Judge dismisses Pennsylvania lawsuit vs NCAA over Penn State sanctions

Gov. Tom Corbett
Gov. Tom Corbett. File photo.

A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by the state of Pennsylvania against the National Collegiate Athletic Association that claimed the sports authority overstepped its bounds with its penalties against Penn State over the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

The antitrust lawsuit filed in January by Governor Tom Corbett sought to have all the NCAA sanctions thrown out. The ruling lets stand an unprecedented $60 million fine imposed on the university and upholds the NCAA’s move to void all Penn State’s football team victories over more than 14 seasons.

The lawsuit claimed the sanctions would cause economic fallout throughout the state and was filed on behalf of third parties such as stadium workers, shopkeepers, hoteliers and others whose businesses could be hit due to the penalties.

U.S. District Court Judge Yvette Kane said the lawsuit’s arguments “fail to advance the ball.”

The lawsuit “raises serious questions about the indirect economic impact of NCAA sanctions on innocent parties,” she wrote in her ruling. “These are important questions deserving of public debate, but they are not antitrust questions.”

Sandusky, Penn State’s former defensive coordinator, was convicted last June of 45 counts of sexually abusing 10 boys over 15 years, some in the football team’s showers. He was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

In July, the NCAA, the governing body of U.S. collegiate sports, filed its sanctions against Penn State for the school’s failure to stop Sandusky’s sexual abuse of children.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the NCAA said it hoped the decision would “serve as a beginning of the end of the divide among those who, like Penn State, want to move forward to put the horror of the Sandusky crimes behind the university and those who want to prolong the fight, and with it, the pain.”

Corbett, in a statement issued by his office, said he was disappointed and believes the sanctions “have harmed the citizens, students, athletes, alumni and taxpayers of Pennsylvania.”

“Countless individuals and small businesses throughout the state will continue to suffer because of the NCAA’s actions,” he said.

The governor said he would review the state’s options with its legal team.

Legal analysts at the time it was filed called the lawsuit a longshot, saying it would be difficult to convert any harm done to local businesses into an antitrust violation. The state would have to show that the penalties harmed consumers and constituted a breakdown in the competitive marketplace, they said.

Penn State was not involved in the lawsuit.

Last week, the family of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, along with a group of faculty and former college athletes, also sued the NCAA over its response to the sex abuse scandal.

Their lawsuit claims the NCAA was wrong to base its sanctions on what it called “flawed findings” in an independent investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freeh into how Penn State handled the Sandusky case.

The Freeh report found Paterno and other university officials covered up Sandusky’s sexual abuse for years in an effort to protect the multimillion-dollar football program.

Paterno, one of college football’s most revered coaches, was fired by Penn State’s board days after Sandusky was arrested in November 2011. Paterno died of lung cancer in January 2012.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…