Penn State to donate $1.5 million of bowl revenue to alleviate guilt over Jerry Sandusky

In an effort to continue to repair Penn State's national image, university president Rod Erickson announced Thursday that the university plans to donate $1.5 million of its bowl revenue to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

"This presents an excellent opportunity for Penn State to raise the national visibility of this issue," Erickson told the Associated Press. "Our students and fans are focused on a cause to play for, to cheer for."

Penn State has been in the national spotlight for the past month after it was learned that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky allegedly molested several young boys and at least one in the Penn State locker room showers.

On Wednesday, the school was hit with a lawsuit from one of the victims.

So giving away some of the school's bowl money probably seemed like an appropriate way to assuage some guilt, and deflect future criticism.

Most bowls have yet to pick their participants, but most projections have the Nittany Lions landing in the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz., which has the fifth pick among the Big Ten bowls. The Insight Bowl has a payout of $2.35 million, which is split between the two teams. The school also makes money on ticket sales, special travel packages, apparel, etc., but it also has to cover the cost of travel. If the Nittany Lions do end up in Arizona, those travel costs are likely to be steep and Penn State, like most bowl teams, will likely lose money on the trip.

But Penn State will make BCS money from its conference for having at least one participant in a BCS bowl. Last year, the Big Ten netted $27.2 million in revenue for placing two teams in BCS bowls, and that figures to be the same this year with an automatic guarantee to the Rose Bowl and a possible BCS at-large bid going to Michigan if the Wolverines climb into the top 14 of the final BCS standings.

This isn't the first time Penn State has given money to a charity because of the Sandusky case. Against Nebraska, Penn State students sold T-shirt and wore blue in an effort to raise awareness and money for Prevent Child Abuse Pennsylvania.

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Graham Watson is on Facebook and Twitter: Follow her @Yahoo_Graham.

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