Gov. Tom Corbett asked a federal court on Thursday to dismiss an NCAA lawsuit aimed at overturning a Pennsylvania law that calls for keeping $60 million in Penn State fine money for the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal in the state.
State treasurer Rob McCord, who is listed as a defendant in the lawsuit along with Corbett, also filed a similar motion. Both asked the federal court to refrain from considering the NCAA's challenge because of two related pending lawsuits — the latest chapters in the ongoing legal wrangling over the penalties against the university for its handling of sexual abuse complaints involving the former assistant football coach.
Corbett has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA to get the sanctions including the $60 million fine overturned. Pennsylvania state Sen. Jake Corman has also sued the NCAA over its use of the fine.
Last week, the NCAA asked a state court to delay ruling on Corman's separate lawsuit, citing in part that questions remained over whether Corman had a right to sue. The court has asked Corman to respond by Monday.
The NCAA, a governing body of college sports, levied the landmark sanctions last summer. Besides the fine, Penn State was also docked football scholarships and banned from postseason play for four seasons.
Last month, Corbett signed into law a bill supported by Corman and passed by the state Legislature that kept the fine money in state. The NCAA filed its legal challenge to the law just hours later.
State and congressional lawmakers have objected to use of the NCAA fine to finance child abuse prevention efforts in other states.
The NCAA complaint asked a federal judge to throw out the Pennsylvania Institution of Higher Education Monetary Penalty Endowment Act, because it violated provisions of the U.S. Constitution. It also requested an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced.
The university met an NCAA deadline in December by placing the first of five annual installments of $12 million into a money market account set up for the fine money.
The money is eventually to be transferred to an endowment from which funds would be distributed by a third-party administrator to related causes. The NCAA had said in December that was to occur in early 2013, after a task force develops recommendations for guidelines on how to distribute the funds.