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

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

National

Reddit boosts news capabilities in social media turf…

By Jennifer SabaNEW YORK (Reuters) - Reddit, a website with a retro-'90s look and space-alien mascot that tracks everything from online news to celebrity Q&As,…

Local

New York joins accord to strengthen popular vote…

New York State joined a nationwide effort that would gives the state's 29 electoral votes for president to the candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Accomplice Tour: New York (Spoiler Alert)

When I signed up for the Accomplice show tour, I had no idea what I was in for. But every grimy job comes with a great reward.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, April 15: 'New Girl,'…

'New Girl' Nick and Jess are hiding their breakup from the other loft residents. And Winston passes the police academy exam! That guy needed some…

NBA

Nets miss chance to clinch No. 5 seed…

Nets head coach Jason Kidd expressed little concern after a 109-98 loss to the Knicks, but others seemed to disagree.

NFL

Jets confident despite Chris Johnson leaving with no…

Jets fans clamored for a playmaker on offense all offseason. It looked like they were going to land that player on Tuesday when Chris Johnson…

NBA

Knicks, Nets rivalry never materialized despite national attention

When the NBA schedule was released, the league anticipated an intense rivalry between the Nets and Knicks with all four games slated for national TV.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Personalize your massage at a private practice

CityTouch customizes spa treatments to meet client's needs.

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.