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NCAA files suit against PA over bill to keep PSU fine in state

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

Taking a break from the Miami mess, now is a good a time as any to remind everyone that the NCAA is still battling the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania over Penn State’s $60 million fine.

As you may recall from last month, Pennsylvania lawmakers pushed to keep PSU’s fine, which came as part of the NCAA’s sanctions against the program following the Jerry Sandusky scandal, spent within state borders.

On Wednesday, the NCAA filed suit directed at Gov. Tom Corbett (pictured) and all PA lawmakers backing the bill. The suit claims keeping the proceeds in-state “would violate the U.S. Constitution… [and] disrupt interstate commerce.”

John Infante of the Bylaw Blog has a good recap of why the NCAA is pursuing this route.

This suit is separate from the NCAA’s battle with Corbett to overturn all the sanctions that were levied against Penn State last year. The NCAA filed that motion earlier this month.

(Hat tip: 

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23 Responses to “NCAA files suit against PA over bill to keep PSU fine in state”
  1. 49ersgiants4life says: Feb 20, 2013 5:42 PM

    Why are we fining a state school $60 million anyway I just heard the president talk all about how we need to improve education so how does punishing the students who go there now do that?

  2. atxcane says: Feb 20, 2013 5:50 PM


    The fine *explicitly* came from the athletic department I believe, and was immediately footed by boosters. No students were punished in this process.

    Why does the NCAA care where the fine money goes anyways? The only stipulation was that it had to be spent on victims of child abuse. And weren’t all the victims from….PA?? Seems perfectly appropriate it stays in PA.

  3. noring4youstill says: Feb 20, 2013 7:18 PM

    Is it time to walk away from the NCAA yet? Between this and Miami I say yes.

  4. ynonamesleft says: Feb 20, 2013 7:20 PM


    The money (or at least most of it) is not coming from boosters; it is coming from the University in the form of a loan to the athletic department. Here’s an article from a couple weeks ago about how Penn State plans to pay the penalty.

  5. mancave001 says: Feb 20, 2013 7:22 PM

    The only thing I hate more than the NCAA is Sandusky and his crimes. Honestly. It’s a corrupt, power hungry bully of an organization. It exploits student athletes, hurts universities, and violates the law as well as its own rules. I don’t know what will happen here, but I hope they are laughed of court.

  6. thraiderskin says: Feb 20, 2013 7:22 PM

    How would the fine money being used in PA go against interstate commerce? I didn’t know that money that was intended to help out abused children (for all intensive purposes, forced charity) would be considered commerce.

  7. sparky151 says: Feb 20, 2013 8:08 PM

    Doesn’t the NCAA claim to be a non-profit? I don’t see how the dormant commerce clause applies to them anymore than the UCC.

  8. bauman007 says: Feb 20, 2013 8:09 PM

    Was not a backer of Penn State but thought the NCAA was incompetent for the way they tried to stick their nose in that mess. Between this and Miami they look like a complete loss of control

  9. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 20, 2013 10:03 PM

    By all means, yes PSU, walk away from the NCAA.

    All the NCAA would do is say is PSU is a pariah for flaunting an agreement that their President and BoT’s not only agreed to and signed off on, but the NCAA accepted the investigative report conducted by PSU and submitted to the NCAA as proof positive of their culpability. That would be the equivalent of a cold blooded murderer committing a multiple killings, conducting his own investigation, turning himself in, using his confession against himself and then negotiating a substantially reduced felony to a misdemeanor.

    The NCAA would simply tell it’s membership you can’t play PSU, since they are not a member. That would leave the NAIA, which has reciprocity agreements with the NCAA. and they would say no.

    Oh, BTW, think PSU would miss the B1G conference money and NCAA trails on Men’s Basketball from the NCAA conference tournament?

    Club sports anyone?

  10. thraiderskin says: Feb 20, 2013 11:48 PM

    That would be true, if the NCAA was responsible for punishing schools over non-competitive balancing issues. You see, when a public and federal law is broken (like child molestation) it is our legal system that handles those things, when it has to do with whether prostitutes (only an example) were used to help recruit, thus creating a competitive imbalance, that is when the NCAA becomes involved.

  11. thraiderskin says: Feb 20, 2013 11:49 PM

    If charity money is interstate commerce, does that mean it is taxable? On a state and federal level?

  12. sjsundevil4 says: Feb 20, 2013 11:51 PM

    Actually Amos,

    It would be more like POSSIBLE witnesses to a murder which the cops don’t really know for sure if/what they know, being expressed as murders on television, not being asked any questions by the police, being fired before any evidence is presented against them, and having their prior employers be forced to accept actions taken against them for possible obstruction their former employee’s MIGHT have done.

    All the while, this current employer is told that if they don’t accept THESE terms, then worse terms will be forced on them, without any possibility of a trial or jury, without any investigation, just a “sign this or your doomed”.

    So this employer takes it upon themselves to do their own investigation, hire a top man not in any way connected to them as to avoid conflict, who finds no hard evidence, no proof of actual fault, but in his report places his OPINION of what happened, and having the police say “OK good enough”.

    Then, have that same man come out and say “No, this report shouldn’t be the sole evidence against anyone”, but the police STILL don’t make their own investigation.

    Then, come to find out months later, the police department is as corrupt as it gets, and has now publicly been shown to monstrously mishandle other investigations.

    And your mad because the former employers are seeing a chance to appeal, when they had no choice but to accept terms?

    It’s really not anything like the situation you presented, honestly.

  13. sjsundevil4 says: Feb 20, 2013 11:56 PM

    Actually, the former employers aren’t even appealing. They are just battling to make sure the money goes to the people it should go to, and not allow a corrupt organization like the NCAA, who can’t even handle the situations it’s supposed to be able to handle, have $60 Million and say “here ya go, Emmert. We trust you to do the right thing with it…”

  14. ndrick731 says: Feb 21, 2013 12:11 PM

    So the NCAA says it’s unconstitutional what the state of Pennsylvania wants to do. Since when is the NCAA a branch of government. I know they think they are a deity but now they think they’re the government too.

  15. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 21, 2013 10:45 PM

    thraiderskin wrote on: Feb 20, 2013 11:48 PM

    That would be true, if the NCAA was responsible for punishing schools over non-competitive balancing issues. You see, when a public and federal law is broken (like child molestation) it is our legal system that handles those things, when it has to do with whether prostitutes (only an example) were used to help recruit, thus creating a competitive imbalance, that is when the NCAA becomes involved.

    Actually no, the NCAA came on board when four of the most powerful administrators with PSU (Spanier, Curley Schultz and Paterno) willfully decided to cover up over an extended period of time known “crimes” and allowed an environment to fester and grow in the form of Jerry Sandusky. It culminated with the duly authorized Freeh Report by the PSU University and it’s BoT’s. PSU found itself guilty and the President of PSU and the BoT’s agreed to the sanctions and penalties given by the NCAA (of which PSU is a signatory member).

    I see PSU alums daily and the argument that “Paterno was never interviewed!” and “the Freeh Report never interviewed other people indicted!” Moot point.

    This is where the NCAA served it’s membership. PSU duly asked the NCAA to ACCEPT it’s findings in the Freeh Report as the complete and OFFICIAL finding of fact into PSU’s “Lack of Institutional Control” on matters relating to University Administrators AND the PSU Athletic Department. The reason Messrs Curley, Spanier and Schultz were not interviewed for the Freeh Report is because of their
    upcoming felony trials. The NCAA us letting the LEGAL system handle that aspect.

    I can see the NCAA winning the dismissal of the Corbett suit because the Governor cannot be on both sides of the case. He can’t say that he approved of the NCAA sanctions and penalties against PSU and then say that the penalties were too harsh
    against PSU because then he would open up a huge can of worms as to his culpability with Second Mile. Remember, Corbett only filed the suit to keep the suit in his office, rather than down the hall with a Democrat Atty General who would absolutely love to damage Corbett politically.

    The financial penalty was a penalty in which the proceeds were to used NATIONALLY on Child Molestation and Sexual Predators Education. Now, grand standing politicians in Pa want the penalty funds spent exclusively in Pa. That begs the question “Does Pa have that much of a child molestation problem that it warrants $60 million dollars in education and awareness?”

    The longer PSU allows this to fester in the press, the harder it becomes for PSU to move on from the despicable Sandusky situation and the actions of four people.

    Oh, Jay Paterno, your dad may have done everything “legally required by existing laws at that time.”… what about simple common decency and doing what was right and honest thing to do, or did JoePa forget that he was teaching that to his football players to be accountable but his teachings didn’t apply to himself?

    JoepA is dead and this is what people will remember him for.

    “In hindsight, I wish I had done more!’…..a very damning dying declaration.

  16. thraiderskin says: Feb 22, 2013 2:43 AM

    The crime, the one Sandusky committed, had nothing to do with how college football is played nor with whether PSU would gain an unfair advantage versus another school. You (along with the others *derogatory term here*) think because Sandusky WAS a D-coordinator and Paterno was the head coach of the football team/powerful figure at PSU, the NCAA belonged in this mess. You and the NCAA are wrong. We have a system of punishment for these situations, you just think there should be more, so you want entities with no ties to crime fighting, jumping in. I get it you’re appalled, but the NCAA jumping in like they represent all that is righteous is a bunch of sanctimonious garbage.
    Tell me this, if this is the PSU field hockey team’s coach who helped cover up this crime, is the NCAA still getting THIS involved, considering how much no player/recruit was involved?

  17. thraiderskin says: Feb 22, 2013 2:54 AM


    I would also like to point out that you, nor any of your boy band, have asked why PSU’s accredidation wasn’t stripped. It seems to me that this was a failure of school administrators (including Joepa). But hey, atleast you taught the football program a lesson.

  18. sjsundevil4 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:45 AM


    Nice job capitalizing words for emphasis. Imitation is the highest form of flattery so, thank you.

    Penn State “agreeing” to the sanctions is at best an extremely grey area and at worst completely false. Penn State, by many accounts, was forced to “accept” these terms because if they didn’t, the NCAA would have come down harder on them.

    Now, some one like you who is trying to push your own agenda would say “well that just proves they’re guilty because they could have rejected the terms”. But this is the EXACT reason the NCAA does not have subpoena rights, and why in their own bi-laws does not get into legal matters such as this.

    It’s not because, as so many people like yourself love to shout, “so your saying child rape isn’t worse than getting free tatoos?”. No. The point is that cases like molestation are legal matters that require investigations, hearings, and eventually a trial, where both sides can plead their case. Cases like free tatoos, which are only “illegal” in the eyes of the NCAA, can only be settled by the NCAA. There are no trials, there is no case…

    The University had no chance to go to trial, prove their guilt/innocence, or be able to argue their case in front of a judge or jury. This is the biggest reason why the NCAA has no right to get involved in legal cases, because they have no way of handling an actual trial without the power of subpoena.

    The NCAA is judge, jury, and executioner…but only for the things THEY deem “illegal”. Everything else that would require actual legal precedent is covered outside of the NCAA.

    Now, if you want to say the NCAA can not allow PSU to play football in their organization then fine. But as a member of the NCAA, Penn State has rights as well. Which, I’m sure, if the NCAA was going to kick out a school should be able to say “Our investigation into this has revealed…” Oh wait, they can’t because they held no investigation.

    If the NCAA waited for the trials of Curley, Shultz, and Spanier, then made a decision based off of what those actual trials proved, then maybe it would have some standing for the actual punishment it levied.

    And just because Tom Corbett, or the Paterno family, are going in the news and trying to clear their own names, or in Corbett’s case better himself in an election, does not mean that PSU is allowing this to “fester in the press”.

    Oh, and the quote you pulled out from Joe Paterno that said he wished he had done more, was in lieu of the alleged new information he was finding out after all this blew up. The quote wasn’t meant to mean he knew what was going on and wished he didn’t make a mistake.

    I think a quote that should speak pretty loudly to you as well in this “case”:

    “That document was not meant to be used as the sole piece, or the large piece, of the NCAA’s decision making,” the source told The Chronicle on Thursday. “It was meant to be a mechanism to help Penn State move forward” – Louis Freeh commenting on his own report

  19. sjsundevil4 says: Feb 22, 2013 3:50 AM

    Sorry that should read “Source on Louis Freeh…”

  20. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 22, 2013 6:59 AM


    Excellent post. First rule of a conspiracy is to control the investigation. If PSU was so innocent, WHY not wait for the results of an NCAA investigation into the ‘Lack of Institutional Control” charge that the NCAA alleged? Could it had been that the negative press was going to raise more questions if the University had just waited?

    All four of the Administrators knew what had happened with Sandusky on an ongoing basis and allowed the situation to manifest. JoePa is dead and in his grave and no amount of good tasks by a good man will change the fact that he died a disgraced man. Does that mean JoePa was a bad man? Nope, just flawed. JoePa
    had the chance to be a man of courage and good character, he did not choose wisely.

    PSU doesn’t have to be a member of the NCAA. It is a voluntary membership. PSU chose to conduct their own investigation. They chose to accept the sanctions and penalties. Now, politicians, who are grandstanding for their own political gain, are
    dragging PSU back through the mud and keeping PSU in the headlines of the 24 hours sports news networks. Wait until the felony trials start and there wll be a constant rehash of what happened @ PSU ad nauseum. That is what “festering in the press” means.

  21. thraiderskin says: Feb 22, 2013 11:59 AM

    Well amosalanzostagg,

    I thought they pretty much got threatened with a harsher punishment. Let’s not forget when the NCAA makes a determination, no one ever challenges them. Look how many “people” were calling for the death penalty for PSU? This issue had nothing to do with the NCAA, there was this massive swelling from a bunch of angry know-nothings, how if there was a way to punish PSU, do it. I’m surprised the public didn’t try to get the school’s water and power turned off. Hell the water company had more to lose in this than the NCAA. I’m all about punishment, trust me on that, I just want the correct organizations handling the situation.
    If PA wants to keep the $60 million fine in state to help abused children of PA, what the hell does it matter? The NCAA just expects to get everything done their way and they should be focusing on what THIER charter empowers them.
    Yes, member ship in the NCAA is “voluntary.” So is citizen ship to the United States, anyone (not being indicted in real court) may denounce his/her citizenship, but look at all the things you would lose.

  22. amosalanzostagg says: Feb 22, 2013 6:22 PM


    Good cogent points, however, The State of Penn was not a party to the NCAA investigation of the lack of actions by the four senior administrators (Spanier, Curley, Schultz and Paterno) within PSU. Every time the NCAA sanctions and penalizes a member institution, the innocent always are the ones that pay the price. Ron Meyer with SMU and Jerry Tarkanian with UNLV help destroy the respective programs at those two schools, yet escaped unscathed for what they did.

    NCAA regulations have been changed to reflect the violations on the on conducting the violations. The fines imposed on PSU was a punishment for what the four administrators did not do (reporting Sandusky to the appropriate State officials and covering up) and now State politicians want the $60 million fine to be spent in Pa? Does that mean PSU should have the State pay for the lawsuit settlements that PSU will have to fork out to pay for Sandusky crimes and the four Administrators cover ups?

    Penn State is manning up and accepting the penalties and the sanctions. It is the outside interests with no direct involvement in the penalty and fine (the Paterno family, Governor Corbett, State politicians and Jerry Sandusky) that are clouding the issues. These parties are not allowing PSU to move on from what was done. PSU has not renounced the results of the Freeh Report nor the results imposed.

    Sit down, shut up and let Penn State move on from what Jerry Sandusky and the
    four administrators did and didn’t do. JoePa is dead and what he did or didn’t do
    does not matter. He has been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion and there is nothing he can do nor his family can do to burnish his tarnished image . His football victories were the property of the University and the University agreed to vacate them. The remaining three administrators will have their felony cases heard in court. Once those cases are done, then PSU can move on from this heinous
    affair. Until then, the press will continue to feed on the case until sated.

    PSU supporters and JoePa backers won’t like it because it sheds their school in a negative light and it smudges the image of a flawed dead man. Truly a Greek Tragedy.

  23. powercorrupts2 says: Feb 26, 2013 10:48 PM

    You make many statements for which there is no valid evidence,as if they were facts. For example:
    “Actually no, the NCAA came on board when four of the most powerful administrators with PSU (Spanier, Curley Schultz and Paterno) willfully decided to cover up over an extended period of time known “crimes” and allowed an environment to fester and grow in the form of Jerry Sandusky. It culminated with the duly authorized Freeh Report by the PSU University and it’s BoT’s. PSU found itself guilty and the President of PSU and the BoT’s agreed to the sanctions and penalties given by the NCAA (of which PSU is a signatory member).”
    Tom Corbett, the Pennsylvania Governor, controlled the Penn State Board of Trustees that arranged for the Freeh Report and accepted its incredibly biased conclusions (read the Report and you will see that the evidence cited does not support the conclusions). The only real evidence against Paterno was the testimony of McQueary. McQueary was a very unreliable witness (he changed his story many times and some say he had a grudge against the University because he lost his job). His testimony was directly contradicted by the testimony of Dr. Jonathan Dranov. Dr. Dranov is a very reliable witness, graduated Phi Beta Kappa, attended a prestigious Ivy League medical school, is a Board Certified Internist and Nephrologist, has more than 30 years of experience in questioning patients to get accurate histories and is familiar with the mandatory reporting requirement for child abuse. He interviewed McQueary on the night that McQueary says he saw Sandusky and the child showering together. Dr. Dranov testified that he asked McQueary three times if he had seen anthing of a sexual nature and three times McQueary said no. It can safely be assumed that Dr. Dranov did not report this himself because from his extensive knowledge and experience he didn’t think it crossed the threshold for reporting. So this is what Paterno, a layman, and the others heard. They also had access to a report by the police in 1998 when Sandusky gave a child “a bear hug” and was investigated by a police detective, the PA Department of Public Welfare in Harrisburg, the Centre County DA’s Office, and a CCYS counselor who interviewed the child and wrote a report. The conclusion of the police report was “no sexual assault occurred” and no charges were filed. Since this is all that Paterno and the others knew, what are they guilty of?
    Louis Freeh does not have lily white credibility. He had to resign as FBI Director after a Business Week article on “Carnivore”. He left with a history of: the Waco siege cover-up, insubordination to Attorney General Janet Reno, the Robert Hansen mole case, ordering use of FBI sharpshooters at Ruby Ridge which led to the death of Randy Weaver’s wife while she was holding their child in her arms, etc..
    The Freeh Report is: (1) an “ex parte” document (not an independent report) that was funded with millions of dollars by parties who have a conflict of interest in the case (Tom Corbett controlled the PSU Board of Trustees, was the PA DA who had jurisdiction over the original complaints against Sandusky but failed to investigate them in a timely fashion and needed a scapegoat to deflect the lynch mob away from him ); (2) written in a prosecutorial fashion with no apparent concern for innocence; (3) criticizes the actions of people using a hindsight perspective that employs information that none of them knew (e.g. no victims had come forward); (4) does not contain a response by the accused parties (Curley, Spanier, Schultz, Paterno); (5) does not prove mens rea; (6) is written by someone who has a checkered history and may have a biased view of the case.
    N.B. If your moniker is meant to represent the Hall of Fame football coach, please spell his name correctly. It is Amos Alonzo Stagg. Thanks.

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