One day after announcing that Pennsylvania is suing the NCAA over its severe sanctions against Penn State for its handling of the Jerry Sandusky scandal Governor Tom Corbett spoke with Newswatch 16.
When asked “why now,” Governor Corbett responded, “It’s because after having the opportunity to review what they did, we found out they didn’t follow their own rules, when it comes to the NCAA and its treatment of its associate members.”
According to the governor, the organization did not do a thorough investigation, nor did it involve its own infractions committee before handing down unprecedented penalties on Penn State.
No bowl games for four years, a reduction of athletic scholarships, and years of victories and records wiped from the books.
“Somebody had to tell the NCAA they have to play by the rules just like they expect the players and the students, the coaches and the universities to play by the rules,” said Governor Corbett.
One person the governor did not involve was the attorney general-elect Kathleen Kane, who takes office in less than two weeks.
“I involved the attorney general, Linda Kelly, who is the attorney general who knows everything about this case,” explained Governor Corbett.
Corbett pointed out that the current attorney general is in charge of prosecuting the Penn State figures still facing charges, Spanier, Curley, and Shultz.
Kathleen Kane is now being briefed by his office, but the incoming attorney general said she was never consulted about the lawsuit.
Corbett defends the timing of the lawsuit. It comes one year before his expected re-election campaign.
He said it’s simply the right thing to do.
“Well, this is a cause not on behalf of Penn State necessarily, although they’re the recipient of it. It’s a cause on behalf of the people of Pennsylvania and the businesses up there and those who are going to be economically harmed by the failure of the NCAA to follow the rules,” said Governor Corbett.
The governor said the NCAA has 30 days to respond.
Kathleen Kane said her transition team is currently reviewing the legal case.
She’s set to take office on January 15.