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
Local

Elected leaders commit to regulating Times Square's costumed…

Bill de Blasio is not amused. The mayor told reporters on Monday that the costumed characters who flock to Times Square and trade photos with…

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Local

NYPD: Suspect dead after two U.S. Marshals, cop…

A suspected sex offender died after a shooting at a West Village smoke shop that wounded two U.S. Marshals and an NYPD detective on Monday, officials said.

National

PHOTO: New Zealand Heral uses wrong image to…

The New Zealand Herald made a terrible mistake of using the wrong image to illustrate the tragic death of Staff Sergeant Guy Boyland – a New Zealand-born Israeli soldier who…

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

Entertainment

'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood' game easter eggs and cheats

"Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" is the hottest game of the moment. Here are its best easter eggs as well as some tips and tricks to speed your way to the top.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

MLB

Yankees GM Brian Cashman breaks down art of…

The action frequently accelerates as the non-waiver trade deadline approaches, as it will on Thursday.

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.

Food

Zagat releases '30 Under 30' list

Zagat releases a list of the people changing the food and drink industry across the country.

Wellbeing

Fist bump gets respect as clean alternative to…

Though long used to give props, the fist bump is getting some actual respect. The gesture, once dubbed a “terrorist fist jab,” could become the new…