By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A recent poll shows that majority of Pennsylvanians support Governor Tom Corbett’s decision to sue the NCAA for its harsh penalties against Penn State.
“I think it is a potential long shot,” says Andrew Brandt, who teaches sports law at Villanova University Law School and is a sports and business analyst for ESPN.
He says Governor Tom Corbett’s lawsuit alleges that the citizens of Pennsylvania have been damaged by the NCAA sanctions against Penn State through the loss of revenue brought to the Commonwealth via games in Happy Valley. But he says Corbett will have an uphill battle proving his case.
“The economic impact argument seems curious because none of the penalties dealt with not having the games,” says Brandt. “So all of the ancilar benefit of having games at Happy Valley, that did not change.”
Brandt says there are some arguments that the lawsuit could at least pass the laugh test since some opponents of the sanctions say the NCAA may have overstepped its bounds getting involved in the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
“The NCAA gets involved in things like recruiting, giving athletes benefits, taking them out to dinners and lunches, paying them,” says Brandt. “The argument is that these Sandusky crimes were being dealt with by the authorities, they should have been dealt with through criminal cases. But when looking at both sides, the NCAA was right to step in.”
Brandt says the questionable lawsuit raises questions as to why it was filed in the first place.
“This was an agreed upon agreement. For the governor to say six months later that, hey we don’t like that, when there are quotes from the governor saying we are happy that we can move forward, well, that seems curious,” he says.
Brandt says the Governor will likely have to overcome challenges to his ability to even bring the lawsuit, which could end the battle over sanctions before it even begins.