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PSU unlikely to give NCAA full answers by deadline

GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Penn State likely won’t provide the NCAA all the answers it wants by a Dec. 16 deadline for its inquiry into whether the school broke rules with its handling of the scandal that cost Joe Paterno his job.

School president Rodney Erickson said Tuesday the university would respond to the NCAA by the deadline as a “work in progress.” A Penn State spokeswoman cited the volume of investigations under way as a potential factor.

Investigations began after police arrested former assistant Jerry Sandusky last month. He maintains his innocence on charges he sexually abused eight boys over a 15-year span.

Beside the criminal investigation and the NCAA inquiry, the Department of Education and university trustees, respectively, are conducting their own, separate probes.

“We will make a response, even though our knowledge will not be complete by Dec. 16,” Erickson said Tuesday at a University Faculty Senate meeting. “We will respond as a work in progress to the NCAA.”

NCAA president Mark Emmert last month said in a letter to Erickson that the governing body for college sports will look at “Penn State’s exercise of institutional control over its intercollegiate athletics programs” in the case of Sandusky, the retired defensive coordinator expected in court Dec. 13 on charges of 40 counts of child sex abuse. Sandusky maintains his innocence.

Emmert has described Penn State and its trustees as being “extremely collaborative,” but also acknowledged Monday that the school may not be able to provide all the answers in time. The information could lead to a formal NCAA investigation of Penn State, Emmert has said.

The university will be open and honest to all investigations, Erickson said Tuesday, “and learn from it. Take the recommendations that come out … implement them and move forward.”

Erickson took office Nov. 9, after Graham Spanier resigned under pressure amid mounting questions over whether school leaders should have done more to report abuse allegations to authorities.

Trustees fired Paterno the same night for similar reasons, about 12 hours after he had announced his retirement effective the end of the season. Paterno is not a target of the investigation, authorities have said.

Erickson has since then vowed to make Penn State a leader in raising awareness of child abuse treatment, intervention and research. On Tuesday, he said the school’s share of Big Ten bowl revenue would now likely top at least $2 million – or $500,000 more than the amount Erickson had promised last week would be donated for programs at the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

The additional revenue will now go toward helping to establish a multi-campus institute that would work in the treatment and prevention, as well as research into child abuse. The first piece to the institute would be a Center for the Protection of Children to be based at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center, Erickson said.

Big Ten teams pool bowl revenue and split it among the 12 schools. Penn State’s bowl revenue had typically gone back to the athletic department.

The 24th-ranked Nittany Lions (9-3) are headed to the TicketCity Bowl on Jan. 2 in Dallas, which had the seventh pick of Big Ten teams among bowl games with conference tie-ins, after the BCS games. Big Ten teams including Iowa (7-5), along with Northwestern and Ohio State, which each finished 6-6, were selected ahead of Penn State.

Several Nittany Lions have expressed their disappointment about their bowl destination on Twitter postings. Asked if he felt Penn State was unfairly penalized, Erickson said he hadn’t spoken with bowl representatives, leaving that task to acting athletic director Dave Joyner.

The TicketCity Bowl ended up with a relatively high-profile matchup between Penn State and No. 20 Houston (12-1), which lost a shot at a Bowl Championship Series berth after losing to Southern Miss, 49-28, last week in the Conference USA title game.

Joyner is also leading the search committee for Paterno’s replacement, though Erickson said the process was still in the early stages and that he was unaware of any potential names.

“I don’t know who’s been interviewed or who hasn’t been interviewed,” he said. “I only know it’s a wide-open search.”