Federal judge tosses Pa. Governor’s lawsuit against NCAA, calls it a “Hail Mary pass”
A federal judge on Thursday threw out a lawsuit filed in January by the Pennsylvania governor’s office seeking to overturn sanctions brought by the NCAA against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky trial last year.
According to the Associated Press, U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane called Gov. Corbett’s argument “a Hail Mary pass,” adding that while the questions the case raises are important for public debate, they are not anti-trust grounds.
“The fact that Penn State will offer fewer scholarships over a period of four years does not plausibly support its allegation that the reduction of scholarships at Penn State will result in a market-wide anticompetitive effect, such that the ‘nation’s top scholastic football players’ would be unable to obtain a scholarship in the nationwide market for Division I football players…In another forum the complaint’s appeal to equity and common sense may win the day, but in the antitrust world these arguments fail to advance the ball.”
In January, Gov. Corbett filed a lawsuit against the NCAA in order to overturn a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship limits and other penalties brought against the school. In May, attorneys for the NCAA argued that the organization brought these sanctions as a means to enforce rules about honesty, sportsmanship and conduct, and contended that the sanctions would not negatively impact the market for higher education or for the nation’s highly recruited football players.
Penn State ultimately moved forward with accepting the penalties from the NCAA and was not named a party in the case brought by Corbett.