Supreme Court Forces NCAA To Trial Over Sanctions

If you wanted to write a script for the NCAA’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, today would probably be a good starting point.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has denied an NCAA request to delay a January trial on the legality of the sanctions. The NCAA filed an application for a writ of prohibition last month, but the state’s highest court turned that down today, according to a report from AP’s Mark Scolforo. Practically, this means NCAA leaders like Mark Emmert will likely be deposed and have to answer questions on the stand without PR spin or a script.

The lawsuit comes from State Senator Jake Corman, who filed it to make sure the $60 million NCAA fine would be used for Pennsylvania programs instead of national initiatives. Emails produced as part of the case’s discovery process have already proved to be embarrassing for the NCAA, with today’s news and Penn State’s response.

Justice Max Baer said that the commonwealth court judge did not exceed legal jurisdiction in the case, shutting down the NCAA’s argument. The judge in question, Anne Covey, essentially expanded the case after the NCAA agreed to obey the Endowment Act, which would require the $60 million fine to stay within the state of Pennsylvania.

Covey rejected that settlement and will instead drag the NCAA to court, which is exactly what the Supreme Court has forced in today’s decision. Covey instead decided that her court will consider the consent decree as a whole, arguing that there are major questions over the legality of the consent decree, an agreement signed by the university to submit to the sanctions.

The judge in this case also spoke out today, lambasting the NCAA and calling its numerous court filings to delay trial “deplorable.”

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About the Author

Zach Berger

Zach Berger is a reporter and Onward State's Managing Editor Emeritus. You can find him at the Phyrst more nights than not. If he had to pick a last meal, Zach would go for a medium-rare New York strip steak with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and a cold BrewDog Punk IPA. You can reach him via e-mail at [email protected] or on Twitter at @theZachBerger.

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