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Pennsylvania governor suing NCAA over Penn State penalties

January 2, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is suing NCAA over penalties imposed against Penn State University in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex scandal.

During a Wednesday news conference, Corbett said the NCAA overstepped its authority by imposing hefty sanctions and claimed the school and the state had been harmed by the penalties.

"A handful of top NCAA officials simply asserted themselves into an issue they had no authority to police under their own bylaws, and one that was clearly being handled by the justice system," Corbett said.

The governor accused the NCAA of acting unlawfully because it stands to benefit from the sanctions.

The lawsuit, expected to be filed Wednesday afternoon in Harrisburg federal court, seeks to overturn all the penalties to which Penn State's president agreed in July.

Sandusky, 68, was convicted in June on charges he sexually abused 10 boys, some on Penn State's campus. He is currently serving a 30- to 60-year state prison term.

The university agreed to pay a $60 million fine for child abuse prevention grants and to endure a four-year bowl game ban for the university's football program, a loss of footballs scholarships and other penalties.

The family of longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno released a statement saying they were encouraged by the lawsuit. Corbett "now realizes, as do many others, that there was an inexcusable rush to judgment" in the aftermath of the Sandusky scandal, the statement said.

The NCAA declined to comment on the lawsuit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.