Editorial Roundup: Newspapers Take Dim View of Corbett’s NCAA Suit

Tom Corbett portrait lores
Gov. Tom Corbett

Despite the fact that a majority of Pennsylvanians support it, newspapers across Pa. and the country are speaking up about Gov. Tom Corbett’s decision to sue the NCAA. Most are not impressed. Here’s our running list.

While a few have applauded his action, others have accused him of failing to learn the lessons of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. Almost all of them agree that it is a political move by Corbett, who faces re-election next year.

Did we miss one? Email the link to press@politicspa.com.

Bucks County Courier Times: NCAA suit raises legitimate issues
This editorial finds Corbett’s suit political, but acceptable.

As for Corbett’s political motivations, which some have alleged, there may be some merit to the charges.

Nonetheless, if the lawsuit shrinks the cost to the state of Sandusky’s horrible crimes as well as their impact on students and their parents, we’ll find little to gripe about.

Penn State Daily Collegian: Corbett hasn’t earned reputation as Penn State’s savior

Why not spend the last few months of time and taxpayer dollars focused on making sure this great learning institution does not receive serious appropriation cuts like the one that was proposed last year? His attention should be on making sure the state’s university remains affordable, not sanctions that Erickson signed a consent decree to accept.

Lebanon Daily News: Gov. Tom Corbett right to fight NCAA on Penn State sanctions
LDN says Corbett may have political motivations, but his actions are applaudable.

Corbett has done the right thing.

When the NCAA announced its sanctions against Penn State, we said immediately that the punishment was misdirected. The punishment was a tactical nuclear bomb, wholly without discrimination, without precedent and, perhaps, something that no doubt will be argued in court, without the underpinning regulatory ability of the NCAA to levy in the first place.

Philadelphia Daily News: Corbett’s NCAA lawsuit loses sight of real victims
DN criticizes Corbett’s suit as yet another event drawing attention away from victims of the Penn State scandal.

This misguided suit delivers its own damage to those who were subject to unspeakable horrors that were allowed to happen in the name of another winning season.

York Daily Record: Our take: A ‘suit’ of political armor for Gov. Corbett
The YDR finds merit in Gov. Corbett’s charges, but views his lawsuit as the wrong approach.

It’s a waste of money and a waste of time.

The governor would do better to lead the legislative charge to keep most of that fine money in Pennsylvania  to fund child abuse prevention programs here rather than disappearing into some NCAA fiscal black hole for programs across the country.

Centre Daily Times: Corbett lawsuit desperate politics, but might have positive impact
Penn State’s home town paper says the lawsuit is politically motivated, but they don’t care.

Ultimately, the same voters who sent Kane to Harrisburg will decide if Corbett’s lawsuit was a display of political desperation or a courageous step taken for the benefit of the state and its largest university.

In the meantime, we will continue to push to keep the $60 million in our state, and join other  local businesses in hoping for relief from the severe penalties on Penn State and its football program.

The Reading Eagle: Pennsylvania lawmakers have no authority over NCAA
The Reading Eagle says that politics are drawing attention away from child sexual abuse.

The focus here must remain on the children, who seem to be getting little notice from those who try to dictate to the NCAA how the fine should be allocated.

Easton Express Times: NCAA lawsuit looks like a political football
This Lehigh Valley Paper says Corbett’s suit is inextricably linked with politics.

Many people across Pennsylvania no doubt think Gov. Tom Corbett’s antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA — contesting its sanctions against Penn State in response to the Jerry Sandusky scandal — deserves a big “attaboy.”

Forgive us if we don’t join the cheering section. It’s impossible to distinguish Corbett’s political aspirations — his desire to be re-elected and regain many of the Penn State faithful — from what may be legitimate questions about the NCAA’s use of power.

Philadelphia Inquirer: NCAA suit has little merit
The Inquirer says Corbett’s decision to sue the NCAA is undeniably politically charged.

In filing his lawsuit before Attorney General-elect Kathleen Kane takes office this month, Corbett also opens himself up to accusations that he’s trying to divert attention from his own role in an earlier state investigation of Sandusky when Corbett served as Pennsylvania’s top pros.

Lancaster Intelligencer: Thrown for a loss
The Lancaster Paper condemns Corbett’s suit as a campaign strategy.

We hope Nittany Nation will see the NCAA lawsuit for what it is: all about the politics.

Pottstown Mercury: Corbett flip-flops on Penn State sanctions
Pottstown’s Paper focuses on Corbett’s inconsistency with respect to the Penn State scandal.

We’d also like to note that Corbett’s involvement in the Sandusky case — both as prosecuting attorney general and then gubernatorial board of trustees member — has cost him dearly in terms of support from Penn State alumni.

If anyone needs an infusion of good will from an enormous and influential voting bloc, it’s    Corbett…The big question, we suppose, is whether that voting bloc can get past Corbett’s previous but apparently malleable position on the matter.

The Altoona Mirror: Lawsuit political, justified
Altoona’s daily newspaper says the political ramifications of Corbett’s lawsuit are real, but reasonable.

Corbett is right that the sanctions too harshly affected those not involved – such as the current football team, the new football staff, all of Penn State’s student-athletes and State College and regional business communities.

On the other hand, obviously Corbett is considering the political ramifications.

Harrisburg Patriot-News: Corbett’s lawsuit gambles taxpayer money
The Harrisburg paper says that Corbett is right to want to keep Penn State’s fine in PA, but his suit goes beyond that.

It’s not often that Gov. Tom Corbett takes action that is described as daring or provocative. On Wednesday, the governor made a bold decision to sue the NCAA over its sanctions against Penn State. Unfortunately, it’s not the right decision.

Washington Post: Pa.’s ill-founded claim ti Sandusky victimhood
WaPo isn’t impressed.

The lawsuit and Mr. Corbett’s newfound objections to the NCAA’s sanctions have the whiff of political desperation. The governor faces an uphill race for reelection next year, and he has been the target of wrath from Penn State alumni, a significant constituency in Pennsylvania. Tellingly, the suit was filed without the input of the state’s incoming attorney general, Kathleen Kane (D). Ms. Kane ran on a promise to examine Mr. Corbett’s handling of the Sandusky case, which he began investigating as attorney general in 2008.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Corbett’s suit against the NCAA is out of bounds.
The Pittsburgh Paper questions the need for Corbett’s suit.

His complaint is belated, bizarre and self-serving.

The Carlisle Sentinel: Our View: Governor right to sue NCAA
The Sentinel agrees with Governor Corbett’s decision to take action against the NCAA.

Gov. Tom Corbett is doing the right thing by filing a federal antitrust lawsuit against the  NCAA, whose penalties over the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal are hurting the wrong people. The governor believes, correctly, that the association has inappropriately punished Penn State students by banning the football team from bowl games for four years and forfeiting 112 of former head coach Joe Paterno’s wins.

The Scranton Times Tribune: Corbett suit makes point
The Times Tribune finds favor with Corbett’s suit, insisting the NCAA went too far in the Penn State scandal.

Gov. Tom Corbett faces abundant questions about his own handling, as attorney general, of the Jerry  Sandusky child sexual abuse case. Regardless of whether political fallout has motivated him to file an antitrust action against the NCAA for the draconian sanctions it imposed on the Penn State football program, the suit serves a valuable purpose in exposing the hypocrisy and hubris of the NCAA and its president, Mark Emmert, Ph.D.

Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Corbett’s lawsuit: A frivolous filing
The Pittsburgh paper deems the Corbett case a political pandering worthy of dismissal.

P.U., what‘s that smell? If you answered the bizarre, counterintuitive and politically buffoonish federal antitrust lawsuit filed against the NCAA for its sanctions against Penn State University by Gov. Tom Corbett, go to the head of the critical thinking class.


The Daily Beast: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett’s Shameful Lawsuit over Penn State
In an opinion for the Daily Beast, Buzz Bissinger insists Corbett’s suit is a selfish ploy to win favor before election season.

But wherever 63-year-old Republican Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett ranks in the Penn State tragedy, he is a disgrace, an elected official who throughout the Sandusky investigation was far too interested in his own self-interest of winning the governorship. Now, as he is hoping to stay there for a second term, he has pulled his most shameless act yet.

Delaware County Daily Times: Freindly Fire: Corbett’s Penn State Folly: Suing NCAA Will Not Save Him
Delco Times columnist Chris Freind says Corbett’s suit is a political tactic, but even so, it may not be enough to win him re-election.

Has Corbett finally realized he is about to become the first governor to lose a second term? He is already one of the nation’s least popular governors, and, with the exception of demagoguing on Penn State (when convenient), is spotted in public less than Bigfoot. Now, he is at the point in politics where they separate the men from the boys, and he is frantically reaching for something with wide appeal.

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Corbett’s good fight against NCAA
In this opinion written for the Inquirer, Andrew Schaum applauds Governor Corbett’s decision to act against the NCAA.

I applaud the governor for standing up and fighting for current Penn State athletes and other students, as well as the businesses of the State College region. None of them should pay any price for the misdeeds of others. It’s refreshing that Corbett is doing something about it even as everyone else seems content to accept the wrath of the NCAA.

Philadelphia Magazine: Why Corbett Wants to Sue the NCAA for Penn State Sanctions
In an opinion written for Philly Mag, Michael Bradley says Corbett’s suit is inherently political.

This is a grandstanding measure by a governor who has cut education funding drastically and allowed statewide fracking after accepting huge contributions to his campaign from the very companies who benefit from his laissez-faire attitude toward the practice.

The Allentown Morning Call: PA Gov Tom Corbett NCAA suit is a frivolous embarrassment
Allentown Morning Call columnist Bill White says Corbett’s suit is a desperate political tactic that voters should not buy into.

So for Tom Corbett to resurrect the subject of the sanctions all these months later strikes me as a brazen, ill- timed, frivolous attempt by an unpopular governor to win political points with Penn State alumni.

The Washington Post: Gov. Tom Corbett disgraces himself
This piece from columnist Jennifer Rubin casts Corbett’s lawsuit against the NCAA as an immoral political maneuver.

I’ll refrain from weighing in on the merits of the suit, including how the governor gets past the settlement agreement between the NCAA and Penn State and how he gets standing to sue to undo the same. The issue here really is not a legal one but a moral one. There is no penalty that can repair the damage to so many lives and correct the endemic corruption of a university that allowed a child predator to operate for so long. But to challenge whatever penalty was arrived at is hideous.

Corbett’s suit is a disgrace, and politicians of both parties should denounce it.

USA Today: Governor’s frivolous lawsuit a setback to Penn State
USA Today columnist Christine Brennan hones in on Corbett’s inconsistency in the Penn State scandal.

One could even ask why he’s still the governor, because his actions–inaction actually–played an integral part in the entire, horrifying Sandusky saga.

From national sports outlets:

Yahoo Sports: NCAA’s power at core of Tom Corbett’s PSU lawsuit
Yahoo reflects on the interesting nature of the case, but questions the actual need for it.

The heart of Corbett’s lawsuit is simple: the NCAA overstepped its authority and circumvented its long-held rule-enforcement guidelines to hit Penn State up for promoting what the NCAA called a “football-first” culture that allowed Sandusky to operate.

On this, Corbett clearly has an argument and isn’t the first person to question exactly how the NCAA’s system works, whether it’s fair or what power it truly has to issue such sweeping decisions, particularly in this case.

Fox Sports: Gov. Corbett’s move all about politics.
Fox Sports columnist Greg Couch agrees with the need to challenge the NCAA, but rebukes Corbett’s way of doing so.

Believe me, I love it when the NCAA is called out. But this time, the big fraud isn’t the NCAA, it’s Corbett. This is one grotesque, maybe even monstrous, play of political grandstanding.

NBC Sports:Tom Corbett is not the person to be challenging the NCAA on PSU sanctions
NBC says the NCAA should be challenged for spinning the Sandusky case in its favor, but contends Corbett is not the man for the job.

The task should not come from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett. Never mind the obvious political grandstanding. That’s way too obvious to merit a response. What Corbett is doing is not only hypocritical, but laughable.

4 Responses

  1. Pennsylvanians approve, newspapers do not. One more example for reasons newspapers are going the way of the dinosaurs.

  2. Some of us don’t think to much of the Pennsylvania papers. Half of them have been in bankruptcy. Corbett is doing the right thing for the right reasons. We need some new papers in this state; ones that will report the news, not just give their biased positions.

  3. Political crash and burn. The only question remaining is whether the GOP follows along or changes horses. Based on their track record the Republicans will go down in flames defending the indefensible (e.g. Rick Santorum).

Comments are closed.

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