I’m not one to believe in conspiracy theories or parse words, especially with all that’s gone on at Penn State in the last year and a half. But as I started to read the NCAA’s response to Pennsylvania’s lawsuit calling for the sanctions to be overturned, I couldn’t help but notice one glaring error on the first page that makes me question how much the NCAA actually knows about what has happened at Penn State (as if that wasn’t in question previously).
The following excerpt comes the first page of the response, inside the introduction:
Governor Corbett is a member of PSU’s governing board, which voted to ratify the Consent Decree. In this case the Governor seeks, under the guise of antitrust law, to overrule his fellow Trustees and usurp the discretion that the Legislature delegated to PSU. This lawsuit is an inappropriate attempt to drag the federal courts into an intra-state political dispute.
Of course, this is completely unfactual. Many items in the Freeh report and relating to the Sandusky case in general are up for interpretation. I can accept that. But what the NCAA lawyers wrote here is grossly incorrect.
Penn State’s Board of Trustees never ratified the Consent Decree, nor was a vote ever taken. They were very calculated in that decision. Plus, the University president is tasked with all matters relating to NCAA infractions. Most of the trustees were not consulted before the consent decree was signed, and Governor Corbett has never claimed to have been a part of that discussion with President Erickson before the sanctions were accepted.
The Governor is not trying to overrule his fellow trustees, as the response states. This is not up for interpretation — a vote was never taken.
As far as the legality and standing of the lawsuit, I should not expound on areas outside of my knowledge. But I do know that the NCAA made an undebatable and important factual error on the very first page while trying to knock Governor Corbett’s standing.
Maybe it’s time for Doctor Emmert to find some better counsel.