NCAA says Corbett overreaches in regard to Penn State sanctions
College Football Videos
HARRISBURG — A federal judge said on Monday she will rule in a few weeks whether Gov. Tom Corbett can continue an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA that seeks to reverse sanctions the organization imposed on Penn State University as a result of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
At issue is whether Corbett has standing to continue the lawsuit to overturn a four-year ban on bowl games, reduced scholarships and a $60 million fine.
Sandusky, 69, a former assistant football coach, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence on his conviction last year of 45 child molestation charges.
The NCAA levied the sanctions last year shortly after a damning report from former FBI Director Louis Freeh charged that top officials at Penn State for years concealed facts about Sandusky to avoid bad publicity for the football program. The university commissioned Freeh's report.
Penn State's football program had a $90 million business impact on Centre County and $161 million statewide in 2009, Corbett's General Counsel Jim Schultz told Judge Yvette Kane. From hot dog vendors to hotels and T-shirt sales, Pennsylvanians, especially those near the university, were hurt when ticket sales dropped 10 percent last year, Schultz said.
“Penn State football is an enormous power source for Pennsylvania,” Schultz said.
“Gov. Corbett lacks standing to represent Penn State in this matter,” said Scott Ballenger, a Washington lawyer representing the NCAA.
Kane asked both sides tough questions and suggested the case would seem more appropriate as a “breach-of-contract claim or a civil rights action.”
“The governor has to outline restraint of trade and identify who the actors are. You haven't done that,” Kane told Melissa Maxman, an attorney with the Cozen O'Connor law firm assisting Schultz.
Kane said Penn State signed the sanctions agreement with the NCAA. But Maxman said the board of trustees never approved it and officials signed under duress.
President Rodney Erickson signed the document.
“Nothing turns on whether Penn State's agreement was voluntary or nonvoluntary,” Ballenger said.
“It was crammed down their throats under threat of the death penalty,” Maxman said. The death penalty for college teams would ban all play for a year or more.
Kane concluded the nearly two-hour hearing by saying, “We're not in the same stadium on antitrust issues.”
Brad Bumsted is state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media. Reach him at 717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins trade for Toronto’s Kessel
- Pirates notebook: Cole cool about hostile comment
- Saudi prince will donate all wealth, $32B worth
- Steelers submit application to host Super Bowl
- Ligonier Township officer’s widow to file civil suit
- Leading on race: Communities, not elites
- Second Blair County friar commits suicide in province under sex abuse investigation
- Remains of Korean War soldier from Apollon identified
- Three seek to serve four-year term in seat of deceased county council member
- Donora-Webster Bridge plunges into Mon River after 106 years
- FBI searching for Homestead man indicted for sex trafficking in children