Sandusky Scandal Costs Penn State $10M to Date

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The child sex abuse scandal at Penn State University involving Jerry Sandusky has cost the institution nearly $10 million, according to newly released figures. The costs reflect payments for legal fees, consultants and public relations firms.

The $9,631,822 sum covers a five-month period from November through March 31, but does not include all costs associated with the case, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. For example, the university will not disclose the settlement it reached with former Penn State president Graham Spanier or football coach Joe Paterno.

Jury selection in the trial began today, and the university released the following statement Tuesday concerning the case: 

“The acts that Jerry Sandusky is accused of committing are horrible and if proven true, deserve punishment.

“In deference to the legal process, the University will not comment on specifics of the ongoing legal case as it unfolds. We are hopeful, however, that the case proceeds quickly and provides answers we are all seeking. We are further hopeful that the legal process will start to bring closure to the alleged victims and families whose lives have been irrevocably impacted and that they can begin the healing process.

“We continue to work with the State Attorney General, the US Attorney and Former FBI Director Louis Freeh in their investigations into this matter. We will continue to cooperate fully with all legal processes to determine what happened and ensure personal accountability.”

The university also recently re-launched its “Openness” Web site to better communicate with its key stakeholders, including current and prospective students and their families, alumni, faculty and staff, local communities, and state and national media, according to a university press release. The newly-dubbed “Progress” website includes functionality and features that make it easier to find, receive and share information.

“This is the next iteration of our information resource that is designed to anchor communications discussing difficult issues from the last year, including ongoing legal matters, in addition to providing updates on the initiatives we’ve put in place to address the serious issue of child abuse,” said Penn State President Rodney Erickson. “This step is a natural progression of our original website and will help keep the Penn State community informed on the important work and progress taking place.”

The “Progress” website houses sections with information about the ongoing legal matters; the independent investigative review led by Louis Freeh, former FBI director and federal judge, that is currently underway into all aspects of the University’s actions with regard to the allegations of child abuse involving Sandusky; and university initiatives put into action in the last several months. The information in these sections also reflects a recent decision by the Board of Trustees to make the Freeh Report available to the university community, the Board of Trustees, the media and the general public simultaneously.

In response to feedback from various groups throughout the Penn State community, media and other “Openness” website readers, the new Web site includes a number of technology and functionality updates. Social sharing features, an email subscription function, RSS capability and feature stories have been added to help make the new website content sharable and better aligned with other Penn State Web properties. Content will also be searchable by topic, keyword and tags to increase ease of navigation throughout the website.

To visit the new Web site, click here.

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