Pennsylvania Must Face NCAA Lawsuit Over Sandusky Abuse Fine

Pennsylvania lost a bid to throw out a National Collegiate Athletic Association federal lawsuit over the control of a $60 million fine levied against Pennsylvania State University after the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal.

Pennsylvania passed a law last year requiring the NCAA penalty be used in the state on child abuse programs. The association sued claiming the law violates the U.S. Constitution and can’t be enforced.

U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane yesterday rejected arguments by lawyers for Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett that NCAA’s lawsuit should be dismissed because a similar case is pending in state court. Commonwealth Court Judge Anne Covey scheduled a trial for Jan. 6 in that case, where Republican Senator Jake Corman and Treasurer Rob McCord sued the NCAA seeking to enforce the law, according to the Associated Press.

“The pendency of an action in a state court is no bar to proceedings concerning the same matter in the federal court having jurisdiction,” Kane said, citing previous rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wins Removed

The NCAA sanctions in July 2012 stripped the university’s football team of 112 wins and levied the fine for the insitution’s failure to prevent the abuse by Sandusky, who was convicted of molesting boys for more than a decade.

Sandusky, 70, who spent 31 seasons as a defensive assistant under Nittany Lions coach Joe Paterno, was sentenced in October 2012 to at least 30 years in prison.

Penn State has spent more than $69 million to manage the fallout from the Sandusky scandal. The running tally as of Dec. 31, 2013, includes a $24 million portion of the NCAA fine, according to the university’s website. The accounting is updated every six months, the university said on the website.

The case is NCAA v. Corbett, 13-00457, U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg)

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