I find it highly regrettable that, at a time in which he has so much unfinished business with which to deal, Governor Tom Corbett would expend a great deal of effort, staff hours and resources to a Commonwealth lawsuit against the NCAA in an effort to remove or reduce penalties imposed by the agency on Penn State University, sanctions which the university accepted and which have already begun to be implemented.
I would first ask what standing the governor has to initiate such a lawsuit as one that is simply a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. How could a court elect to overturn an agreement to which the governor was not a party?
The Commonwealth faces grave problems which required the attention of the Governor and the General Assembly yesterday: state employer/public school teacher/legislator pension reform to address an unfunded liability of at least $41 billion; elimination of state-run and state-controlled alcohol sales; creating new funding streams to enable our crumbling infrastructure to be repaired and maintained so that we may travel throughout Pennsylvania safely; elimination of the crippling property tax burden; elimination of the onerous state death/inheritance tax for all Pennsylvanians; not only those that inherit family farms; and a balanced and comprehensive approach which attempts to address the gun homicide epidemic in the aftermath of the Newtown, Connecticut atrocity.
The case can be made that it is not fair to penalize Penn State University students for the despicable actions of a monster like Jerry Sandusky and his shameful crew of administrator enablers, but such settlements consistently extract penalties in the same fashion as occurred in the NCAA/Penn State case, which I consider to be a “done deal” between the NCAA and the University president. It is important that a powerful message be sent when an institution of higher learning goes off the rails, enabling a serial child rapist to practice his deviant acts for a period of years, elevating something as inconsequential as football to be its primary purpose for existence, and crowning the football coach the de facto leader and most powerful individual at the school.
Governor Corbett is a well-intentioned individual in many respects who seeks to accomplish great things for the people of Pennsylvania, but in this instance, he is off-base.