On the same day that Penn State paid its first installment of the $60 million fine imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, Congressman Charles W. Dent issued a statement in response to a letter from NCAA President Mark Emmert.
The “unacceptable and unsatisfactory” letter was sent in response to a Nov. 30 letter signed by Dent, a Republican representative for Pennsylvania’s 15th district, and 20 other Pennsylvania congressmen.
Emmert’s brief reply thanked Dent for his interest in the issue but ultimately left Dent and the other congressmen unsatisfied.
“Rather than legitimately address our concerns,” Dent wrote, “Dr. Emmert instead 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.”
On September 18, the NCAA implemented an independent task force to manage the endowment imposed upon Penn State. The task force is made up of 10 members who were selected based on their involvement with national nonprofit organizations, the federal government and the NCAA, with two having Penn State ties.
Dent’s original letter voiced concerns about the NCAA and the task force’s decision to use at least 25 percent of the annual disbursements of the endowment fund for the prevention of child sex abuse within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
He urged Emmert to utilize the entirety of the endowment for protection and prevention purposes.
“While we fully support the stated purpose of the endowment,” Dent wrote, “We believe its funds should be used solely for programs and organizations located within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where a need exists for the creation of prevention programs for sexually abused children.”
Penn State's athletic department paid the first $12 million installment of the $60 million fine yesterday, by means of an internal loan from the university’s reserves. It carries an interest rate of four percent for 30 years.
The actual transfer of funds into the endowment is predicted to occur sometime in the first half of 2013, according to a Penn State Live press release.
Dent and the other congressmen hope that their efforts will prevail, resulting in continued support for those in Pennsylvania who have been abused.
“Directing Commonwealth-generated funds to entities outside of the Commonwealth runs contrary to the Pennsylvania taxpayers’ interests,” Dent wrote. “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.”