NCAA agrees to terms of state Sen. Corman's suit regarding Penn State sanctions

A Pennsylvania lawmaker who recently filed for injunctive relief seeking to prevent the National Collegiate Athletic Association from dispersing or otherwise dissipating any of the $12 million in fine money already paid by Penn State to the sports association arising out of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal has announced that the NCAA has agreed to the terms of the litigation. Earlier this month, Sen. Jake Corman, a Republican representing Pennsylvania’s 34th Senatorial District, had filed a lawsuit against the NCAA that sought to prohibit the organization or their endowment from releasing any of the $12 million out of $60 million in fine money that Penn State has already paid to the NCAA outside of Pennsylvania. In a statement released by his office, Corman said that he believes the fine money, which is coming from Pennsylvania residents, should remain in the commonwealth and benefit state organizations and children. “Every dollar will continue to go to worthy and valuable child abuse prevention and education organizations, except this way, the connection between Pennsylvania resident funds and Pennsylvania benefits will be clear,” Corman, in a statement, said of the goals of his suit, which asked the court to enjoin the NCAA from using the fine money elsewhere. Corman went on to say that keeping the money in Pennsylvania is not only appropriate, but would significantly help the commonwealth achieve the goals and preparedness spelled out by the Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection, which recently issued a report, in the wake of the Sandusky molestation scandal, that points to worthwhile “organizational avenues in our Commonwealth that could benefit greatly from the distribution of the fine.” Corman, who is the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, is a Penn State alumnus and represents a district that comprises State College, Pa. Corman is also a supporter of the antitrust lawsuit Gov. Tom Corbett filed against the NCAA challenging the appropriateness of the fine levied against the college in the wake of the child abuse scandal. Corman was quoted as saying that the lawsuit is not about whether Penn State should be sanctioned given its apparent role in the scandal, but whether the NCAA itself can issue the sanctions. “As I have stated from the beginning, due process provides the integrity needed to ensure all responsible parties are held accountable,” Corman said in a statement. “The NCAA’s rush to judgment … undermines our societal and legal need for the essential due process.” Corbett filed his suit earlier this month at the U.S. District Court in Harrisburg against the NCAA over claims that the sanctions against Penn State – the $60 million fine, the wiping away of scores of football wins and other types of punishment – violate federal antitrust laws. Corbett is seeking to have the federal judge overseeing the litigation declare a consent agreement between the NCAA and Penn State illegal. “These punishments threaten to have a devastating, long-lasting and irreparable effect on the state, its citizens and its economy,” Corbett said during a press conference earlier this month announcing the lawsuit. Penn State has been criticized for its role in the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. Sandusky, formerly the defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions, was found guilty on 45 counts of child rape following a jury trial in Centre County in June. This past October, a state judge sentenced Sandusky to between 30 and 60 years in prison. Sandusky’s attorneys have since appealed both the conviction and the sentence.

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