PSU news by
Penn State's student blog



Judge Rules NCAA Fine Should Stay in Pennsylvania, Blasts NCAA Sanctions

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge ruled today in a 6-1 decision that the $60 million NCAA fine against Penn State should remain in the state, while also editorializing a bit about the validity of the consent decree and the merit of the sanctions in their entirety. The court upheld the Endowment Act, which plaintiffs say prevents universities from giving away state appropriations.

Judge Anne Covey ruled on the lawsuit brought forward in January 2013 by State Sen. Jake Corman and Treasurer Rob McCord to use the fine money for initiatives within Pennsylvania. However, what resulted today was an even bigger blow to the NCAA, as the court questioned the entire consent decree and whether it was entered into legally or not by Penn State.

“High school athletes who had no involvement in the criminal acts were prevented from obtaining a free college education,” Covey wrote. “Student-athletes, trainers, coaches, administrators, and support personnel who had excelled in their job through hard work, practice, commitment, team work, sportsmanship, excellence and perseverance were told none of that mattered.”

Covey wrote that there are “many discrepancies” between the NCAA’s constitution and the Penn State consent decree, and upheld the state law that ensures penalty funds go to Pennsylvania programs and initiatives. Even the lone dissenting judge, Dan Pellegrini, agreed with the ridiculousness of the sanctions, and accused Penn State of mishandling the situation.

“The majority appears to arrive at this outcome because it is bewildered, as I am, by how the Board of Trustees of PSU could have approved or allowed to be executed a ‘Consent Decree’ involving the expenditure of $60 million of PSU funds when the Consent Decree specifically states that the matter would ‘ordinarily not be actionable by the NCAA,’ ” Pellegrini wrote. “If, as the majority suggests, the NCAA did not have jurisdiction over conduct because it did not involve the regulation of athletics, then the expenditure of those funds is problematic, given that PSU is a non-profit corporation as well as being tax-exempt as a charitable organization, and that the Boards of Directors of non-profit charitable corporations have a fiduciary duty to ensure that funds are only used for matters related to its charitable purpose — in this case, the students of PSU.”

The case will now likely head to a discovery phase, where documents could come to light about Penn State’s decision to enter into the consent decree. Few documents of this nature have been made public since President Rodney Erickson signed the consent decree on behalf of the university in July 2012.

“It appears the Court, in reviewing the NCAA challenge, has called into question the validity of the consent decree itself,” Corman said in a statement. “This is an important development in the case and coincides with many calls for more scrutiny on the matter.  We are reviewing the Court’s opinion and looking at what are the best steps moving forward.  We are very pleased that the court has once again ruled in our favor on the legality of the legislation.”

About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


State College Links
More by Kevin

Hometown Brewery Releases Beer Honoring Evan Pugh

Penn State’s first president Evan Pugh was born in 1828 at Jordan Bank Farm, three miles south of the city center of Oxford, Pennsylvania, an hour west of Philadelphia in Chester County. One-hundred eighty-nine years later, an Oxford brewery is honoring one of the preeminent champions of “liberal and practical” higher education in the form of a delicious Porter.

Penn State Basketball Downs Colgate 72-59 In Front of Thanksgiving Eve Crowd

Why Honoring Paterno Still Matters


Spillane Has Been Effective For Men’s Lacrosse In Ament’s Absence

Nick Spillane has been a major contributor for men’s lacrosse this season, which is especially important given the loss of Grant Ament to injury.

Big Ten Announces 2018-2019 In-Conference Hoops Matchups

From Manager To Walk On: Penn State Softball’s Ashton Mensinger Enjoying Unexpected Opportunity

Penn State Women’s Lacrosse Loses To Maryland 13-8

Penn State Men’s Lacrosse’s Ryan Keenan Selected In MLL Draft

Student Life

Homecoming 2018 Logo Revealed

The Homecoming Executive Committee revealed the Homecoming 2018 logo at halftime of the Blue-White game.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

Creamery ‘Brew And White’ Iced Coffee Now Available

Saquon Barkley Shows Some Skin On SI Cover

The NFL Draft begins Thursday, April 26, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. Barkley is expected to be a top-five pick, and he and his most vehement supporters say there’s no reason he won’t go No. 1 overall.

Blue Beats White 21-10 In Penn State’s Spring Scrimmage

Mac Hippenhammer’s two-touchdown performance highlighted a Blue team victory Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

Dry Weather Expected For Blue-White Weekend

Predicted temperatures in the mid-50s and mostly cloudy skies should make for a pleasant (but more importantly, dry) Blue-White Weekend.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Miniature Penn State Tailgate Bus Up For Sale, Tailgate Never Has To End

The bus was purchased at a church and designed to carry 22 children. Now it carries about 30 cases of beer.

Send this to a friend