Corbett lawsuit against NCAA

Judge to hear arguments on NCAA motion to dismiss Corbett suit

mdawson@centredaily.comMay 19, 2013 

A federal judge will hear arguments Monday on the NCAA’s motion to dismiss the antitrust lawsuit Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett brought against the organization to overturn the sanctions against Penn State.

The NCAA has maintained in written arguments ahead of the hearing that lawsuit does not have any merit, saying the governor does not have the standing to sue the organization and that the sanctions, including scholarship reductions and a bowl ban, do not stifle competition.

Judge Yvette Kane will decide after hearing arguments from the NCAA’s lawyers and Corbett’s general counsel. The hearing will be at 2 p.m. in Courtroom No. 1 of the federal courthouse in Harrisburg.

Corbett sued the NCAA in January, asking a judge to step in and nix the sanctions, which also include a $60 million fine. A confident Corbett publicized the lawsuit via a news conference from the Nittany Lion Inn on Penn State’s campus with business leaders and local Republican lawmakers in tow.

Penn State is not a party in the lawsuit, and university officials have said they have no intention of joining it.

In Corbett’s original complaint, he said the sanctions violated the federal Sherman Antitrust Act by weakening Penn State’s football team on the field. The governor is claiming the State College economy will suffer because of fans having less interest in a weakened team.

The NCAA fired back with a motion to dismiss, arguing that the sanctions enforce integrity. The NCAA also said the lawsuit does not explain how the sanctions have hurt Penn State’s economic competition.

Legal experts have been split on whether the governor’s lawsuit has merit. Some said they were doubtful the governor had standing and were not surprised the NCAA filed its motion to dismiss.

Penn State President Rodney Erickson has said he was forced to accept the sanctions or the university would have been hit with the so-called death penalty.

Mike Dawson can be reached at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.

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