NCAA Penalty Establishes Fund for Victim Services and Prevention


July 23, 2012

Stop It Now! responds to historic NCAA sanctions of Penn State

NORTHAMPTON, MASS. - The NCAA today announced unprecedented action again Penn State in response to child sexual abuse by former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky and inaction by key university leaders, as documented by the Freeh Report. Stop It Now!, a 20 year old child sexual abuse prevention organization, commended the NCAA for its swift and clear response.

“We applaud this bold step that not only responds to violations of NCAA ethics, but also dedicates resources to actively promote child safety and well-being,” said Stop It Now! Executive Director, Deborah Donovan Rice.

In addition to vacating wins, cutting scholarships and banning post-season play, the NCAA fined the school $60 million, or the equivalent of one year’s football program revenues. The fine will be used to establish an endowment for funding external programs to prevent child sexual abuse and offer help to victims. The details are outlined in a July 23 binding consent decree signed by NCAA President Mark Emmert and Penn State President Rodney Erickson.

"The sanctions needed to reflect our goals of providing cultural change," Emmert said, echoing the institutional failures documented by the Free Report. In a similar vein, Penn State President Erickson issued a statement in which he said, “We must create a culture in which people are not afraid to speak up.”

“We have been impressed by the NCAA leadership’s willingness to educate themselves on the scope and dimensions of the problem,” said Donovan Rice.

“Last December Mark Emmert shared our Helpline with their member institutions in an Open Letter to the Higher Education Community. That signaled his understanding that having a safe place to discuss concerns about possible child sexual abuse is a key element of the cultural change needed to protect children from sexual abuse.”

In a July 12th statement, the NCAA announced that it had partnered with Stop It Now! to “provide its members with resources to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse.”

“NCAA leadership has moved beyond Penn State sanctions to an unparalleled emphasis on prevention and response to the victimization of children. We hope their commitment will mark a sea change in our societal commitment to prevent the sexual abuse of children across the nation,” continued Donovan Rice.