Corbett Asks Court to Overturn Penn State’s NCAA Sanctions
In a move that has nothing at all to do with the fact that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is deeply unpopular heading into next year’s re-election campaign, the governor’s attorneys will appear in court today asking a judge to overrule the NCAA’s hefty sanctions against Penn State football stemming from the Jerry Sandusky case.
Corbett filed the antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA on Jan. 2. That was five months after Penn State President Rodney Erickson signed a consent decree agreeing to the NCAA’s sweeping sanctions.
Those penalties included a $60 million fine, a reduction in scholarships and a four-year postseason ban for the football team. All wins under former head coach Joe Paterno between 1998-2011 were vacated.
In Corbett’s original complaint, he said the sanctions violated the federal Sherman Antitrust Act by weakening Penn State’s football team on the field. The governor is claiming the State College economy will suffer because of fans having less interest in a weakened team.
In February, the NCAA struck back, asking a federal judge to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that the governor is attempting to use the courts to usurp authority that was given to Penn State.
In its February motion to dismiss, lawyers for the NCAA argued that Pennsylvania law gives Penn State the authority to manage its own athletics program and join voluntary associations like the NCAA.