The NCAA's unprecedented $60 million fine against Penn State will hurt the university in its pocketbook. The silver lining is that it will help plenty of abused kids, and it could even wind up preventing abuse — if it is distributed carefully, child welfare advocates say.

As part of its punishment over the Jerry Sandusky scandal, Penn State agreed Monday to pay $12 million a year for the next five years into an endowment to fund programs for the detection, prevention and treatment of child abuse.

Penn State and the NCAA have not settled on the procedure by which the money will be given out. But for nonprofit organizations living hand to mouth after years of cutbacks in state, federal and foundation aid, the cash could have a huge impact.