By Oren Liebermann
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (CBS) – The small group of business owners and Penn State alumni surrounding Governor Tom Corbett, (R) Pennsylvania, at his press conference Wednesday afternoon supported his lawsuit against the NCAA.
But the governor has had trouble finding more support anywhere else.
“The lawsuit doesn’t advance victims’ rights one bit,” said attorney Tom Kline, who represents victim 5 in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse case. Kline says the lawsuit and the sanctions do not address the children who suffered at the hands of a child predator.
“It strikes me as what was lost in the shuffle not now, but back then, was that the money wasn’t going to the victims who deserved it,” Kline said.
Governor Corbett took to CNN to defend his antitrust suit, arguing the NCAA circumvented its own rules in handing down the sanctions.
“Usually the NCAA goes through its infractions and rules committee to conduct an investigation, to make a determination, and to assess fines and penalties,” said Gov. Corbett.
But Howard Langer, an antitrust attorney for Langer, Grogan & Diver, P.C., say that does not matter much.
“If they get beyond first base, it’ll be a very interesting lawsuit,” said Langer. “The question is if they’ll get to first base.”
Now members of Corbett’s own party say the lawsuit smacks of politics, especially since it took six months for Corbett to fight the sanctions.
“If those questions are not satisfactorily answered, the inevitable conclusion has to be that this is the kickoff to the 2014 primary campaign,” said Montgomery County Commissioner Bruce Castor, who said he may run for governor.
Antitrust lawsuits normally take months, if not years, to work their way through the legal system. This case would have to move fairly quickly to have any real effect on the sanctions.
Governor Corbett could have asked for a preliminary injunction as part of the suit. But he chose not to do so.