HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP/KDKA) – A federal judge on Thursday threw out the governor’s lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions against Penn State related to Jerry Sandusky, calling his argument “a Hail Mary pass” that easily warranted dismissal.
U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane’s decision puts an early end to the anti-trust lawsuit Gov. Tom Corbett filed in January in which he sought to overturn a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship limits and other penalties.
Kane said in her opinion, “These are important questions deserving of public debate, but they are not antitrust questions.” Judge Kane, in the 28 page decision, also said ““The fact that Penn State will offer fewer scholarships over a period of four years does not plausibly support its allegation that the reduction of scholarships at Penn State will result in a market-wide anticompetitive effect.”
She said that even if the penalties make it harder for Penn State to recruit quality football players, that would not make it an anti-trust case.
Governor Corbett responded briefly Thursday, saying he had not yet read the opinion, but that “”Obviously we believed it was or we would not authorize one to be brought if we didn’t believe the law allowed.” Corbett also saying, “I’m disappointed. I believe that we had standing. A judge doesn’t believe we have standing. That’s why we have the court system.”
Corbett was trying to overturn the sanctions imposed against Penn State, following the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal. Penn State was not part of the lawsuit and had agreed to the sanctions which included a $60 million fine, a four year bowl ban, and a limit on scholarships, among other penalties.
The Governor said he wasn’t sure which steps the state would take next, if any.
In a new Quinnipiac poll released today, voters say 58-23 percent do not think Corbett did enough as Attorney General to investigate Jerry Sandusky.
Corbett responded saying, “The majority of people do not understand how those cases work. I look at 45 and 48 counts. That’s the most important thing.” Corbett went on to say, “We’ve taken a predator off the streets. These cases take a while to develop. If you go back and look at the facts… and that’s the problem. People have a hard time getting to see the facts and the facts are that the main witness, the one that was the thread to the case, we didn’t find that person until after I was already gone and became Governor.”
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