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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania versus the NCAA - An Ill-Advised Action

Governor Tom Corbett Devotes Precious Time and Resources to the Wrong Cause

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.

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David Smith January 04, 2013 at 02:51 PM
Bravo to the Commonwealth for protecting the interests of the tax payers. The University was hog-tied by the NCAA and forced into an arbitrary and draconian settlement to avoid an even harsher penalty. Worse, the NCAA did not follow its own rules - yet it purports to regulate the rules of our student athletes. Penn State has been and will be properly punished through the Courts, the Department of Education and other governing bodies that have standing. The NCAA does not and its desire to set an example is repugnant. Finally, it is immaterial that Corbett is a trustee. This is not his lawsuit, but rather the people of the Commonwealth.
Obj_Cerebrum January 08, 2013 at 02:00 PM
Oren Spiegler is misguieded and thoughtless in his analysis of the Commonwealth of PA suit agains NCAA. Oren, and the populace at large, discuss aspects of this situation that have not yet been found to be the case (I leave that to the readers imagination). Oren mentions PA liabilities. This case is very specifically about a large sum of money being stolen by an entity that has no interest in the well being of PA or its residents. NCAA is acting as a generic "Tom, Dick or Harry" by extorting money from PSU. The NCAA truly has no business in this matter. Even if they did, which I argue they don't, they violated their own protocols, internal policies and circumveted their own internal departments that (jokingly and in a kangaroo court way) were created for investigatory/appeal purposes. This in plane English from the NCAA president Mark Emmeritt being contrary to NCAA policy. Additionaly, when the NCAA threatens with a death penalty the president of PSU to take such-n-such a penalty along with not going to the Board of Trustees for approval and not publicize that we, the NCAA, have threatened you nor what the other penalities would entail, any comments of "PSU having accepted the deal" is ludacris. This lawsuit is of paramount importance to attempt to make it clear the bounds by which the NCAA has overstepped their bounds. No, Oren, this lawsuit while tough is very very important. Your lay understanding of law or opinion not withstanding.

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