This has certainly been the winter of discontent at Penn State. It began when charges of child sexual abuse were raised against former assistant coach and campus mainstay Jerry Sandusky on November 5. It was revealed that the university had knowledge of a 2002 incident when Sandusky allegedly sexually abused a young boy in the showers of the locker room on campus. This led to the resignation of the university president, Graham Spanier and the firing of other officials, including legendary football coach, Joe Paterno. Then as the grand jury was meeting to determine which charges, if any, Sandusky should face, it was revealed that Paterno had lung cancer. Soon after, he passed away, reinvigorating the campus turmoil that arose when he was dismissed.

Now, in an unprecedented move, Penn State has decided to release some of its costs associated with this debacle. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, even though the university is refusing to release many of its costs, those which it has made public amount to over $3.2 million. This money has gone for legal fees, public relations advisors, and consultants helping them deal with the situation. The university is claiming that most of the costs will be paid through insurance policies it holds. It alleges that it will not use tuition fees, tax receipts, or alumni donations to pay the remainder that it owes. It is unclear what other types of funds will be available for use.

The $3 million only reflects charges incurred last year in connection with this scandal. However, it does not include such other charges as the settlement reached with either Spanier or Paterno, either of which could be substantial. Since Penn State is also liable to pay for the legal defense of any university official who faces criminal charges, this number should climb substantially.

Although Penn State is a public university, because of its hallowed status in the state, it has been rewarded with an exemption to most reporting requirements with which other Pennsylvania governmental organizations are required to adhere. Because of the scandal, this situation may soon change. Already, legislation is pending to modify Penn State’s exemption status. This move to release some of its documented costs is presumably to head this legislation off.