LawFuel.com – Pennsylvania is so concerned about the fallout from the Penn State sex scandal involving Jerry Sandusky that their Governor, Tom Corbett, has sued over the sanctions imposed upon Penn State University.
Reuters report that Corbett called the sanctions imposed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, which include an unprecedented $60 million fine, “overreaching and unlawful.”
“I cannot and will not stand by and let it happen without a fight,” the Republican governor, who was accused of dragging his feet on the Penn State scandal when he was state attorney general, told a news conference.
A lawsuit Corbett filed with U.S. District Court in Harrisburg called for all Sandusky-related sanctions imposed on Penn State to be thrown out.
Sandusky, Penn State’s former defensive coordinator, was convicted in June of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, some in the football team’s showers. The scandal implicated top university officials in a cover-up, including the late Joe Paterno, its longtime head football coach.
The NCAA, the governing body of U.S. collegiate sports, fined Penn State $60 million for failing to stop abuse by Sandusky. It also voided its football victories for the past 14 seasons and banned its football team from bowl games for four years.
Corbett’s suit charged the NCAA and “competing colleges and universities represented on its governing boards” had “cynically and hypocritically exploited” the case “to impose crippling and unprecedented sanctions on an already weakened competitor.”
The suit said stigma from the case would diminish recruitment of students and student athletes and the value of a Penn State education for decades.
According to Corbett’s office, Penn State football was the second most profitable collegiate athletic program in the United States in 2010-11, when it brought in $50 million, generating more than $5 million in tax revenue.
Corbett, who spoke at State College, where Penn State University is located, said the NCAA had overstepped its bounds and the case was “a criminal matter, not a violation of NCAA rules.”
Despite the lawsuit, Penn State University itself has said that it is not a party to the suit and will comply with the sanctions imposed upon it by the NCAA.