Penn State Sanctions: NCAA Files Suit Against Commonwealth Over Use Of Penn State Fine Money

Mario Tama

Hey, another lawsuit!

We can officially add another lawsuit to the never-ending onslaught of legal documents in the Penn State/NCAA court battle as the college governing association filed suit against Governor Tom Corbett and other state lawmakers today, stating that the Commonwealth is violating the U.S. Constitution with its attempt to keep Penn State's $60 million fine funds in state.

The Commonwealth, led by Senator Jake Corman, filed suit against the NCAA in January, arguing that the $60 million that Penn State is paying in fines as a result of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal should stay in Pennsylvania. In the NCAA"s suit today, they state that the Commonwealth's legislation violates interstate commerce laws, specifically because a private party can spend their money wherever they would like.

As the Citizen's Voice points out, this new suit from the NCAA does not mention the lawsuit filed by Corbett seeking to overturn all sanctions handed down in July.

This new suit comes out the same day Corbett signed the Pennsylvania Institution of Higher Education Monetary Penalty Endowment Act which was passed by both the Commonwealth House and Senate this month. It was the first bill to make it to the governor's desk this year.

Statement from NCAA Chief Legal Officer Donald Remy:

State governments can’t simply pass laws to rewrite private agreements and divert private money to their own coffers. This is an important principle of federal constitutional law that affects not just the NCAA, but also any party seeking to do business with a state-related or private entity. The state has attempted to grant itself the ability to do whatever it wants to whomever it wants. The United States Constitution does not permit this kind of legislative overreach.

Statement from NCAA President Mark Emmert:

It’s important that all of our members abide by the same rules to which they have voluntarily agreed. If individual members or state lawmakers take it upon themselves to decide what sanctions are appropriate, simply to protect their home team, then collegiate sports would be dramatically altered.

Below is a PDF of the document.

NCAA v. Corbett by lc_nichols5019

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