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AP: Judge throws out Tom Corbett’s lawsuit against NCAA

Philly Sports Leaders AP

When the Paterno family, as part of a group of plaintiffs, filed a lawsuit against the NCAA last week, it put college athletics’ governing body on a two-front legal battle; Pennsylvania Gov. Tom  Corbett filed his own suit against the NCAA in January in an effort to reverse the sanctions levied against Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky scandal.

Turns out the NCAA will only have to fight one of those lawsuits — for the immediate future, that is.

Per the Associated Press, U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane has thrown out Gov. Corbett’s antitrust suit against the NCAA, citing a lack of  “any factual allegations supporting (Corbett’s) allegation of ‘concerted action’ that might nudge its conspiracy claim into ‘plausible’ territory.”

The sanctions, Kane said, did not make for an antitrust case for the plaintiffs.

“The fact that Penn State will offer fewer scholarships over a period of four years does not plausibly support its allegation that the reduction of scholarships at Penn State will result in a market-wide anticompetitive effect, such that the ‘nation’s top scholastic football players’ would be unable to obtain a scholarship in the nationwide market for Division I football players,” Kane explained.

Corbett filed the antitrust suit less than a year after Penn State president Rodney Erickson signed a consent decree from NCAA president Mark Emmert that levied, among other sanctions, a $60 million fine, four-year bowl ban and scholarship reductions on the program. At the time, Corbett went on the record to say Penn State must accept those penalties and his change-of-mind indicates the antitrust suit was nothing more than political grandstanding.

The NCAA filed a motion to dismiss Corbett’s case in February.

But what does this latest move mean for the Paterno family suit? NCAA guru John Infante explained last week in a Q&A that the two cases are similar in that both sought a reverse in PSU’s sanctions, so this decision could indicate the chances of success of the Paterno family suit in terms of overturning the penalties. Whether it actually does or not remains to be seen.

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19 Responses to “AP: Judge throws out Tom Corbett’s lawsuit against NCAA”
  1. alligatorsnapper says: Jun 6, 2013 10:03 AM

    Gov. Corbett in “political grandstanding”? Nawwww, not him. Ole Tom’s lawsuit nixed? May not portend well for the Penn State suit, but we will see over the next few months.

    Never understood how and why the governor would file a suit. The money won’t come from him, though he does occupy a seat on the Board. The longer this stuff is in the news, the more the Paterno/Sandusky mess gets rehashed.

  2. frug says: Jun 6, 2013 12:49 PM

    Nice waste of taxpayer resources there Gov. Keep in mind this is a guy who wanted to shrink state support of PSU to less than 5% of the university’s budget in the name fiscal responsibility.

    At least the Paternos et al are flushing their own money down the toilet.

  3. normtide says: Jun 6, 2013 12:55 PM

    Best thing that could happen to let PSU move forward.

  4. onceuponatimeinsports says: Jun 6, 2013 2:26 PM

    What’s most amazing is how many Paterno apologists actually believed these law suits had any merit.

    Cultists….*rolls eyes*

  5. MasMacho says: Jun 6, 2013 2:33 PM

    Learning the same lesson over and over. Schools are free to join the NAIA or operate independently. They participate in the NCAA voluntarily, and matters related to its governance are not matters of law.

    Funny how you don’t see any of the successful programs with massive TV contracts suing the NCAA until they have a problem.

  6. rponciano says: Jun 6, 2013 2:56 PM

    I’m almost Zero % sure that Mr Emmert will distribute the 60 million among the victims. Only an orginization with No Integrity and with no soul would make a massive profit from this sickening situation.

  7. frug says: Jun 6, 2013 3:10 PM


    To clarify though; in this case PSU is not a party to Corbett’s lawsuit nor does Corbett have the authority to sue on its behalf.

  8. blastfurnaceknows says: Jun 6, 2013 4:54 PM

    Great, now could we please get a court order to have Corbett dismissed from office?

  9. bigdinla says: Jun 6, 2013 5:03 PM


    You might want to do a little research next time to prevent yourself from seeming any more ignorant. Penn State has to give the $60,000,000 to non-profits that help abuse victims.

    NCAA is far from a perfect organization, but this is one time they got it right.

  10. joewilliesshnoz says: Jun 6, 2013 5:43 PM

    Corbett outta be in the cell next to Sandusky.

  11. amosalanzostagg says: Jun 6, 2013 7:14 PM

    Corbett used the federal case to keep any Commonwealth legal action in his office and away from the Commonwealth AG, who happens to be a Democrat. With the federal docket clear, I expect the Commonwealth to go after Corbett over Second Mile and other associated Penn State issues.

  12. sparky151 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:24 PM

    Corbett should just amend his complaint. He would have a decent case for fraud, ie the NCAA not following their own procedures. If he was really bold, he could take up the judge’s challenge and point out that NCAA rules against paying players certainly affects PSU’s chances of competing in the national market for player services.

    The NCAA rule against paying players is unquestionably anti-competitive since the purpose of the rule is to keep member institutions from bidding vs each other for players. That has been held to be an illegal restraint of trade in higher education when colleges used to coordinate financial aid offers. MIT found out the hard way that colleges aren’t above the law.

  13. agc99 says: Jun 6, 2013 7:58 PM

    What does the Paterno family spokesman have to say?

  14. bostonbias says: Jun 6, 2013 8:56 PM

    I’m almost Zero % sure that Mr Emmert will distribute the 60 million among the victims. Only an orginization with No Integrity and with no soul would make a massive profit from this sickening situation.

    Rponiano…you are 100% right..anyone that says otherwise is just not aware of any facts. If anyone can give me a link and write up where all that money has gone..I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to see it. The fact is the NCAA is working hard to get ahold of that money and you better bet that that money is somehow going to go to training and so on that PROFIT the NCAA. I mean how naive can you be. PA better be able to keep all that 60 million in state, or the state should 100% sue to stop the NCAA from stealing taxplayers money.

    Do not even try to say the money comes just football….I mean if you have ANY ANY idea how business will know that no matter where the money comes from…indirectly the taxpayers are paying to let the NCAA once again make money for themselves.

  15. mogogo1 says: Jun 7, 2013 1:05 AM

    Get ready for a judge to tell Paterno family they’ve got no standing for their suit. Did these “attorneys” ever actually go to law school?

  16. rayburns says: Jun 7, 2013 10:17 AM

    Just a reminder. The only guaranteed winners in any kind of legal dust up like this are the lawyers. And they will keep on filing claim after claim and appeal after appeal as long as they’re paid, no matter the merits of the case.

    Lawyer #1: There’s no way in hell this case has a chance of being heard, much less decided in our favor.

    Lawyer #2: You are sooo right. But we just cashed their latest check.

    Both: File that sucker!

  17. normtide says: Jun 7, 2013 11:17 AM

    I’m no big city lawyer (I thumb my suspenders while I say that), but the Paterno family has no business suing on behalf of PSU. Why not a defamation of character suit on Joe’s behalf? The only reason is that they know they can’t win it. That alone is very telling.

  18. drexelvol says: Jun 7, 2013 3:20 PM

    Bingo, normtide. I was just going to post pretty much that same thing.

    I mean, how can a family that doesn’t have association or authority within a university file a lawsuit against the NCAA? This will get thrown out of court very fast.

  19. ironman721 says: Jun 7, 2013 9:15 PM

    Thanks Tom! Keep cutting money from schools, kids, the environment, and the elderly. Try to Sell the PA lottery which gives thousands of dollars to programs for seniors in PA. Waste tax dollars on law suits that you can’t win just to try to save the sinking ship that is your political career. You single handily screwed the welfare system in PA to give $ to people of voting age and steal it from seniors and children! You are the worst governor in the history of PA!

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