Skip to main content

Pennsylvania gov. announces plans to sue NCAA over Penn State sanctions

By Michael Martinez and Stephanie Gallman, CNN
January 10, 2013 -- Updated 0749 GMT (1549 HKT)
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse in handcuffs after a jury found him guilty in his sex abuse trial on Friday, June 22. Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse in handcuffs after a jury found him guilty in his sex abuse trial on Friday, June 22.
HIDE CAPTION
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
Jerry Sandusky convicted
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Gov. Tom Corbett announced plans for a lawsuit against the NCAA
  • The state's U.S. House delegation objects to how the NCAA will spend $60 million fine
  • Only 25% of the $60 million fine against Penn State will be spent within state

(CNN) -- Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett announced plans Wednesday to file an anti-trust lawsuit against the NCAA over its sanctions against Penn State University following the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

Last July, the NCAA levied unprecedented sanctions against the university, including a fine of $60 million. It also stripped 14 seasons of football victories from late head coach Joe Paterno.

"These sanctions did not punish Sandusky," or those who allegedly helped cover up his repeated sexual abuse of disadvantaged children, said Corbett at a news conference in State College.

He said they instead affect past and current students who were not part of the scandal.

Ex-Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested in November 2011 on charges that he preyed on boys he met through The Second Mile charity. In June 2012, he was convicted of 45 counts involving 10 young victims, and in October, he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. In July 2012, the NCAA imposed sanctions against Penn State, including a $60 million fine, scholarship reductions, the vacating of 112 wins, five years' probation and a bowl ban for four years. Click through the gallery for other notable NCAA scandals. Ex-Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was arrested in November 2011 on charges that he preyed on boys he met through The Second Mile charity. In June 2012, he was convicted of 45 counts involving 10 young victims, and in October, he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. In July 2012, the NCAA imposed sanctions against Penn State, including a $60 million fine, scholarship reductions, the vacating of 112 wins, five years' probation and a bowl ban for four years. Click through the gallery for other notable NCAA scandals.
Notable NCAA scandals
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
>
>>
Notable NCAA scandals Notable NCAA scandals
The podium stand outside of Jerry Sandusky's trial on its first day is covered in mics, hinting at the massive media coverage of the event. The podium stand outside of Jerry Sandusky's trial on its first day is covered in mics, hinting at the massive media coverage of the event.
Sandusky trial coverage
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
>
>>
Photos: Sandusky trial coverage Photos: Sandusky trial coverage

"I cannot and will not let it happen without a fight," said Corbett, adding that the Sandusky case was a criminal matter and not a violation of NCAA rules.

Corbett also called a university-funded review of the scandal led by former FBI Director Louis Freeh an incomplete report.

Freeh's 267-page review was released in July and blamed former university president Graham Spanier, Paterno, suspended Athletic Director Tim Curley and ex-Vice President Gary Schultz for allegedly taking part in a cover-up to avoid bad publicity.

Do sanctions alter history books on Penn State?

The scandal led to Spanier's ouster and shocked the nation after Freeh's team concluded that the school's top administrators had "empowered" Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator for the football team, to continue his abuse.

The NCAA said in a statement Wednesday it was disappointed by the governor's action.

"Not only does this forthcoming lawsuit appear to be without merit, it is an affront to all of the victims in this tragedy -- lives that were destroyed by the criminal actions of Jerry Sandusky," said Donald M. Remy, NCAA executive vice president and general counsel. "While the innocence that was stolen can never be restored, Penn State has accepted the consequences for its role and the role of its employees and is moving forward. Today's announcement by the governor is a setback to the university's efforts."

Penn State also issued a statement Wednesday saying it remained "committed to full compliance with the Consent Decree, the Athletics Integrity Agreement and, as appropriate, the implementation of the Freeh report recommendations."

School faced 4-year 'death penalty'

The fine is expected to be paid over five years and will fund an endowment with a mission of fighting child sex abuse and supporting victims.

Pennsylvania's U.S. House delegation objects to the NCAA's plans to spend only 25% of those funds within the state. The delegation wants the association to spend all of the $60 million in Pennsylvania, according to a November letter to the NCAA.

"While we fully support the stated purpose of the endowment, we believe its funds should be used solely for programs and organizations within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, where a need exists for the creation of prevention programs for sexually abused children," the letter stated.

Sandusky, 68, was convicted last June on 45 counts of child sex abuse, ranging from corruption of minors to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, which were laid out in graphic testimony by his accusers over the course of the less-than-two-week trial. In October, he was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison, meaning he'll likely die behind bars.

Penn State alum: We deserved NCAA penalty

Penn State, a college football powerhouse and two-time national champion, avoided the NCAA's "death penalty," a suspension from play of a year or more, in the Sandusky abuse case.

But Ed Ray, the chairman of the NCAA's executive committee, said the sanctions on the school "should serve as a stark wake-up call to everyone in college sports."

Penn State President Rodney Erickson said the university accepted the decision and would not appeal. "I think, for the whole university, what this calls upon us to do is to look at our whole value culture, our whole value set, our value base," Erickson told CNN last year.

Paterno, who coached at Penn State for 46 years, was fired after Sandusky's arrest in November 2011. He had been the all-time leader in major college football victories for a coach, with 409 wins. The NCAA's decision strikes 111 of those from his record, beginning in 1998 -- a move that posthumously bumps him from the top of the list.

Last July, the Big Ten Conference declared Penn State ineligible for any conference title football games and ruled that the Nittany Lions' share of bowl revenues for four seasons -- about $13 million -- will be donated to charities that "protect children."

David La Torre, a Penn State spokesman, said last year the school will not use tax or tuition dollars to pay the NCAA's $60 million fine.

Paterno loyalists call NCAA sanctions excessive

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
May 30, 2013 -- Updated 1703 GMT (0103 HKT)
The family of Joe Paterno plans to file a lawsuit Thursday against the NCAA seeking to overturn its sanctions against Penn State University over a child sex abuse scandal.
October 12, 2012 -- Updated 1750 GMT (0150 HKT)
When all was said and done, Jerry and Dottie Sandusky did not ask the judge for mercy. Instead, they depicted the boys he sexually assaulted as ungrateful and called them liars.
October 13, 2012 -- Updated 1528 GMT (2328 HKT)
The young man locked eyes with Jerry Sandusky in a packed courtroom and stared him down. He'd waited a long time for this moment.
September 2, 2012 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
In many ways, football is life at Penn State, a tradition synonymous with the campus. Nittany Lion fans are deeply religious about their football. Now, they begin a new era.
September 2, 2012 -- Updated 1527 GMT (2327 HKT)
New students began at PSU despite a scandal that has damaged the school's reputation and prompted an ongoing investigation into allegations of a coverup by top officials.
September 1, 2012 -- Updated 1755 GMT (0155 HKT)
It's an old, old story. We've all placed people on pedestals, and then, almost inevitably, they let us down. They violate our trust. They betray us. They fall off the pedestal, or we remove them.
July 24, 2012 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
The NCAA announced a $60 million fine against Penn State University and stripped 14 seasons of football victories from the late head coach Joe Paterno.
July 13, 2012 -- Updated 1133 GMT (1933 HKT)
The extensive internal review of the debacle at Penn State forever casts a shadow over Joe Paterno.
July 13, 2012 -- Updated 0313 GMT (1113 HKT)
The most powerful former leaders at Penn State University have been accused of showing "total and consistent disregard" for child sex abuse victims.
July 10, 2012 -- Updated 0049 GMT (0849 HKT)
In a year marred with controversy and national notoriety, Penn State University alumni and boosters finally have something to smile about.
June 26, 2012 -- Updated 2329 GMT (0729 HKT)
With the same decision announced on count after count -- guilty, guilty, guilty -- Jerry Sandusky's emphatic denials he had sexually abused boys became obsolete.
Jerry Sandusky admitted showering with boys but denied the sex accusations. Here is what Sandusky has said publicly in the months before the trial.
June 23, 2012 -- Updated 1929 GMT (0329 HKT)
Jerry Sandusky's writings in a 2000 memoir about the difficult relationship with his adopted son are similar to several letters he wrote to a boy now known as alleged victim No. 4.
June 17, 2012 -- Updated 2034 GMT (0434 HKT)
The words came haltingly, punctuated by ragged sighs, groans and cracking voices as two teenage boys bared their darkest secrets to a packed courtroom.
Here's a look at some the key players and pertinent facts about the case and how it all unraveled.
ADVERTISEMENT