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Tom Corbett is not the person to be challenging the NCAA on PSU sanctions

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett speaks at a news conference in State College Reuters

Before July, 2012, there was essentially one looming question to the Jerry Sandusky scandal at Penn State: how could a serial pedophile be allowed to prey on his victims for years using the university’s athletic facilities without being stopped? That is what the Freeh Report, created by PSU, attempted to answer.

Then, on July 23, the NCAA, and specifically president Mark Emmert, added a new dimension to the Penn State story by introducing unprecedented steps to punish the football program swiftly and severely. Penn State was fined $60 million from the NCAA, subjected to a four-year bowl ban and stripped of dozens of scholarships over that same time period.

By doing so, Emmert and the Association warped a criminal case into a  football one, and the focus of the Sandusky scandal has been wrongly shifted to whether or not 1) Penn State deserved the sanctions and 2) the NCAA stepped outside its jurisdiction. The NCAA’s involvement alone was met with mixed reviews; the decision to bypass the normal investigative script to come up with a consent decree was criticized more heavily.

If anybody’s visited CFT long enough, you know I’ve been one of those critics. The attention should have been, and should still be, on the victims, bringing those who could have done more and failed to do so to justice — Penn State president Graham Spanier, vice president Gary Schultz and athletic director Tim Curley are currently awaiting a preliminary hearing next week on charges related to the Sandusky scandal; Sandusky has been sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison for his crimes — and making sweeping changes to ensure nothing like this ever happens at Penn State again.

The NCAA not only made the Sandusky case about itself, but bent the interpretation of its own rulebook rhetoric to the point of breaking in the process. So I have no problem with the NCAA being challenged for taking action in a case larger than what the organization was capable of handling.

But that task should not come from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. 

Never mind the obvious political grandstanding. That’s way too obvious to merit a response. What Corbett is doing is not only hypocritical, but laughable. Recall this quote from Corbett following the NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State:

“The appalling actions of a few people have brought us once again into the national spotlight. We have taken a monster off the streets and while we will never be able to repair the injury done to these children, we must repair the damage to this university.

“Part of that corrective process is to accept the serious penalties imposed today by the NCAA on Penn State University and its football program.”

Five months later, Corbett’s leading a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA and it stinks something fierce.

But the real problem is that Corbett is waist deep (or higher) in the muck of the Sandusky scandal. He’s been accused of dragging his feet in the Sandusky case while serving as Pennsylvania’s attorney general until 2011. It was also Corbett who approved a $3 million grant for the Second Mile, Sandusky’s charity. Sandusky used the charity for years to target his victims and Corbett’s tenure as AG suggests he was aware of some fishiness.

Then, there’s the lawsuit itself, which you can view HERE. If the complaint was filed with only the intent of keeping PSU’s $60 million fine with in-state organizations, then Corbett might have some footing. An attempt to toss the sanctions against Penn State because the NCAA violated antitrust laws could be much harder to prove and could take a long time to do so. The fact is that Penn State signed the consent decree last summer and could still agree to the sanctions moving forward. It should be noted again that Penn State is not involved in this lawsuit.

NCAA expert John Infante, whom we cite often when it comes to matters related to the NCAA, feels the suit will be resolved quickly.

Corbett may have a case against the NCAA, but all current signs point to the contrary. If anything, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania vs. the NCAA may serve as a future example of how to deal with the NCAA at a university level if it ever decides to pursue sanctions in a similar fashion again.

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21 Responses to “Tom Corbett is not the person to be challenging the NCAA on PSU sanctions”
  1. rajbais says: Jan 2, 2013 3:18 PM

    NCAA, Leave PSU alone!!!

    You can’t scapegoat someone when you’re sleazier than Penn St. itself!!!

    Sandusky’s acts went on from 1998-2009. Meanwhile you and bowl directors have hoarded bowl game money for years when it was supposed to be for charity!!! Yahoo! Sports and HBO Sports unveiled this in 2010 and 2011.

    To scapegoat someone to suck up to a knee jerk reacting public after their request for punishment was based on what USC went through (oh Reggie Bush getting stuff from another man) is immoral particularly when you have your own personal demons (and the bowl money is just one thing. NCAA Corruption can be found in a 1400 word article by Taylor Branch in “The Atlantic”)!!!

    Also to the Pro-punishment public: you look at yourself in the mirror the next time you want punishment based on a false equivalency!!!

    Other people committed personal misconduct and their schools went through nothing!!!

    When you ask for stuff that Penn St. got you’re allowing the continuation of NCAA power abuse!!! They don’t care about building good people or morality!!! They care about profits and sucking up to people in knee jerk-reacting fashion like you!!!

    How do I know? Go ask Cam Newton, Terrelle Pryor, UNC’s academically unqualified students, and their teammates and coaches!!!

    They way they were not punished are microcosms of the disgust that everyone should see in the NCAA.

  2. mhalt99 says: Jan 2, 2013 3:19 PM

    let’s also not forget that the NCAA let a guy run a brothel,….. I mean run Miami like a brothel/ATM machine and then let him come down hard on USC because of a yahoo article that was never 100% verified.

    just sayin………

  3. tlmoon2112 says: Jan 2, 2013 3:22 PM

    Many of us would argue that the NCAA didn’t go far enough. However, no law suit is going to reverse the damage done to these kids.

  4. normtide says: Jan 2, 2013 3:41 PM

    PSU BOT couldn’t wait to sign off on the sanctions, there is a reason for that. Kudos to PSU on trying to do this the right way. Shame on the gov, one of the enablers, who should be investigated himself. PSU will be punished, if not by the NCAA then by the parents of recruits.

  5. sd1024 says: Jan 2, 2013 3:47 PM

    So sick of this friggin school

  6. fetchezlavache says: Jan 2, 2013 3:56 PM

    Before anyone wants to throw Penn State to the wolves once again on this lawsuit, remember that this is a Governor who is concerned about his reputation and facing re-election soon. The new state AG has said that she (a Dem) will be investigating Corbett (a Repub) over his role. Note that they are not a party to the suit and claim that they continue to work with the NCAA. The medicine might taste mighty bad, but the University is taking it nonetheless. Here’s the response from PSU.

    “Penn State is not a party to the lawsuit and has not been involved in its preparation or filing, the university stated.

    University officials said: “The University is committed to full compliance with the Consent Decree, the Athletics Integrity Agreement and the implementation of the Freeh report recommendations. We look forward to continuing to work with Sen. George Mitchell as the athletic integrity monitor for complete fulfillment of the Athletics Integrity Agreement. We recognize the important role that intercollegiate athletics provides for our student athletes and the wider University community. Penn State continues to move forward with an unwavering commitment to excellence and integrity in all aspects of our University and continues to be a world-class educational institution of which our students, faculty, staff and alumni can be justifiably proud.”

  7. bigbuckeye76 says: Jan 2, 2013 3:56 PM

    Rajbais….you are a disgrace.

  8. rajbais says: Jan 2, 2013 4:01 PM

    Also from Yahoo! Sports:

    Victim #4 supports antitrust suit.

    “However, one of those victims, so-called Victim No. 4 who was abused by Sandusky for years on the Penn State campus, supports the lawsuit according to his attorney.

    Moreover, the attorney, Benjamin D. Andreozzi of Harrisburg’s Andreozzi & Associates blasted the NCAA for trying to play the role of victim and never asking Sandusky’s actual victims their opinion in the case. Perhaps most egregious, it assumed that the victims would find Corbett’s lawsuit, but not the NCAA’s actions, as an “affront.” That allowed the NCAA to essentially use the real victims as a public relations tool without any knowledge of whether the assertion was accurate.
    “Victim No. 4 was very disappointed when he learned of the NCAA sanctions several months ago,” Andreozzi told Yahoo! Sports Wednesday. “He was particularly upset the sanctions were so broad that they impacted people who had absolutely nothing to do with the abuse or the failure to properly report the abuse.”

    It’s okay to get their input, not the public’s when they don’t know any of the victims.

  9. tttrojan4life says: Jan 2, 2013 4:09 PM

    Penn St. is very sick.

  10. sparty0n says: Jan 2, 2013 4:09 PM

    Agree the NCAA overstepped. I would think season ticket holders would have more justification (and possibly more success) in bringing a lawsuit than Corbett.

  11. pickney1 says: Jan 2, 2013 6:17 PM

    While not a fan of the NCAA handling of the Penn State situation, the governors attempt to justify the reasoning for now wanting to change the sanctions is laughable when he had no objection to the sanctions at the original time they were layed down.

    At the end of the day great cause, wrong person speaking on the situation.

  12. huskerzfan says: Jan 2, 2013 6:34 PM

    The fact that Tom Corbett is the guy leading the charge in filing this suit is the very definition of hypocrisy.

    Of all the people that should have done more to prevent the evil doings of one Jerry Sandusky, Tom Corbett’s name sits at or very near the top of the list.

    This dirtbag of a human being should be sharing a cell with Jerry Sandusky at this very moment.

    What’s next? Ted Kaczynski suing the US Postal Service?

  13. deadeye says: Jan 2, 2013 8:07 PM

    At some point not too far down the road, several conferences will break away from the NCAA. That organization is unable to police the universities under it’s umbrella, and would most likely breath a sigh of relief if it didn’t have that burden anymore.

    College football is too big of a money-maker for any university to stop it’s unethical practices. A decade of top-ten finishes far outweighs little scholarship reductions and bowl bans. Massive fines and “death penalties” are literally the only thing that can cause a major program to stop their cheating. The NCAA understands this, tries to get serious, and then everyone squeals like a stuck pig over it.

    As far as this lawsuit goes, didn’t PSU select the fine instead of a three year death penalty? Is Corbett saying that PSU should get that instead of the 60 mil fine?

  14. rajbais says: Jan 2, 2013 9:49 PM

    @bigbuckeye76

    You’re so objective bigbuckeye76!!!

    If a victim can feel that PSU was punished too harshly than I am not a disgrace!!!

    The NCAA has no right to sanction anyone when they set the majority of these guys to fail, overdrive them physically, and bankrupt these schools!!!

  15. mcmuskie79 says: Jan 2, 2013 9:56 PM

    If I were a resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, I’d petition to recall The current governor. What a huge waste of tax payer money.

    Whether the NC2A over stepped its boundaries isn’t the issue. The issue is that no authority figure, did anything to prevent this unspeakable tragedy.

  16. rajbais says: Jan 2, 2013 11:14 PM

    @bigbuckeye76

    Oh yeah!!!

    Look at OJ!!! Nothing happened to USC!!!

    Shut up!!!

  17. tommy57 says: Jan 2, 2013 11:30 PM

    @normtide

    For the record, I listened-in to the PSU BOT conference call vote on accepting the decree and most BOT members expressed a reluctance to accept it, but recognized the need to implement safeguards, care for the victims and move forward. All BOT members also expressed concern for BOT failures as well.

    Regardless of news reports about issues such as challenges to NCAA authority, please note that there are serious people doing serious work outside the spotlight to mend PSU. Coach Bill is an excellent example of these people and represent the future of PSU.

    Nonetheless, as with Sandusky’s victims, PSU will always carry this scar.

  18. normtide says: Jan 2, 2013 11:49 PM

    I think PSU was doing good to mend things the best it could. Rehashing the details will undo that work. There is a great post on how the gov maybe trying to cover himself with the suit.

  19. itsonlyaspeedbump says: Jan 3, 2013 3:23 AM

    I am in support of anyone and anything that goes against the NCAA for any reason.

    The NCAA is the most hypocritical, self-serving, greedy, and sometimes even sinister organization in American sports.

  20. smokingto says: Jan 3, 2013 10:10 AM

    Unless you are a victim you comments either way don’t mean crap. So shut your pie holes!!!

  21. normtide says: Jan 3, 2013 10:13 AM

    I have kids, and I am against sanctioned child molestation. So I will post as I please.

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