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Gov.: NCAA lawsuit is action on behalf of all Pennsylvanians

By Will Lewis, Reporter, WLewis@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 03 2013 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 04 2013 09:46:16 AM CST

Governor Tom Corbett is defending his decision to file suit against the NCAA.

Governor Tom Corbett is defending his decision to file suit against the NCAA.

In an interview with 69 News on Thursday, the governor said the lawsuit is an action taken on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania.

The governor calls the NCAA a trade association.

Corbett says three institutions are handling what took place at Penn State.

The criminal courts, the university and the federal government.

When the sanctions against Penn State were announced back in July, the NCAA made it clear why the school was getting fined $60 million and banned from bowl games for four years.

"In the Penn State case the results were perverse and unconscionable," said Mark Emmert, NCAA president.

Now months later, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett says those sanctions went too far.

“We don't believe they have the authority, the way they went about this, to go ahead and impose these kind of sanctions,” added Corbett.

Since announcing he is filing a lawsuit against the NCAA, Corbett has come under fire from some, but also knows he has the support of others.

“This is an action taken on behalf of the citizens of Pennsylvania and particularly those in the State College, Centre County area. But the whole Penn State issue is one that has caught people's attention,” he said.

Corbett says that the case is being handled in three areas.

The criminal courts, at the university as they are dealing with the victims, and on the federal level to see if Penn State violated the Cleary Act, a regulation that requires colleges to disclose criminal activity on campus.

“Does the NCAA, under its rules, have the jurisdiction to even involve itself in this matter?”

For Corbett the answer is no.

“It didn't have anything to do with competition," added Corbett. "It didn't have anything to do with cheating or any of the players involved."

When asked about why file the lawsuit after the University accepted the sanctions.

Corbett says he doesn't remember the board of trustees voting on it.

He says the acceptance was by the administration and the president after the NCAA threatened the death penalty.

The NCAA, meantime says it's disappointed in the lawsuit, calling it meritless and an affront' to Jerry Sandusky's victims.