Corbett's Motives Questioned in NCAA Lawsuit - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Corbett's Motives Questioned in NCAA Lawsuit

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Buffoonish, bizarre, frivolous; these are just some of the harsh words that Pennsylvania newspapers had for Governor Tom Corbett after he announced a lawsuit against the NCAA.

"It's pure politics on his part, because he's done a poor job as a governor," said Steve Schell of Erie, who said Corbett was going after the NCAA's sanctions against Penn State University in an attempt to win votes in next year's election.

Other people in eEie agree with Schell, and the statewide headlines.

With Corbett up for re-election next year, they question the motives behind the suit, which cites the NCAA for "overreaching and unlawful sanctions."

"I think it's a little bit too late," said Charles Forner, a former Penn State student. "I mean he had plenty of time to try and make this right and I think now it's more for his political gain."

Corbett addressed those types of accusations, when we spoke to him the day after he filed the lawsuit.

"Any action a governor takes is considered to be political," he said. "I look at it as, 'are Pennsylvanians being harmed by the action of the NCAA?' and believe they were, and I think I have a responsibility to fight for them."

But many still ask why he didn't take a stand sooner.

"He was in favor of them at the time and now he's running for re-election and it's ridiculous," said Doug Weber of Erie. 

"He was on the board at Penn State he knew about the sanctions, they agreed to the sanctions," said Schell. 

Corbett tried to defend his change of heart.

"As the days and weeks went on we determined the association didn't follow their own rules, and in a trade association you have to," he said, "and we believe that this violates the antitrust laws of the United States."

Regardless of the lawsuit's outcome, there will still be controversy over the penalties.

"I think the NCAA was very fair with Penn State... they could have had the death penalty and been shut down for 4 years," noted Schell.

Miller disagreed, saying, "I thought that the ruling was a little bit exorbitant, it hurt players who had nothing to do with this... and coaches who had nothing to do with this."

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