The NCAA and top Pennsylvania officials whom the organization is suing joined together Wednesday in asking a federal judge to halt the lawsuit while the sides try to hammer out a settlement.
Gov. Tom Corbett, Treasurer Rob McCord and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale are among those named as defendants in the lawsuit over how $60 million in fine money imposed against Penn State can be spent.
They joined with the NCAA in asking for a stay in the case, which is filed in U.S. Middle District Court.
“In an effort to streamline this litigation, counsel herein intends to engage in discussions regarding the possibility of reaching an amicable resolution of this case,” attorneys wrote in the court document.
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The NCAA filed the suit as a challenge of the Endowment Act — a Pennsylvania law to keep Penn State fine money from being spent outside the state — arguing the law violates the Constitution.
The $60 million fine is among the sanctions the NCAA levied against Penn State in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. The sanctions also included loss of scholarships and bowl eligibility.
Sandusky is serving 30 to 60 years in state prison for molesting 10 young boys, and three former Penn State administrators are awaiting trial on charges they covered up abuse allegations.
State Sen. Jake Corman, R-Benner Township, has filed his own suit over the Endowment Act. He is asking a state court to rule the NCAA has to follow the law.
In the NCAA’s suit, Judge Yvette Kane ruled in June against motions filed by Corbett and the others asking for the case to be thrown out or put on hold because the constitutionality of the Endowment Act is already being debated by a state court in the Corman case.
Kane had previously ordered a conference for Aug. 14 to set a timeline for the federal case, but now attorneys for both sides want that delayed so they can work toward a settlement.
A state court, meanwhile, has set a January trial date in Corman’s lawsuit. McCord is also a plaintiff in that case.
Previously, the state court ruled that the act was constitutional in its review of the Corman suit, but it stopped short of forcing the NCAA to comply, meaning that the state lawsuit will continue to trial.
Corman proposed the Endowment Act and Corbett signed it, which prompted the NCAA to sue the governor, the state treasurer, the state auditor and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency in federal court.
Under the Endowment Act, if universities and colleges in Pennsylvania are fined more than $10 million, the money would be paid into the state treasury.