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Lawsuit to be filed over Penn State sanctions

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett said Tuesday he plans to sue the NCAA in federal court over sanctions imposed against Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal.

The Republican governor scheduled a news conference for Wednesday on Penn State’s campus in State College to announce the filing in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg.

The sanctions, agreed to by the university in July, included a $60 million fine that would be used nationally to finance child abuse prevention grants.

State and federal lawmakers have raised objections to the money being spent outside Pennsylvania.

Email and phone messages seeking comment from the NCAA on the expected lawsuit weren’t immediately returned Tuesday.

Last month, a Pennsylvania congressman said he was unhappy with how the NCAA responded to a request from the state’s U.S. House delegation that the whole $60 million be distributed to causes within the state.

NCAA president Mark Emmert had said in a Dec. 12 letter that a task force had been charged with allocating at least 25 per cent of the fine money to programs in Pennsylvania.

Republican Rep. Charlie Dent said days later in a statement that Emmert’s response was “unacceptable and unsatisfactory.”

The NCAA said then that it stood by what Emmert had said.

The fine was just part of college sports’ governing body’s sanctions on Penn State for its handling of the abuse scandal involving Sandusky, a former assistant under head football coach Joe Paterno.

The landmark sanctions also included a four-year ban from post-season play and significant scholarship cuts for the university’s marquee football program, which avoided being suspended, the so-called death penalty.

Sandusky, a former defensive co-ordinator, was convicted in June on charges he sexually abused 10 boys, some on campus.

The 68-year-old was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in state prison.

Eight young men testified against him, describing a range of abuse they said went from grooming and manipulation to fondling, oral sex and anal rape when they were boys.

Sandusky didn’t testify at his trial but has maintained his innocence, acknowledging he showered with boys but insisting he never molested them.

 
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