Representatives from the NCAA have filed a motion with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
asking for the dismissal of a trial ordered by a Commonwealth Court Judge over a matter that the organization says has been settled.
Earlier this month, Judge Anne Covey denied the dismissal of a suit filed by State Sen. Jake Corman and State Treasurer Rob McCord against the NCAA to enforce the Endowment Act, a law passed in 2013 that would force the funds from the $60 million fine issued by the NCAA to remain in-state. The collegiate sports governing body intended to use the money nationwide.
The parties came to a settlement, with the NCAA agreeing to keep the $60 million in Pennsylvania and drop its suit in federal court and Corman and McCord filing to dismiss the Commonwealth Court suit.
The plan hit an unexpected snag, however, when Covey declared she wanted a trial to determine the validity of the entire consent decree issued by the NCAA and accepted by Penn State as punishment for its alleged lack of investigation into child abuse claims against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.
"The parties are being forced to continue burdensome and expensive litigation that they have repeatedly recognized is unnecessary," the NCAA's filing says.
Along with the $60 million fine, the school also had a four-year ban on post-season play, a four-year reduction of grants-in-aid, four years of probation, and the vacation of sports wins dating back to 1998. In September, the NCAA agreed to relax most of the sanctions, allowing Penn State to participate in postseason bowl games this year and begin awarding scholarships for the 2015-2016 season.
In her 2013 ruling in favor of the Endowment Act, Covey said that many innocent parties who had nothing to do with the molestation scandal would be affected by the punishments. Her desire to get the full factual background of the consent decree did not disappear once the parties’ came to an agreement.
”The NCAA and PSU cannot dismiss themselves from litigation by declaring the consent decree valid and simply agreeing to do that which the (state) law already requires,” Covey wrote in Friday’s ruling.