It didn’t take long for critics to blast Gov. Tom Corbett’s decision to sue the NCAA over its sanctions of Penn State. Democrat John Hanger, who announced his Guv bid in December, and Republican Bruce Castor, the Montgomery County Commissioner flirting with a primary challenge, both slammed Corbett.
Each criticized the Governor for changing his stance toward the sanctions, which he initially accepted.
“It’s curious, to say the least, that the Governor in July 2012 said the NCAA sanctions should be accepted. But now on January 2nd 2013, he sues the NCAA over the same sanctions he said to accept six months ago,” Hanger said.
In July, Corbett said, “Part of that corrective process is to accept the serious penalties imposed today by the NCAA on Penn State University and its football program.”
Corbett said he changed his position after looking into the argument that the NCAA doesn’t have the authority to levy sanctions over what was a criminal rather than an athletic matter. Additionally, he said, it was clear that PSU was strong-armed into accepting the sanctions with the threat of the ‘death penalty’ for the football program.
Penn State is taking no part in the suit.
Update: Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley rejected the criticism.
“The lawsuit is about fighting for the people of Pennsylvania. If others want to play politics, that’s up to them,” he said.
Hanger also knocked the Guv over his proposed budgets which reduced state funds to PSU.
Both Hanger and Castor criticized the Governor for proceeding with the suit without consulting Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane, who will be sworn in on January 15.
“The delay in acting in the first instance, and the rush to get in under the wire before an elected, independent Attorney General takes office in the second, smacks of political gamesmanship and ‘too little too late,’” Castor said.
Hanger served as the Secretary of Environmental Protection during the Rendell administration. Castor previously served as Montgomery County District Attorney and ran unsuccessfully against Corbett during the 2004 AG primary.