Success With Hyperlinking: Antitrust Animosity Edition

Patrick Smith

Your collection of links, today focusing on the Commonwealth's lawsuit against the NCAA.

Legal Analysis:

Michael McCann of Sports Illustrated and the Vermont Law School breaks down how both sides can argue their case, stating that this case involves "a state government challenging the NCAA's power to regulate a matter only loosely connected to sports [which] represents a worrisome alignment of litigants, facts and law for the NCAA". While Corbett started to explain how the state might make their case yesterday (tax revenue, a trade organization not following their own rules, etc.), McCann gets into how the NCAA will defend itself, saying it can choose from three options:

  1. Saying that the Commonwealth has no standing to sue the NCAA
  2. Contesting the NCAA was contractually obligated to sanction Penn State
  3. Going after Corbett for his action, or rather, inaction in the early stages of the Sandusky case
However the arguments play out, this is poised to become a landmark case in NCAA legal history.

The NCAA has not defended itself in a case of this magnitude in three decades. The result of this may very well shape the way the organization runs for years to come.

Forbes spoke with Matthew Mitten of Marquette's law school who said that this case differs from the one brought to the courts in the 80s by a group of SMU alumni who said that their degrees were devalued by the death penalty brought down by the school.

But in the case of a public university, notes Mitten, the state is directly, financially affected, meaning there’s a good chance the court will give it standing to sue.

Even Deadspin gets in on the act, breaking down the players and suit and calling the NCAA pieces of shit! Oh and Deadspin commenters are Deadspin commenters, complete with a "Hail to Pitt!" shoutout.

On the flip side, Lester Munson of ESPN says that Corbett has no legal standing to bring this case to court so it will be shot down completely. Along those same lines, Reuters experts say that the case is very weak and the courts usually rule with the NCAA in these cases, it is a long shot to succeed.

Columns and Other News:

The NCAA claimed in its statement yesterday that this lawsuit was "an affront to all of the victims in this tragedy - lives that were destroyed by the criminal actions of Jerry Sandusky". Well, Victim 4 disagrees. Through his attorney, he said yesterday,

"The NCAA acted as if it were the victim in this tragedy, and failed to even take the pulse of the real victims before imposing its will."

Also from Dan Wetzel over at Yahoo, he sees this cases as public grandstanding vs. political grandstanding (and he's right).

Friend of the university Christine Brennan at the USA Today thinks Corbett filed the lawsuit to keep Bill O'Brien at Penn State and that it's the most embarrassing day in this saga yet. So, as you were going to do anyway, you can disregard anything she says.

Finally, David Jones at the Patriot-News has high-level sources (maybe??) saying that the governor knows that the suit will fail but he's hoping to settle by reducing the postseason ban to only one more year, cutting the scholarship reduction significantly and having Penn State still pay the $60 million, but instead of an NCAA fine, giving it to charities on their own. The vacated wins would remain off the books, though. So, take all of that for what it's worth.


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