The antitrust lawsuit that Gov. Tom Corbett had filed against the NCAA relating to the
sanctions imposed on Penn State University for the school’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal has reportedly cost Pennsylvania taxpayers a hefty bill.
And that’s before all invoices from outside counsel have been submitted.
The complaint, which argued that the National Collegiate Athletic Association violated federal antitrust laws with the punishments it levied against Penn State, was ultimately thrown out by U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane, the chief judge of the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported on July 25 that Corbett’s failed attempt to get Kane to overturn the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State has cost state taxpayers about $383,000, although the total legal bills have not yet been tallied since outside counsel has not yet formalized what they are owed.
Corbett’s Office of General Counsel and lawyers with the Philadelphia firm Cozen O’Connor worked on the civil case that was filed in Harrisburg earlier this year.
The litigation was subsequently dismissed by Kane; she determined that Corbett failed to make a case for his antitrust allegations.
James Schultz, Corbett’s general counsel, told the media earlier this month that the administration had no plans to appeal Kane’s ruling.
According to the Patriot-News, the more than $383,000 in legal fees that were processed as of this month is the equivalent of covering tuition costs and fees for more than 20 Penn State incoming freshmen students.
A Corbett administration spokesman, Nils Hagen-Frederiksen, was quoted as saying that the total cost of the failed lawsuit will likely not be known for weeks.
Meanwhile, a separate complaint against the NCAA over the sanctions, which included a $60 million fine, is moving forward in state court.
The family of the late Joe Paterno, onetime iconic head coach of the Nittany Lions football team, joined with university trustees and faculty members on the civil action, which is pending at the Centre County Court of Common Pleas.
That suit accuses the athletic association of improperly interfering with a criminal matter “that falls far outside the scope of their authority.”
The criminal matter in question was the headline-grabbing trial of Jerry Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for the Nittany Lions who was sentenced to between 30 and 60 years in state prison following his conviction last summer on 45 counts of child rape.
Sandusky, who is in his 60s, is appealing the conviction and sentence in Superior Court.