Pennsylvania Governor plans to sue NCAA over Penn State sanctions

By Laura Kennedy

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is planning to sue the National Collegiate Athletic Association in federal court over sanctions placed upon the Penn State football program in the aftermath of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky’s child sex abuse case, the governor said Tuesday.

Corbett scheduled a news conference for Wednesday on the Penn State University Park Campus in State College to make the official announcement. The full nature of the lawsuit has not yet been revealed, and it is unclear if it will look to overturn or reduce the penalties against Penn State.

On July 23, 2012 — following Sandusky’s conviction on 45 counts of child sex abuse and the release of former FBI Director Louis Freeh’s findings on the university’s handling of reports that the former coach sexually abused children — the NCAA imposed “unprecedented” sanctions on Penn State. These sanctions included a $60 million fine, 112 wins vacated from the record books, a loss of 40 scholarships and four years of postseason ineligibility.

Penn State paid the first $12 million installment of the fine in December, using an internal loan from the university’s reserves.

The suit is not being filed due to Penn State’s actions or requests. The university is not involved with the lawsuit or the announcement, Penn State Spokesman David La Torre wrote in an email.

Anthony Lubrano, member of the Penn State Board of Trustees said that the trustees themselves have not been given any information concerning in the possible impending legal action. However, if the lawsuit comes to fruition, Lubrano said he will be pleased with Corbett’s plan.

“If what we’re hearing is true, I’m glad the governor firmly agrees with my point of view, that the NCAA overstepped its authority when it imposed [the sanctions],” Lubrano said. “I’m [actually] curious as to why it took him so long to come around.”

The sanctions upon Penn State have not been taken lightly by any of those involved. Pennsylvania legislators are displeased about the distribution of the funds.

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