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Corbett to file lawsuit against NCAA over Penn State sanctions

Written by Scott Detrow | Jan 2, 2013 12:46 PM
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Photo by Photo by Scott Detrow/witf

(State College) -- Governor Corbett is filing a federal antitrust suit against the NCAA.

He wants a judge to throw out the sanctions the organization imposed against Penn State's football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Corbett says the cover-up top Penn State administrators are accused of is “unforgivable,” but insists the NCAA had no authority to slap the school with a 60 million dollar fine, bowl game ban, loss of scholarships and vacate every win from 1998 on.

"These sanctions did not punish Sandusky. Nor did they punish the others who had been criminally charged. Rather, they punished the past, the present and the future students."

The governor has been criticized for his handling of the Sandusky child sex abuse investigation, which began when he was state Attorney General.

But Corbett insists the lawsuit isn’t a political move…

"On behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania, the businesses here in State College and Centre County and throughout Pennsylvania who are being harmed by this – that’s why we’re doing this," he says. "This is not a political case." 

The suit was announced less than two weeks before the Attorney General’s office shifts from Republican to Democrat.

Corbett says he got approval from outgoing AG Linda Kelly to file the suit, but did not consult Kathleen Kane, who takes over in mid-January.

Kane is the first Democrat to be elected Attorney General.

She has promised to investigate how Corbett conducted the Sandusky probe.

When the governing body for college athletics announced its sanctions in July, Corbett said they should be “accepted” as “part of [the corrective process]” for an alleged cover-up of sexual assaults against young boys.

Penn State is keeping its distance from the lawsuit, saying it played “no role in its preparation or filing.”

The NCAA is blasting Corbett’s move, calling it an “affront to all of the victims of this tragedy.”

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