Penn State and NCAA Strike Presumptive Deal to Drop Lawsuits

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The NCAA and Penn State University have tentatively agreed on a deal to drop several lawsuits against one another.  NCAA has tentatively agreed that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania can control a more than $60 million fine paid by Penn State University.  ESPN reports that the college sports governing authority will let the state hold onto the money—for now at least—provided that several Pennsylvania lawmakers drop a lawsuit against it.  In exchange, the NCAA would agree to drop a lawsuit challenging a 2013 Pennsylvania law that prevented the $60 million fine from being spent outside of the state.    Lawmakers have argued that as a public university, the money should be controlled by the state legislature, and spent within the state for programs that benefit child abuse victims.

Penn State University accepted a 2012 consent decree and agreed to be fined the $60 million, along with a four-year ban on postseason football bowl games, loss of football scholarships, and was forced to erase Joe Paterno’s 112 winning games as head coach of the Big Ten program, over mishandling of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual assault scandal.  It also agreed to on-going monitoring by former U.S. Senator George Mitchell.

Last month, the NCAA granted Penn State the eligibility for post-season bowl games, following a second annual report by Mitchell.  Mitchell’s report noted progress by the program, finding that “In light of Penn State’s responsiveness to its obligations, and the many improvements it has instituted, I believe these student-athletes should have the opportunity to play in the postseason, should them earn it on the field this year.”  CBS Sports also reports that Mitchell would also consider recommendations to terminate his monitoring of the university “substantially earlier than scheduled.”

When it comes to questions about sports, and the business of sports, you need an experienced attorney.  Attorney James J. (“Jim”) Thomas II has more than 35 years of courtroom experience in the Atlanta area, and has represented professional athletes, teams, and leagues. Jim is a business litigation expert who can handle complex business litigation as well as analysis, evaluation, and resolution of existing and potential litigation.  Give Jim a call at 404-869-5248 or visit www.litigationatlanta.com online.

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