Pennsylvania plans to file a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA in an effort aimed at reversing tough sanctions levied against Penn State University following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
According to CNN
, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett made the announcement Wednesday at a press conference, where he called the sanctions "an attack on the past, present and future students" of the university and accused the NCAA of "penalizing people who had nothing to do with the Sandusky situation."
The NCAA fined Penn State $60 million, banned the school from participating in bowl games for four years, reduced its football scholarships, and stripped the school of their gridiron wins over 14 seasons under late head coach Joe Paterno.
The sanctions followed almost immediately after an independent investigation headed by former FBI Director Louis Freeh cited Paterno and other university officials for failing to properly intervene with Sandusky, who was an key Paterno assistant, and covering up the allegations to protect him and the football program. The investigative report noted that some of the abuse by Sandusky took place at Penn State's football training facility.
Corbett, however, called the penalties unfair to the university, students, and the state because the criminal charges related to the scandal had been adjudicated in the courts and Sandusky had been convicted of molesting 10 boys and sentenced to serve at least 30 years in prison.
The governor described the NCAA actions as “unlawful and overreaching,” noting that the school was forced to accept them without complaint under the threat of being banned from playing football for a year or more, which he said amounted to a “death penalty” being imposed against the college.
State lawmakers, meanwhile, are challenging how the NCAA’s $60 million fine against the university will be used. Republican state Sen. Jake Corman plans to introduce a bill that will force the NCAA to spread the money among state programs, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer
Corman also plans to file an injunction by the end of this week to keep the NCAA from using $12 million Penn State has already put into an escrow account, the newspaper reported Inquirer.
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