Gov. Tom Corbett (R), who sued the NCAA in January over the Penn State sanctions, said he was “extremely disappointed” Thursday that a federal judge tossed out the lawsuit.
Senior Judge Yvette Kane called the antitrust lawsuit a “Hail Mary pass” and said the governor’s arguments “failed to advance the ball.”
During a May 20 hearing, attorneys for the NCAA said the governor failed to show how the sanctions impacted overall competitiveness of college football, thus failing to prove the association violated antitrust laws.
Corbett’s legal team cited various impacts to Central Pennsylvania’s economy and the fact that the unprecedented nature of the sanctions. They include: a $60 million fine, reduced scholarships, a four-year ban on post-season play and others.
Penn State President Rodney Erickson said he agreed to the sanctions to avoid the so-called “death penalty” of the football program, in which it would have been shut down for four years.
Corbett says he’s weighing his options and a possible appeal.
Former Pennsylvania Attorney General Walter Cohen said he was not surprised by the judge’s decision.
“There’s a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking that should have been done on Saturday, a year ago, before Penn State agreed to what is really outrageous conduct on the part of NCAA. But, it’s done, and it’s agreed to,” said Cohen.
Governor Corbett’s office released the following statement Thursday: