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Pa. hopes to impose law on NCAA

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Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a bill to require that the $60 million fine the NCAA levied against Penn State in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal stay in Pennsylvania.

But the law could be an exercise in futility.

Lawyer Stephen Morgan, former chief of staff for the NCAA Division I section, said an effort in Nevada to legislate state-level guidelines for the operation of the national collegiate athletic oversight agency was declared void after a federal court ruled that the commerce clause of the Constitution protected the national agency from state regulation.

The NCAA could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

“I don't know if the NCAA chose to fight it that (the Nevada case) could be cited as a precedent. And if they're trying to get at the Penn State money, it's an ex post facto law,” Morgan said, adding that courts often strike down laws meant to apply retroactively.

The law passed by overwhelming margins in both the House and Senate. A spokesman for Gov. Tom Corbett told The Associated Press that Corbett, who is suing the NCAA to overturn the sanctions, will sign the bill.

The bill requires that fines of $10 million or more imposed on Pennsylvania institutions of higher learning be deposited into a state-administered account and be spent on in-state programs that address the sexual abuse of children.

Sandusky, a retired Penn State assistant coach, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence on charges that he sexually abused 10 boys in and around campus facilities.

Debra Erdley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. The Associated Press contributed.

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