A new nonprofit fund is off and running in State College. Its aim is to help tackle Penn State football player's debt after they hang up their cleats.
The "410 fund" looks to help Penn State football players repay their student loans after they graduate. Faith Lucchesi-Deboef, the organization's President says it was partly formed in response to the NCAA sanctions against Penn State handed down in July.
"It doesn't have quite the same appeal as maybe curing cancer does, but sports and athletics and education go a long way into creating a good citizen."
Lucchesi-Deboef is the founder of the 410 fund. She's a mother of three football players, and says future football players shouldn't have to pay for Penn State's past problems.
"This is a way to bring some semblance of fairness to these kids, who have nothing to do with what happened, and they particularly have no reason to be punished with the loss of scholarships."
Those who donate, aren't just doing so blindly, Lucchesi-Deboef says they can donate to the general fund or direct their money to a specific program.
"...it's to support these kids, it's to give a good example to other kids that are coming up, and they deserve our loyalty, they're giving us their heart and souls, we should give something back to them."
It's not just for Penn state, Lucchesi-Deboef says donations can get sent in for any student-athletes leaving any D-1A football program in the country.
"We cannot accept donations to individual athletes, but we are hoping to have a sufficient enough pool that either the athlete's entire student loan debt will be repaid, or at the very least we will be able to help them with their payments for a period of years."
Sue Dance, is one of the early donators to the fund, she's not a corporate donor, and she's giving right out of her pocketbook. She says it's not enough just to write an e-mail or make a post online.
"I think the sanctions were fairly unfair and I don't think that any of these students were involved, and once again I think their education is very important... I mean we can talk about it, or we can help the situation."
"...it's easy to complain about the sanctions and the way we were treated at the university, but this is one way to try to do something positive."
The name "410 Fund" isn't random. The NCAA sanctions dropped Joe Paterno's win total from 409, to 298. Moving him from 1st to 12th on the NCAA all time win list. The name represents Paterno's next win, they say, its number 410.
For more information on how to donate, visit the 410 Fund Website.