A federal judge on Thursday gave the NCAA and Pennsylvania officials a month to try to work out a possible settlement of a lawsuit over the penalties Penn State is paying for mishandling the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
Judge Yvette Kane granted a joint motion that said another month would give the parties a “meaningful opportunity” to resolve the lawsuit.
Kane's one-paragraph order canceled a conference about the case next week and directed the parties to give her a status report in early September.
The NCAA sued Gov. Tom Corbett, state Treasurer Rob McCord and two other state officials over a 2013 law that requires a $60 million penalty being paid by Penn State to stay within Pennsylvania. Penn State said Thursday that it has set aside the first two payments, a total of $24 million.
“The parties agree that this postponement may help secure the just and efficient resolution of this proceeding,” they wrote in seeking the delay.
McCord spokesman Gary Tuma declined to say whether there was a specific reason to think a settlement could occur. The NCAA, the auditor general's office and Corbett's general counsel's office all declined to comment.
A consent decree between the NCAA and Penn State included the $60 million fine, a figure designed to match an average year's football revenue at the university. The money, paid over five years, is earmarked for programs to prevent child sexual abuse and to help its victims.
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A month after Corbett signed the law requiring the money remain in Pennsylvania, the NCAA challenged it in federal court, saying it violated the U.S. Constitution.
Sandusky, retired as Penn State's longtime defensive football coach, was convicted in 2012 of 45 counts of child sexual abuse and is serving a lengthy state prison sentence.
A separate state court lawsuit seeking to enforce the Pennsylvania law is expected to go to trial early next year.