STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — The NCAA overstepped its authority by imposing hefty sanctions on Penn State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation scandal, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett said today in announcing a federal lawsuit against the college athletics governing body.
Corbett said the university and the state have been harmed by what he called "harsh penalties" over the abuse committed by Sandusky, a former assistant football coach. The NCAA "piled on" and acted unlawfully because it stands to benefit from the sanctions, he said.
"A handful of top NCAA officials simply asserted themselves into an issue they had no authority to police under their own bylaws, and one that was clearly being handled by the justice system," Corbett said at a news conference.
The governor did not release a draft of the complaint, which was expected to be filed later this afternoon in Harrisburg federal court. It will seek to overturn all the penalties to which the university's president agreed in July.
The university has agreed to pay a $60 million fine for child-abuse prevention grants and to endure a four-year bowl game ban for the university's football program, a loss of football scholarships and other penalties.