Friday, January 4, 2013

So, Sue Me

Governor Tom Corbett, Wednesday morning, announced the state is suing the NCAA for sanctions imposed after the Sandusky/Curley/Schultz/Paterno child sex abuse scandal.

Corbett, who is up for reelection next year, is upset taxpayer money will go to pay the $60 million dollar fine.

Suddenly, judging by the governor's actions, this has become a public issue. 

Perhaps, if the public had greater knowledge of what was happening inside PSU, we wouldn't be at this point.  Sara Ganim, who wrote Pulitzer Prize winning stories on the scandal for the Harrisburg Patriot, referred to Penn State as the "Kremlin" during a CBS "Face the Nation" appearance last year.  The reason?  The state sanctioned shields keeping the inner working of Penn State from public scrutiny.

If Corbett was really serious about fixing things, he'll open access to PSU.  He was silent about it during his time as attorney general, and again as governor.

The lawsuit appears to be more about political capital rather than protecting the capital of the taxpayers.  Bill O'Reilly and a couple legal experts discussed the lawsuit on FOX News Channel Wednesday night.  If any organization was going to cut the conservative Corbett some slack, it would be FNC.  They all pegged it as a political "Hail Mary," an effort to increase popularity as an election approaches.  They see victory over the NCAA as a long shot.

I'm not predicting the outcome of the suit.  My degree is in broadcasting, not the law.

I will predict an increase in Corbett's approval ratings.  Even if he loses this, he can say "Hey, I'm the guy who fought for the reputation of Penn State, and I tried to keep your tax dollars from going out of state."

I have read plenty of opinion from people who feel the NCAA will bargain its way out of this by lessening the sanctions against PSU.  I would not be surprised.

A big part of the lawsuit is the collateral damage suffered by students and businesses.  Show me a punishment where the only one affected is the offender.  It just doesn't happen.

Below is a paragraph from a NY Times editorial.

It would be hard to imagine a more shortsighted misunderstanding of the scandal that continues to shake Penn State. The university is wise to accept the sanctions, whatever the governor hopes to accomplish. The penalties have caused considerable resentment among the more avid Penn State fans, but Mr. Corbett denied politics underlies his complaint. He pictured Penn State caught in the “eye of a media storm” and left to “clean up this tragedy that was created by the few.” The governor should know better than anyone that the tragedy is all about the outrageous abuse of children at Penn State, not continuing the business of football for Penn State fans.  

Corbett's lawsuit just shows Penn State puts football above all else.