and many people in Centre County have worked very hard over the past four years to create a community that understands, recognizes and actively works to prevent child abuse and particularly child sexual abuse. This settlement affirms both the work that has been done and the reality that there is much more to be accomplished to make the University and our community safe places for children. The determination that the $60 million dollar fine will stay in Pennsylvania, with the majority of the funds to be used to enhance and strengthen services to child victims, is a recognition that child sexual abuse continues to be a plague in communities across the Commonwealth, including our own. As President Barron said in his statement, “All parties agree strongly that caring for victims and providing support for programs that help address the problem of child sexual abuse is of paramount importance.”
While it is appropriate to celebrate the restoration of the 112 wins and to recognize the accomplishments of the players and coaches (and there were many), those of us who are advocates for children hope that this settlement will allow the community to refocus attention on the horrific crimes that necessitated a response in the first place, the abuse and violation of children. For the past four years, and for many years before that, we have been working to prevent child sexual abuse and respond effectively when it does happen. Over 5000 people in Centre County have participated in the Stewards of Children training provided by the collaborative of the YMCA, the Youth Service Bureau, the Women’s Resource Center and the United Way. Now that the settlement has been reached, we hope that more of our neighbors will join us in taking a stand against child sexual abuse. This settlement offers an opportunity for the University and the Commonwealth to become leaders in the fight against child sexual abuse, producing cutting edge research and programs for prevention and fully funding state-of-the art services to care for victims and their families. That is truly a win for all of us.