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State senator files lawsuit against NCAA over fine against Penn State

| Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, 10:16 p.m.

HARRISBURG — A Pennsylvania state senator sued the NCAA on Friday over its use of the $60 million fine that Penn State is paying for its handling of the child molestation scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, two days after the governor filed an antitrust lawsuit against the organization.

Sen. Jake Corman, who represents the area where Penn State's campus is located and chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, claims the NCAA's plans to spend the $60 million are an illegal violation of his oversight role for state government spending.

“Even though the NCAA intends to wrest such a large sum of Pennsylvania public funds, it has refused to submit to any control by Pennsylvania elected officials and refused to commit more than 25 percent of those public funds to Pennsylvania causes,” Corman's lawsuit said.

Budget figures show the state contributed $214 million this year to Penn State's $4.3 billion budget.

NCAA spokeswoman Emily Potter declined to comment on Corman's suit.

On Wednesday, Gov. Tom Corbett sued in federal court in an effort to have all of the Sandusky-related NCAA penalties thrown out, including the $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban and a reduction in football scholarships. The NCAA called that action meritless.

Friday also featured legal maneuvering by a pair of Penn State administrators accused of covering up abuse allegations against Sandusky, and an order restricting the use of electronic devices at a hearing next week in Sandusky's criminal case.

The county court filings by former Penn State administrators Gary Schultz and Tim Curley focus on the actions of Cynthia Baldwin, Penn State's former chief counsel. The filings further explore their previously stated claim that their rights were violated when Baldwin accompanied them to grand jury appearances two years ago.

Curley and Schultz argue they were illegally deprived of adequate legal representation. At issue is whether Baldwin was acting as their lawyer, or solely on behalf of the university.

Curley is on leave to serve out the last year of his contract as athletic director, while Schultz has retired as the school's vice president for business and finance.

The judge's ruling regarding electronics was justified, he wrote, because a “disheartening number of reporters” violated his order that no communications be made from inside the courtroom during Sandusky's sentencing in October. Judge John Cleland said so many reporters ignored the order that it was not practical to attempt to punish them all for it, as had been threatened.

The post-sentencing motions hearing on Thursday in Bellefonte will center on a claim by Sandusky that his lawyers lacked sufficient time to prepare for trial. Cleland has issued a transportation order so that Sandusky can attend in person.

Sandusky, who spent decades as an assistant football coach under Joe Paterno, is serving a 30- to 60-year prison sentence as a result of being convicted in June of 45 counts of sexual abuse against 10 boys. He maintains his innocence and is pursuing appeals.

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