Pennsylvania against the NCAA. Governor Tom Corbett will announce today that the state plans to sue the sport’s governing body. That lawsuit will be filed in reaction to the sanctions handed down against Penn State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.
It’s no secret, Governor Tom Corbett was not happy over the NCAA’s decision back in July to levy huge fines and sanctions against Penn State and its football program. To fight back, the Governor will announce later this morning that he intends to sue the NCAA. It’s a battle that could have huge implications for not only the school but the NCAA in the future.
It’s almost unprecedented action, the step Governor Tom Corbett is set to make this morning when he announces a federal lawsuit against the NCAA.
“An argument can be made that the egregiousness of the behavior in this case is greater than any other scene in NCAA history,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert in July when the organization announced sanctions against Penn State.
The sanctions against Penn State include a $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban, scholarship reduction and the forfeiture of 112 wins under Joe Paterno dating back to 1998.
“It certainly fits the fundamental notions of what athletics are supposed to be doing in the context of higher education,” said Emmert.
But since the NCAA’s decision, Governor Tom Corbett has been an outspoken opponent of the fines and sanctions. The Governor believes the athletic governing body overstepped its authority by levying these harsh penalties.
A big part of the battle is over the money. Penn State just made the first of its five, $12 million payments to the NCAA. The money is to be used for sex abuse education. But many here in Pennsylvania want the money to stay here in the Keystone State. In fact, Republican State Senator Jake Corman is planning to bring forth legislation to make sure the dollars spent by the school stay near the school.
“Dollars that are raised through athletic ticket prices, things of that nature, mostly by Pennsylvanian’s, that would go to benefit Pennsylvanian’s if it wasn’t taken away,” Senator Corman said last week.
Many believe this could be an anti-trust lawsuit that could take years to funnel through the court systems. This is the State of Pennsylvania filing this suit, not Penn State University. PSU has not made any comment about this pending litigation.
The Governor is set to announce the lawsuit and its merits in State College at 11 a.m.