HARRISBURG — The NCAA said Thursday a judge should throw out the federal antitrust lawsuit the governor filed against it over Penn State's $60 million fine and other penalties resulting from the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal.
College sports' governing body said in a filing that it disagrees with just about every allegation in the complaint against it initiated by Gov. Tom Corbett last month.
The NCAA said the penalties imposed under a July consent decree with the university are unrelated to regulation of economic activity, so antitrust law does not apply. It also argued Corbett lacks standing to sue and called his lawsuit an inappropriate attempt to drag the federal courts into an intra-state political dispute.
The remedial measures that Penn State agreed to were controversial, and have elicited strong feelings on all sides, the NCAA's lawyers wrote. Some think they are too harsh, and some think they are too lenient. But none of those feelings have anything to do with the antitrust laws.
Corbett, a Republican, has said the NCAA overstepped its authority in punishing Penn State. His spokesman Nils Frederiksen said Thursday his lawyers will review the NCAA's filing and respond as appropriate.
Corbett claimed in his lawsuit the NCAA piled on when it penalized Penn State over the Sandusky scandal. He asked that a federal judge throw out the sanctions, which include a four-year ban on bowl games, arguing that the measures have harmed students, business owners and others who had nothing to do with Sandusky's crimes.
The NCAA, in its federal court filing, disagreed.
It is exceptionally unlikely that sanctions temporarily impairing one school's prowess on the football field would render any of these robust nationwide economic markets less competitive, such that Stanford suddenly could raise tuition, Michigan could offer fewer or less valuable football scholarships, or Notre Dame could charge more for branded football jerseys, the NCAA said in the new filing.