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Corbett Won't Appeal Judge's Decision on Antitrust Lawsuit

by on July 09, 2013 11:12 AM

It looks like Gov. Tom Corbett is throwing in the towel, as far as his legal battle with the NCAA goes -- at least for now. Corbett has decided he won't appeal a judge's decision to throw out his antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA. He made the decision after reviewing options with his legal team.

James Schultz, general counsel to the prosecution, says in a statement that the governor will continue to review legal options that are available to him to defend Pennsylvania law, including the requirement that Penn State's $60 million fine be kept in-state. 

On Jan. 2, Corbett sued the NCAA in an effort to reverse Penn State's sanctions. The NCAA penalized Penn State in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal by banning the football team from postseason play for four years, taking away a significant number of football scholarships, fining the school $60 million and taking away all wins earned under former football coach Joe Paterno between 1998-2011.

Judge Yvette Kane dismissed the governor's case in June. In her court order, she says it was necessary to throw out the case because Corbett did not actually say in his complaint that NCAA President Mark Emmert sought to punish Penn State to achieve an unlawful purpose that would violate antitrust laws.

Corbett was unable to prove there was any conspiracy, Kane says. 

"While this particular case is now concluded, the court's ruling did highlight key issues that could be beneficial to other ongoing legal cases concerning the potential harm caused by the NCAA's actions, which Judge Kane noted "raises serious questions about the indirect economic impact of NCAA sanctions on innocent parties," Schultz says.

Sen. Jake Corman filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in January to keep Penn State's fine money in Pennsylvania. After a hearing in June, there is still no ruling on the status of that case.


Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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