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Gov. Corbett Defends About-Face Over NCAA’s Sanctions Against Penn State

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(Gov. Tom Corbett, flanked by members of his staff and current and former students and athletes at Penn State, announces his antitrust suit against the NCAA.  Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Gov. Tom Corbett, flanked by members of his staff and current and former students and athletes at Penn State, announces his antitrust suit against the NCAA. Credit: Tony Romeo)

(Capitol dome, Harrisburg, Pa.   File photo) Tony Romeo
  Tony Romeo is Harrisburg bureau chief for KYW Newsradio...
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By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett is defending criticism of his decision to file a lawsuit challenging the sanctions handed down by the NCAA against Penn State University (see related story).

Last July, Corbett had released a statement saying that accepting the NCAA decision was part of the “corrective process” for Penn State following the Jerry Sandusky scandal (see related story).

But yesterday, the governor announced an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA over the sanctions, and the governor’s spokesman declined to characterize his boss as having changed his mind.

Then, this morning, in an interview with Marty Griffin on KYW Newsradio‘s sister station, KDKA in Pittsburgh, Corbett admitted as much.

(Griffin:)  “Would it be safe to say that you changed your mind, sir?

(Corbett:)  “It would be, because I did not have all the facts in front of me back at that period of time.”

The governor indicated he was swayed after determining the NCAA did not follow its own rules in issuing the sanctions.

(Griffin:)  “Did you make a mistake then? Did you jump the gun when you made that statement?

(Corbett:)  “You can all describe it any way you want to. I looked at it –- (I) thought they had followed the rules.”

Corbett now insists he’s acting in the best interests of the state.

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