Pennsylvania suing to stop NCAA's Penn State sanctions
January 2nd, 2013
11:32 AM ET

Pennsylvania suing to stop NCAA's Penn State sanctions

[Updated at 11:32 a.m. ET] The state of Pennsylvania will file a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA, seeking to have a judge throw out all sanctions the association levied against Penn State University in the wake of the child sex abuse scandal involving former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said Wednesday.

Corbett (pictured) said the penalties - a $60 million fine, a four-year ban on bowl games, football scholarship reductions, and the stripping of 14 seasons of football victories under late head coach Joe Paterno - were unfair to the university, its students, and Pennsylvania citizens because the Sandusky criminal matter already is being handled in courts.

The NCAA "piled on ... (punishing) the citizens of Pennsylvania, who had nothing to do with these crimes," Corbett said.

"These sanctions are an attack on the past, present and future students of Penn State, the citizens of our commonwealth and our economy. As governor of this commonwealth, I cannot and will not stand by and let it happen without a fight," Corbett said.

He said the NCAA's actions were unlawful and overreaching, and that it essentially forced Penn State to accept the sanctions under the threat that if the school didn't accept them, the NCAA would impose on the football program a "death penalty" - a suspension from play of a year or more.

The NCAA levied the penalties last July.

soundoff (107 Responses)
  1. Rob

    Punishing the citizens of Pennsylvania because of sanctions on a college football team? Wow, there must not be much to do at all in Pennsylvania.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat.

      It would be nice to think that here was nothing to do in Pa. But...The PSU Hershy medical center, the PSU Children's hospital, nearly 13 million people who commerce, work and conduct business with the rest of the USA and the world are kept pretty busy on a daily basis...Yet you would judge them all because of Jerry Sandusky? Linking does not qualify or support your judgement.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    No problem. Drop the sanctions and fines formerly imposed. Then put in place a suspension all Penn State teams from all NCAA play until the legal process is completed. Once the legal process has run it's course, if even one Penn State official is found guilty, then drop the general suspension, and ban Penn State Football from NCAA play for the next 25 years.
    And after it's all done, please don't cry on national TV about it, ok? We don't want to hear about your so-called emotional trauma: we're more concerned about the lifelong trauma one of your personnel caused many, many children–lifelong trauma in which your vaunted hero was complicit.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • James Ray

      That's an awful idea.

      January 2, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat.

      Ridiculous...You'd have to be really damaged to think that any of the over 38,000 annual students at State College would possibly think that Sandusky or any of those acussed of covering up his crimes would be a hero or "complicit" in his crimes...Your need to be able to draw a line between your emotionality and reality on this issue should be examined.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      "You'd have to be really damaged to think that any of the over 38,000 annual students at State College would possibly think that Sandusky or any of those acussed of covering up his crimes would be a hero"
      Quite a few comments here saying exactly that. Sorry, but your program is being called Pedo State. I didn't make that up, and I can't stop people from saying it. My advice would be that when people stop saying that, you re-start football. Until then, isn't the university supposed to teach students as well as run a football show?

      January 3, 2013 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Pete

    It would appear that the Governor and the State of Pennsylvania are more interested in Bowl games and football revenue than in protecting and educating children. A sorry state of affairs to be sure.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. No Excuses"

    The level of greed some of you posters have is disgusting. Don't give me this PA tax payer crap. The university is NOT funded entirely by your tax payers dollars. You think this team didn't bring in millions of $$$ over the years? Are you and your Governor seriously going to stand behind this excuse? Sandusky's abuses were not just contained to PA. He took these children on trips and abused them in other place besides PA. Pay up Penn State. Everyone knows this went much futher than one man and one mans abuses. It's been shown there was a level of coverup and turning of a blind eye from Penn State. What person in their right mind would try to make excuses about who gets the money in their state. This is why our country is at a level of all time low. Greed, "where's mine", look out for yourself mentalities. Really? Guess when it affects your or God forbid your children you'll realize what's important.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat.

      PSU should withdraw from all NCAA and all athletic programs...Where ever did you get the idea that this was just about those issues? Universities should be about ACADEMICS, not about sports...Oh wait, there's still 30 channels of sports on cable TV in the USA and there's Sunday night football, Tuesday night football...And Basketball and Hockey and....Face it, the country is obsessed with sports it's what keeps us from killing one another on a mass basis, daily.LOL

      January 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. shawn

    if your speaking for the lawyers you know, they disgust me

    January 2, 2013 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. James PDX

    What a joke. Was a suspension from play merited? Definitely. So one must assume that if Penn State accepted the penalty when being threatened with a justified suspension, it's because they saw it as a lesser penalty than they deserved. Ask them if they would prefer to exchange that penalty for a suspension. They'd lose more money that way in the not so long run, only the lost money woudn't go toward good causes.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Just for the record

    I recall those students outside cheering for Sandusky. Sounds to me that the WHOLE school SHOULD be punished.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gailmarie M. Rizzo

      There were NO students cheering for Sandusky. How depraved do you really think those young people are? They were as horrified as the rest of us, some more so, due to their closeness in age to the victims. They DID cheer for Joe Paterno, whom some felt had been judged prior to any due process. It is importnant to note the use of the word "some," as many more were severly disappointed by the lack of action by university personnel.

      January 2, 2013 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bippity

      Pure propaganda. Students never, NEVER, cheered for Sandusky. Stop spreading lies Mr. Goebbels.

      January 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?

      Well then your memory fails you because NO students were outside cheering Sandusky.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      Sandusky, Joe Pa. Tomato, Tomahto. They cheered for the guy who covered it up, and cheered loudly. They want his statue back. Pedo State.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  8. upside down

    Now I see why all the PSU alums I work with act they way they do over their team. Sorry state of affairs when a college event takes precedent over the lives of children.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat.

      That's why PSU students have donated their time and collected money for the Children's Miracle Network for decades and spent millions of dollars building the PSU Hershy Medical Center and Childrens Hospital...Condemn the individuals for their crimes, not the future generations. Become part of the solution because by constant persecution you just compound the crime...Also withdraw PSU from all NCAA athletics...Athletics should have no place in an Academic system anyway.

      January 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. College Football Fan

    For all those whining about the sanctions affecting PA taxpayers...that does not seem to be the case.

    If you go to the "Full Story" link at the bottom, you can see that "David La Torre, a Penn State spokesman, said last year the school will not use tax or tuition dollars to pay the NCAA's $60 million fine."

    This past summer, 'estimated that the Nittany Lions are worth $100 million, good for the third-most valuable team in college football. Penn State also tied with Georgia for the second-highest football profit, taking home $53 million in the year preceding July 1, 2011.'

    They should have plenty in the coffer to pay the sanctions imposed as a result of not doing the right thing.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      It's not the football fines he's referring to. It's the vendors, the State College area, the State of Pennsylvania people who make their living by providing goods and services in association with the football season.

      January 2, 2013 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      "people who make their living by providing goods and services in association with the football season." They made money when the pedo coach was winning. They can live off that money now.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Florida Jim

    let's be very clear about this – Penn State had nothing to do about this – Sandusky is the issue and he did it on his own – the children who attend Penn State are not liable for the actions of some guy who worked there 20 years ago. Did the NCAA go after Va. Tech when that guy shot & killed all those students? Same logic

    January 2, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      " Penn State had nothing to do about this – Sandusky is the issue and he did it on his own – the children who attend Penn State are not liable for the actions of some guy who worked there 20 years ago"

      You need to read up on this. You are way off base. It was recent and they covered it up for money.

      January 3, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bippity

    The problem is that the full story has not been told and the media lynch mob was the judge and jury in this. Was Sandusky guilty? Obviously, but was there a cover up by PSU officials? That is the question here. Would has been testified to in a court of law does not back up what was in the Grand Jury Presentment that was accidentally leaked back in Nov 2011. The Freeh Report was incomplete, as stated by the PA Gov in the press conference, and was never accepted by the PSU Board of Trustees. The NCAA rushed to judgement and apparently coerced the spineless BOT and Pres into accepting them which is part of the problem. I think the people of PA are just looking for due process here. PSU was found guilty before being given due process and the media is to blame and you sheeple that believe everything on the internet(because everything on the internet is true, right?)

    January 2, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  12. M

    Penn State is free to reject any and all sanctions, including the death penalty. The NCAA cannot compel them to pay these fines or to abide by any other sanctions. HOWEVER, the NCAA can simply kick them out of the organization, meaning they don't get to play any other NCAA teams. And, last time I checked, despite what some may believe, neither Penn State nor any other school has a right to have a football program that plays other NCAA teams.

    What you see here is just political grandstanding.

    January 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Barry

    So the governor of Pensylvania, is 'upset' at the suspensons levied against Penn State! People do a crime, and have to pay for it! This wasn't a case of 1 man doing this, it was MORE than 1 man involved! More than 1 person involved IS a conspiracy! I can see how this guy is concerned about the reputation of the school, and it's students, (and the loss of football related revenue!!!), but, a crime was committed, and now the consequences must be paid! Yes it was individuals who committedd the crime, but it was the school officials who TRIED TO COVER UP A CRIME! Now to have a state governor getting involved in 'debating' the consequences of Penn States' criminal activities is just B/S!
    What this Governor is really saying, is,'I don't care about the crime involved, and the damage to the people involved, just get our football program back! PRETTY SAD!

    January 2, 2013 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pat.

      Wrong...This was Sandusky and "maybe"-innocent until proven guilty in a court of law- a handful of men who were foolish to think that this type of vile crime should be covered up for the greater "good"...You need to divorce yourself from the emotional stirrings that the case seems to have evoked for you and stop judging the innocent...Judge not lest you be judged.LOL

      January 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  14. PSUstudent

    You sir, are the exact kind of ignorant person that needs to STOP passing judgment on an ENTIRE UNIVERSITY. I attend Penn State and when people like you call it "Pedophile State" all you are doing is punishing the current students that are just trying to get an education. Why are the mistakes of few punishing me? I am 18 years old, why is it okay that I get called a rapist for wearing a PSU sweatshirt? I am proud to be a Nittany Lion and how dare you try to take that away from me by shaming the whole school for mistakes that were made almost before I even entered the education system.

    January 2, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scrod

      " I am 18 years old, why is it okay that I get called a rapist for wearing a PSU sweatshirt? I am proud to be a Nittany Lion"

      You are standing on a pile of bleeding children while you bleat that pride at us. Your school did the worst thing possible, and you want us to hold your little hand and tell you it's ok now and the bad man is gone? Get that degree if you like, but people are not going to stop calling you Pedo State.

      January 3, 2013 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • terry

      Thank you scrod! well said. and..., did you choose "Scrod" as the past perfect form of scr ewed?

      January 5, 2013 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • lweba

      '...all you are doing is punishing the current students that are just trying to get an education.' playing football?

      January 5, 2013 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Paul Atkinson

    OK, Suspend them from playing for 25 years. This Gov. does not want to accept responsibility. Neither do the people of PA, and neither the people of PENN STATE. HMM! Suspend and End PENN STATE, and they should be asamed to be a part of it. Lot's of better places for those students.University of Va, Norfolk State, are just a couple.

    January 2, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
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