Pa. Court Lets Legislator’s Lawsuit Over NCAA’s Penn State Fine Proceed

A Pennsylvania court on Wednesday rejected the NCAA’s bid to dismiss a lawsuit over the association’s $60-million fine against Pennsylvania State University for its role in the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse scandal. The lawsuit, filed by state Sen. Jake Corman, a Republican who represents State College, Pa., and Robert M. McCord, the state’s treasurer, objects to letting the NCAA decide how to spend the money, and asks the court to order that the fine installments be paid into a state endowment.

The NCAA had argued that the suit should be dismissed because the university is not a party to the suit, and because it said the two officials lacked legal standing to sue. In June a federal judge dismissed Gov. Tom Corbett’s separate antitrust lawsuit that challenged the NCAA’s penalties against Penn State.

In Wednesday’s decision, the majority of the Commonwealth Court, with President Judge Dan Pellegrini dissenting, turned aside the NCAA’s dismissal plea, allowing the battle over the Corman/McCord suit to continue.

The court majority concluded in an opinion by Judge Anne E. Covey that McCord has legal standing to sue the NCAA because he is to oversee the endowment into which the new state law requires the Penn State fine money to be paid.

Corman, a Centre County Republican who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, has legal standing in the case because he also has a role in overseeing that endowment fund, the state judges found.

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